Politics

Home-School Children are Disrespectful and Anti-Social

From Charleston Gazette-Mail 3/6/2016
By Bil Lepp

Home-school children are disrespectful and anti-social … at exactly the same ratio as public and private school children. But it’s perception that counts. A lot of people have encountered “that” home-school kid who is pampered or lazy or just plain weird. And that’s the home-school kid by which some people judge all home-schoolers.

Three recent commentaries concerning homeschooling piqued my interest: one on Feb 14 by Debra K. Sullivan, and editorials on Feb 20 and Jan. 28. My wife and I home-school our kids. As with all crazy, radical, uber-religious zealots, I like to think my wife and I are normal and raising well-adjusted children.

Ms. Sullivan asserts: “The balance within a school team, based on the school’s carefully nurtured, already developed environment, will be disrupted,” if an outside student participates. This environment is developed when kids “spend seven hours a day, 180 days a year, for years at a time interacting with their peers and the adult staff,” and “that if you were to place an outside child into that environment you would corrupt the system.” By that metric no school should ever allow new kids to enroll.

Groups benefit by exposure to fresh or alternate experiences. Should we reject exchange students because they are only part of the social fabric for one year?

It is true that some home-schoolers are disruptive and corrupting. King George III called George Washington a “sniveling imp of a home-schooler.” This isn’t completely accurate since Washington was only partially home-schooled. Abraham Lincoln, a home-schooler, tore the nation in half. And then there’s Rudolph. He wasn’t excluded from reindeer games just because of his nose. He was also home-schooled.

“Public school students mix with youths of many different ethnic and economic backgrounds, so they learn … society is widely diverse. We worry that home-schooled children may wear blinders and know only the views of their parents,” (Jan. 28).

First of all, blinders only impair peripheral vision. Since it is also possible to learn by seeing things straight on, or by using your ears, many modern home-school parents have adopted sensory deprivation helmets for our children.

Secondly, I went to public school in West Virginia. I don’t remember a lot of diversity. West Virginia is 93 percent white. There are places in West Virginia where ethnic diversity is evident but also many schools where diversity means some kids are tall and some short. If that is the criterion, our home school is diverse.

Speaking of diversity, the editors lump all home-schoolers into one homogeneous group, as if home-schoolers are all the same.

“I see kids on a four-wheeler all day long and they’re home-schoolers,” Delegate Ralph Rodighiero, D-Logan, commented.

Not every home-school family is responsible, but given Logan County’s nearly 50 percent truancy rate, some of those four-wheeling kids may be public schoolers. The easiest way to tell is to check if the kids are wearing blinders or deprivation helmets. It is difficult to ride a four-wheeler in a deprivation helmet but it protects our children from getting hit with new ideas at 30 miles an hour.

Some of my kids’ best friends are public school kids, but it is true that apart from Scouting, Tae Kwon Do, swim team at the Y, city and church sports teams, church activities, city theatre productions, organized science, English and speech classes, ski club, extensive travel opportunities, and an active and somewhat diverse Kanawha-Putnam home-school group, my kids are almost entirely unsocialized and never hear any viewpoints but my own.

However, I do agree with the Feb. 20 editorial questioning the ethics of home-school parents. “What about [home-schoolers] fudging grades to qualify…?” to play sports, inquire the editors. Oh man, we are so busted! It is only right to assume that all home-schoolers are scheming to invent the never before employed tactic of lying about grades. The idea of academic cheating to benefit athletic aspirations is so novel that certainly no public or private school has ever been guilty of, or even considered, this avenue. I’m a bit chagrined that the editors so easily saw through our carefully plotted plan. Drats, foiled again.

I have no idea what it costs for a home-schooler to play on a public school team but I bet parents interested in their children participating would help defer costs.

Beyond that, I now employ the ol’ “I pay taxes” line. My tax bill is not lowered even though I home-school, as far as I know. I think I helped pay for the public school sports complexes. In fact, we have access to public school text books and my children have been welcomed into certain public school programs. I have happily voted for school levy increases. I believe that home schooling is a privilege and that since not every family has this opportunity or capability, I should do what I can to ensure that public schools in my community are of the highest quality.

Okay, it’s almost noon. Gotta go get the kids up.

http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article-/20160306/bil-lepp-home-school-children-are-disrespectful-and-anti-social

Christian Community Needs the Gay Community to Keep Us Straight

From Charleston Gazette-Mail 2/21/2016
By Bil Lepp

Gays will be able to legally refuse to sell Christians mimosas on Sunday mornings, thanks to the West Virginia Legislature’s hard and useful work.

The “Brunch Bill” will allow alcohol sales as early as 10 o’clock on Sunday mornings. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act will allow business owners to refuse service to anyone they please, so long as the owner holds a sincere religious belief. Ergo, gay business owners who sincerely, religiously, believe that Christians shouldn’t be drinking during Sunday School hours can refuse said Christians a drink.

At last, even the godless gays will have a say in Christian morality. But how can godless gays have a sincerely held religious belief? Simple. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is not a Christian act, or a heterosexual act. Your legislators may want you to believe that the RFRA will protect your Christian rights, but the bill reads: “‘Exercise of religion’ means the sincere practice or observance of religion, or any action that is motivated by a sincerely held religious belief, whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.”

There is no mention of Christianity in this bill. And that last bit about “sincerely held belief, whether … compulsory or central to a larger system …” means anybody can think of any reason to refuse any service to anyone and say they believe it sincerely because it is part of their religion. What religion? It doesn’t matter. A Hindu doctor could refuse to treat your heart problems because you eat beef. Or a Muslim doctor because you eat pork. A pastor could refuse to marry a straight couple because they supported the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Or a gay bar owner could refuse to serve you a drink on Sunday morning. You can even make up your own religion and you are protected by this bill.

