The Eighth and Final Square

with courage face the thing you fear so the pawn becomes the queen

The original headers, including the one on HA.

The original headers, including the one on HA.

There has been a lot of uproar in the survivors-of-abusive-homeschooling community over the post by Olivia Brodock titled “From A Homeschool Victim Who Obviously Survived“. There are many things to address, and I’m not going to do a dissection of that post, but I will mention a couple things. First off, the original post photo was one that was found on a post on the Homeschooler’s Anonymous website titled “When Homeschool Leaders Looked Away: The Old Schoolhouse Cover-Up“. The photo may have been found on the image author’s Flickr, but it’s more likely that it was picked specifically for the correlation to this post…to provide context. (It was later changed out for another photo.) The second thing I’d like to mention is the language of the post…it was supposed to be satire, but the definition of satire is to mock or make fun of…in other words, the whole post was mocking and making fun of those who claim abuse as a result of a homeschooling environment. Not only is that completely ridiculous, but it’s also completely offensive to those who did suffer abuse.

The mother of the woman who wrote the post was the one who was moderating the comments, and like way too many conservative writers, the comments were heavily moderated…a fact Kathy (the mother) mentioned in her follow-up post “Does Abuse and Neglect REALLY Happen in Homeschool Families?” If you do happen to make it through the entire post, you deserve a round of applause, because the whole thing is one giant straw man…and having nothing to do with the stories shared by hundreds of abuse survivors. But no, just the people she knows are the only abuse stories she believes.

In this post, Kathy wrote:

I would like to address some of the negative comments. And just for the record, I did not publish the comments that were hostile. Those who were dissenting and yet respectful were published.

This is a damn lie, because there was only one “dissenting” comment she published, and it was the one she copied into her post. Let’s take a look at some of the “hostile”, “disrespectful” comments that weren’t posted (in no particular order).

My comment (it never even showed up as in moderation, no idea why, so it’s copied-and-pasted).

Hey Olivia! I’m glad you had a great homeschooling experience. I’m just not sure about the satirical tone of the post…because in some homeschool homes, there HAS been actual abuse (Hana Williams, anyone?), and it seems that the tone of this post is discrediting those who haven’t had the best homeschooling experience. I do agree that most (if not all) kids think their parents are unfair at some point or another…but there’s a difference between unfair and actual abuse. Not everyone has been as lucky as you. 🙂

And then this one, which is ACTUAL satire.

These are just some of the comments left that weren’t let through. There was one comment let through (only one!) that was by a homeschooler who disagreed. This is that comment (which, of course, Kathy posted on her post today to be like “Hey, look at me, I let through comments that disagree!”).

This article is full of it lol I was homeschooled all 12 years and I will never advocate it. I understand results may very, and if you have the right parents then heck you might survive! But what about the homeschoolers I knew who were so sheltered and unsocialized they became mentally unstable? What about the ones like me who struggle with depression because I was not allowed to have my own opinions or choices? What about all the brainwashing that goes on? Did you ever stop to think about your own life choices? About the real world? Or is your life a cookie cutter of your parents? Like I said, results may very… I will be fair and say I knew homeschoolers who were fine because their parents did it right. But I also knew parents who used it to hide physical abuse.. I knew homeschoolers who had no social functions and will pretty much be a waste in society. It shouldn’t be allowed because some parents REALLY don’t know what to teach their kids and they end up not knowing the simplest of things. As for myself, well I like to think I did survive. I’m doing good. But I struggle with depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other problems. But I can function in the real world. Unfortunately, I can’t say that for the rest of the ppl I knew. ~Bekah

This was the ONE comment that mentioned this woman thought homeschooling should be banned. So of course it was the one comment that Kathy based her entire post around. So basically, the whole post was one big straw man about how all of us think homeschooling should be banned…because one person mentioned that.

Now I’d like to list some of the actual abuses that we survived.

These are only a handful of the things that happened in our homes. (For more, see the stories on Homeschoolers Anonymous.) I myself have dealt with depression, guilt, self-injury, low self-esteem, poor education, and a host of other issues as a result of my homeschooling experience. I know many, many people who deal with some of the same things, and more, as a result of their homeschooling experience. Why doesn’t Kathy think these are valid? Why is it only her experiences with other people are the valid experiences?

My friends and I have survived actual abuse, and in many cases it was life-threatening. It was not us thinking our parents were “unfair”. It was stuff that caused so many of us to have lasting problems, even years later. Kids who just think their parents are unfair don’t need therapy. They don’t develop depression, bipolar, borderline, PTSD, and many of the other mental illnesses my friends and I have. And still, many of us aren’t against homeschooling, we are for regulations that ensure every child receives a good abuse-free education.

So…move out of the way, Kathy. I’m burning down your straw man.

Phoenix On November - 2 - 2014

6 Responses so far.

  1. Jai says:

    BURN BURN BURN!!!!

    To quote P!nk: “Burn this *ucker down! Do do do do, do do do do DO DO DO DO!!!…”

  2. Elodie NOS says:

    Those people are such sanctimonious little shits, aren’t they? I would like them to volunteer in places for people who have actually fled abuse. I would like them to meet abuse survivors. I would like them to walk away sorry, but I won’t press my luck…

    • QuicksilverQueen says:

      Right?! Supposedly according to her post she has worked with people who have endured “actual” abuse. But those of us who talk about the abuses we’ve suffered, oh we’re just kids whining about how our parents were unfair.

  3. I thought you guys might be interested in seeing Olivia’s response on Throwing Out the Bath Water. goo.gl/Hqx5aP

    • Phoenix says:

      Thanks! Incidentally, I tried googling “Homeschool victim” like she did…and the only time the image popped up was in the first three images…which were all from Teaching Good Things.

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Welcome! This is my space on the internet to explore myself and my life and find my courage to turn into a queen. My Quilt No content on this blog may be used or reproduced elsewhere without a link back.

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