Can’t Have Everything

Homeschoolers get a bad rap many times because “we’re getting away with something.” We don’t go with the flow of mainstream education.  We hear we’re too defensive many times. I like to say freedom isn’t free and unfortunately, we have to fight to keep it.

However.  This article from Nebraska caught my eye and makes me see why some might view us as greedy and suspicious.

Board denies request from home-school student to attend prom Lincoln Journal-Star

Kate Ratigan, a local restaurant owner, said her daughter is home-schooled for religious reasons.

The high school, she said, is a resource for the whole community, as all community members pay taxes, and said allowing her daughter to attend wouldn’t be taking away anything from Beatrice High School students.

“I don’t like the idea that if you don’t put your kids in high school you shouldn’t expect to get those benefits,” Ratigan said. “Those benefits don’t belong to the high school, they belong to the community. We give them to those kids so they can have that opportunity.”

Having some kids in public school in the past and others who were always homeschooled, I’ve seen the issues parents deal with in the schools.  One of them is raising outrageous amounts of money for the prom/post-prom party. I would assume the Beatrice school has all that, along with fund-raising events starting as soon as the kid walks in the door as a freshman.  I’m  assuming Ms. Ratigan and her daughter didn’t participate in that.  For that matter, if she’s homeschooling for “religious reasons,”, she probably wouldn’t care for the prom activities anyway.

I don’t get it.

That isn’t the worst part of this – the Ratigans don’t even live in that school district.  They live in a different school district, but Beatrice is their “community,” so she feels entitled asking the town of Beatrice to take care of her daughter’s social event.

This, and the idea that homeschoolers deserve to be in public school sports (some parents will do anything to make it happen) is troubling to me.

I get it.  In a world that is just and true, all kids should be able to participate in community sports, particularly when it’s funded by taxpayers.  But we don’t live in that world.  (Worse yet, I live in Illinois.)  There will be a price to pay for all of us if some of us get their way.

If you build it, they will come.  Around here, homeschool groups have created their own prom.  It’s likely a lot less raucous and ridiculously expensive than school proms – i.e. reasonable.

We really can’t have everything.  Sometimes that’s not a bad thing.


Can’t Have Everything — 2 Comments

  1. Susan, just read your comment on my appearance before the Beatrice School Board. I find your response to be petty and somewhat ignorant. Maybe you would like it if someone else tracked your activities and wrote offensive articles about your family based on the info in a newspaper article. Perhaps you should do more research or speak to the person before drawing conclusions and sending them out to the universe on the Internet.

  2. Hi Kate, I’m sorry you find my thoughts petty and they could very possibly be ignorant of your family’s circumstances. We can’t ever assume newspapers get it right, but that’s what I found. I do try to look for other sources, if they are available.
    I’m a strong advocate of independent homeschooling and we have that so far in Illinois. It was important to me to make a particular point and the story was around the Lincoln Journal-Star article and your request of the school board.
    You offered nothing in your comment from your viewpoint, except criticism of me.
    I hope your family is doing well and enjoyed all the wonderfulness of home education.