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Friday, March 7, 2008
WND Condones Bad Homeschooling, Abusive Parenting
Topic: WorldNetDaily

(Updated)

Another WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh on the case of California homeschooling parent Phillip Long, another effort to whitewash the behavior of the parents, and another failure to mention important issues in the case.

Why are Unruh and WND doing this? They're too close to the issue to tell the truth. Unruh and WND editor Joseph Farah have their children homeschooled, and they apparently don't want to admit -- or let anyone else know -- that there are bad apples in homeschooling.

But don't Unruh and Farah realize that by refusing to tell the truth to WND readers, they may actually end up harming homeschooling in the long run?

Unruh and WND have never mentioned the fact that, as court documents have detailed (as have we), the Long family was providing a substandard homeschool education to their children:

  • The court described the education the children received at home as "lousy," "meager," and "bad," and that the supervision by the Christian school with which the family was affiliated was minimal at best.
  • One child testified that she "was not taught geography or history. Asked if she can add, subtract, multiply and divide, [she] stated she cannot."

WND has also not reported the history of the father. From court documents:

  • "Father has a long history of physically abusing the children and mother has a long history of not protecting them from father."
  • "[F]ather dominates mother and dominates the children who live at home. ... He will not permit the children to attend school. He will not permit them to receive childhood vaccinations. He will not permit the girls to wear pants at home. He will not permit birth certificates."
  • The court found the parents' home to be in "an endangering filthy, unsanitary and unsafe condition, and the minors were chronically filthy, and unsupervised late at night." 

There are good homeschoolers -- and there are also bad homeschoolers. The court has found Phillip Long and his wife to be bad homeschoolers and the father to be an abusive parent. WND's failure to tell the truth about the Longs to its readers leads to the inescapable conclusion that it condones such behavior.

Do Unruh and Farah treat their homeschooled children the way Phillip Long is on record as treating his? We hope not. We hope they don't think that such behavior is acceptable. But by staying silent about it, Unruh and Farah leave the impression that they do.

Shielding the Longs' dysfunctional family from public scrutiny in the name of protecting homeschooling, as Unruh and WND have done, will damage homeschooling in the long run because it contributes to an image of homeschooling being the province of extremist wackos.

We can't imagine anyone who truly cares about education and homeschooling would subject their children to the substandard education the Longs are on record as providing to their children. So why won't anyone within the homeschooling community admit that bad education is bad education, even (and, perhaps, especially) when it happens at home?

Through his biased reporting, Unruh is aiding and abetting the further abuse of the Long children by their parents. Is that what he and WND really want to happen to this family -- or any family? 

WND needs to decide: Will it shield and whitewash abusive parents so that they may further harm their children, or will it act as "fearless" as it claims to be and tell the truth? 

UPDATE: We see that Michelle Malkin has latched onto this issue as well. But, like WND, Malkin fails to note the father's abuse or the "lousy" home education the children have received. You'd think that, with her demonstrated eagerness to attack 12-year-olds, Malkin would be rushing to tell the full story of the Long family. Apparently not.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:31 AM EST
Updated: Friday, March 7, 2008 1:20 PM EST

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