Sunday, January 13, 2008

What is wrong with The New York Times?

What kind of sensationalistic crap are they writing? Did you see the article about that horrible multiple homicide in Washington, D.C.? The mom had pulled her kids out of school at some point and claimed to be homeschooling them. As a result, the NYT used the headline Lack of Supervision Noted in Deaths of Home-Schooled. Terrible, tragic, awful -- but she wasn't a homeschooler. She was a woman who took advantage of the law and pulled her kids out of school and said she was homeschooling.

If you read The Washington Post, the hometown paper for this incident, you'll find out the woman had a long history of troubles. Here's their headline - Making of a Tragedy: The Single Mother's World Included Drugs, Homelessness And Paternity Suits. Her Children Paid the Price. This was not a woman who was reading about education, going to homeschool conferences, perusing websites and chatlists and catalogs to figure out what curriculum to use. This was a woman who was falling apart. One wonders why the school-system and home education are to blame when welfare and social services failed this woman. Heck her food stamps were cancelled because she failed to update her information. Why not go after that? No, who cares if they eat, let's wait until she snaps and blame it on homeschooling.

The Post article barely mentions homeschooling. It only does so in the chronology of the mom's very sad life. It's obvious she is sick and has had bad luck and lots of troubles and it sounds like homeschooling was one of the last things she did. She certainly was not a 'homeschooler' gone bad but a very troubled woman who pulled her kids out of school.

I think it's outrageous that the Times would put it into the headline that these kids were homeschooled (make that "home-schooled"). So many of these abuse stories aren't about homeschooling, this one seems like it really has very little to do with homeschooling and far more to do with poverty and mental illness and instability in the family.

And what is Mitchell Stevens babbling about in his quote in the Times? He is paraphrased as saying that "school officials, who are required by law to report suspicion of child abuse, were society’s best watchdogs of how parents treat children." Yes, and we all know there are no abused kids going to school who aren't getting noticed and helped. Please. Mitchell, shame on you, you should know better. But hey, it's nice to see your name in the Times.

What gives, is the NYT pissed off about Huckabee? That's not our fault. Really.


rckidteacher said...

Thanks for pointing this story out to me, I hadn't seen it. Why are we surprised anymore by the Times????

Marjorie said...

I don't read the Times, got this from a homeschool list. I barely read the Washington Post, again, I think I read it because a homeschool list alerted me.

Basically, I just read homeschool lists! And I probably learn a lot more than I do from any newspaper.