I know this to be true because Obama communicated all this to me through secret hand signals. You can trust me.

The reader may wonder why the Legislature even needs to enact a law allowing drinking on Sunday mornings. In the past Blue Laws “designed to restrict or ban some or all Sunday activities …” were passed to regulate un-Christian like behavior. Like drinking on Sunday mornings. This needs to be clearly and loudly stated: The Legislature is simultaneously passing a law called the Religious Freedom RESTORATION Act and REPEALING a law designed to protect Christian virtue.

If the RFRA passes, Christians will be able to drink on Sunday AND refuse to let others drink on Sunday. Brilliant. It’s not like we need new roads or a budget.

Let this be an appeal to “the” gays: Obviously, Christians who support both these bills are conflicted. At long last, the Christian community needs the gay community to keep us straight. There are many sincerely religious LGBT folks out there, and many hetero-religious people who are more interested in inclusion than exclusion. But please, whatever your practice or observance of religion looks like, develop sincere religious beliefs that allow you to refuse to sell conflicted, hetero-Christians booze on Sunday mornings. You will be protected by the very bill that allows Christians to refuse to DJ your wedding.

“This puts us in line with all the surrounding states,” said Sen. Tom Takubo, R-Kanawha (of the Brunch Bill). Lawmakers say the bill will boost tourism and give West Virginia’s hospitality industry a shot in the arm.

It sure will. When people find out that gays can legally refuse to serve Christians booze on Sunday morning, Christians from around the country will flock to our state the way the aristocrats used to head to the Greenbrier for the healthful waters.

http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article-/20160221/bil-lepp-christian-community-needs-the-gay-community-to-keep-us-straight

Unsafe? Legalize It!

copyright 2014 Bil Lepp
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Of all the bills the West Virginia Legislature passed this session, I think the most important is the ban on owning exotic animals such as tigers. Thank the stars above the state managed to enact this legislation.

It is clear that the state is determined to follow a new rule: If it seems unsafe, legalize it!

Owning tigers may seem exactly the sort of unsafe practice the Legislature would legalize, even require, but if that is your line of thought you are not thinking like a West Virginia elected official. Studies show that pets are beneficial to physical and mental health. The simple act of petting a cat makes us feel less lonely and lowers blood pressure. If petting a normal size cat lowers your blood pressure a little, it stands to reason that petting a tiger would lower your blood pressure even more. And we can’t have that. Recent polls show West Virginia is the most depressed state in the Union, and lawmakers don’t want to squander that notoriety. Our legislature is determined to keep us sick, addicted and depressed.

Meth makers, however, can rejoice. You are the darlings of the conspiracy to keep us sick and sad. If everyone in West Virginia is hooked on meth, unemployed, in poverty and depressed then sustaining an inept state government will be so much simpler. If we are depressed and high we will be more apt to believe the root of our problems are federal regulations aimed at clean water and clean air, rather than zillion-dollar companies who want to make a few bucks.

As a voting population, we West Virginians must be high to think our industries are overregulated when the Upper Big Branch mine disaster, the 2011 natural gas pipeline explosion, and the Freedom Industries chemical spill all happened, at least in part, because of lack of inspections and lack of governmental oversight. “Dude, oops,” seems to be our state government’s default response to industrial disasters and the drug problem.

They are hoping we are too high to notice, or too sick to get out of bed to do anything about it.

I do applaud the West Virginia Legislature for taking away the rights of individual municipalities to make decisions about gun laws. We clearly cannot trust our local governments to keep us safe. After all, right here in Kanawha County, some officials thought funding the library was a good idea. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and funding has been drastically curtailed. A literate population is a healthier population, and we can’t have that. How can we possibly allow county officials who want kids to read to also make gun laws?

I am a gun owner, but I have never felt the need to take a gun to the rec center. I guess I need to reconsider that choice. But if I did take a concealed gun to the gym, where would I put it? I wear shorts and a t-shirt when I work out. Where would I conceal my gun? If I have to put my gun in a locker, that negates the whole purpose of bringing it. I’m gonna have to mull this one over.

Do I really think there is a conspiracy in West Virginia to keep us unsafe and get us all high? Of course not. The pharmaceutical industry’s effort to keep medications containing the pseudoephedrine used to produce meth available over the counter are purely altruistic. Big Pharma is truly, deeply, concerned for all the billions of West Virginia cold sufferers who just might not pull through if they have to rely on readily available cold medications that cannot be manipulated by meth manufacturers. Mississippi and Oregon, two states that have passed laws requiring prescriptions for meth making medications, have suffered a staggering number of cold related deaths, half the populations moved to Texas, and both states are facing financial ruin. Oregon has gone so far as to adopt legislation to be annexed by British Columbia. If only Big Pharma had done for those states what they have done for West Virginia. Thank you Big Pharma. I know you never once thought, “What? Really? We make a lot of money from people who buy our legitimate products to produce highly addictive and destructive illegal drugs? Dude, oops.”

In parting, I have a final word for exotic animal owners. You either need to become part of the conspiracy or figure out a way to use your animals to make drugs. If there was a chance your critters were going to leak toxins into the environment, or be ingested for the purpose of getting high, of if you could conceal you giant beasts for the purpose of self-protection, you would become immediately invisible to the West Virginia Legislature. And then, if one of your critters did something wrong you could just say, “Dude, oops.”

Lepp, of South Charleston, is a professional storyteller. Read more at leppstorytelling.com.
As seen in the Charleston Gazette http://www.wvgazette.com/Opinion/OpEdCommentaries/201403180192

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s