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So an eighteen-year old in Pennsylvania killed the fifty-year-old parents of his fourteen-year-old girlfriend and then “kidnapped” her. The police apprehended him after he ran his mother’s vehicle into a tree in Indiana.

The event is horrible, but something else stuck out at me:

Mike Borden [the girl’s father] worked for a printing company, and the children were home-schooled, said neighbor Tod Sherman. Sherman said the family knew Ludwig [the accused] through a home-schooling network.

Can someone explain the point of this? After all, when other teenagers kill adults by shooting them in the head, does the media make a point of the children of the adults being public schooled and that the family knew the accused through the public school?

I can just imagine the implications people are going to make with this one.

22 thoughts on “Homeschooled

  1. I think the answer to your question is yes. These type of stories almost invariably say the teen couple met in high school or something like that and often name the high school. In this case the home school thing stands out because it is unusual.

  2. What if the family had known him through a church youth group, do you think that would’ve gotten mention? Or through a soccer team the kids were on? Or boy scouts?

  3. Well, actually homeschooling isn’t as unusual as you think. It is becoming much more common and well known. However, people do have a tendency to view homeschoolers as lacking in social skills (though this is an erroneous assumption that has no basis in reality).

  4. I think homeschooling is great…

    …for the other kids in the class.

    Since the really needy kid decided to go the homeschooling route, the other kids in class are receiving much better attention and have significantly less interruptions in the classroom.

    Too bad homeschooling can’t be requested by the school itself…

    …or other parents.

  5. Kim, I understand the sensitivity, but in this case it really is germane to the story. You’re right that some will draw unfair implications but the background into what brought them all together is pertinent to the story.

  6. Not all children homeschool becuase they are special needs. Many choose that route because they feel it is a superior education option for their children. That’s why we chose it. Not because we are anti-school, but because we feel it will best meet the needs of our family. Our daughter is in grade 2 and is fairly advanced intellectually. She would have done well in public or private school. She has no behavioural problems, works well with other children, etc etc, but we decided to homeschool for a number of reasons, the main one being we want her (and our other children) to get more individualised attention. If she were to be in public school right now she would be somewhat ahead of most other children (and yes she has been “assessed” for this).

    Homeschooling isn’t a last resport for most homeschoolers. It’s the first choice.

  7. I used to get upset about all this, especially as it applies to mormons (the news always seems to mention even apostate mormons when they flip out). Now, I just realize that when reporters are doing the news, they look for interesting angles and unique twists to the story, even if it seems to be irrelevant. The story of a homeschooler flipping out is a little more unique than anyone else, so it gets reported that way.


  8. Mary, I didn’t mean to paint with a wide brush and say that *all* homeschool kids are trouble…

    In this specific case, I think it was best for all involved…except maybe the mother who now has to deal with this child all day.

    As far as the article goes: The media are whores to the masses. Anything that makes a story even remotely more titillating will be included. Journalistic integrity went out of vogue years ago.

  9. Kim, I think it was a case of a child who really needed some individual attention.

    During class, this particular child was disruptive, required much more attention to stay on task – basically consuming more resources than any 5 other children combined.

    The removal of this child considerably increased the quality of life of the other students and assisted in creating a better environment for learning.

    Was home schooling ‘The Answer’ ™?

    Who knows?
    But I do know that the removal of this child from the classroom helped the other children.

    I guess a gulag could have served the same purpose.

  10. Oh, I just realized that I forgot to address whether it was a better alternative for the child…

    I don’t really know.
    We’re not close to the family, and I haven’t talked to the child to see if his behaviour has improved or not.

  11. Rick

    I agree sometimes there are children who are so disruptive to other students that it is better to remove them from the situation.

    I think the problem in public school mainly is that one size fits (or is supposed to) all and perhaps more flexibility is needed in the school system. It might be getting better, I don’t know.

  12. Rick, where do you get the idea the accused in this news story was someone who needed individual attention, let alone that he was disruptive in class?

  13. Hey, Kim – I was talking about a situation in my child’s classroom and not the story you linked to.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding.

  14. Sorry, day late, dollar(cdn) short…

    It’s part and parcel of what brought them together, Kim, and a valid part of the story. Without it a huge piece of the puzzle (how did these kids get involved with each other in the first place) would be missing.

    Had, to borrow from susan m, it been a church youth group, or soccer, or boy scouts, or Alateen, or any one of a number of ways kids get introduced to each other it’s still a valid and important part of the story.

  15. I still fail to see why HOW they met is relevant. I can see how their relationship itself was important to the story, but I just cannot understand why pointing out where they met (let alone that the children of the victims were homeschooled) has anything at all to do with the murder.

    Doesn’t simply saying that they knew the accused because he was their daughter’s boyfriend suffice? Being homeschooled certainly has nothing to do with arguing over or breaking curfew, the alleged reason for the shooting.

  16. Kim: It just is another thing for people to latch on to and to be dramatic about.

    “See honey, that crazy kid was HOME-schooled. I knew that was weird.”

    And that’s exactly the kind of reaction the press wants.

  17. Kim: I still fail to see why HOW they met is relevant.

    Well I wanted to know how they knew each other… how an 18 year old met and started dating a 14 year old. Was it high school, church, being neighbors? Journalists need to sell newspapers so they need to include info that the readers are interested in. How these young people knew each other is something readers are interested in.

  18. Nope. How they met is integral to the story because had they never met, there’d be no story.

    The curfew is also part of the story, but without how they ment there’s a logical step left out of the process of getting from point A to point B.

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