Last week, I was in class. Erh, I mean I was at home when I saw these words in my RSS reader:

“If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person.”

Followed by these:

Not bad like murderer bad—but bad like ruining-one-of-our-nation’s-most-essential-institutions-in-order-to-get-what’s-best-for-your-kid bad. So, pretty bad.

You’re probably wondering what caused her to say such a thing, and you’re not alone. Allison Benedikt of the Slate Magazine took a subtle jab at discerning and cautious parents via the cozy confines of Slate. Allison starts off her argument that parents are harming our public schools, and does so with what is actually a good point: she argues that due to lack of parental involvement, public schools are failing. To her credit, this point is both valid and something I agree with it. However, her argument quickly falls apart the further she progresses. She could have left the op-ed there and had a very sound argument that could be followed up with much-needed discussion. However, she shoots herself in the foot with comments such as:

“You want the best for your child, but your child doesn’t need it. If you can afford private school (even if affording means scrimping and saving, or taking out loans), chances are that your spawn will be perfectly fine at a crappy public school.”

Talking about sending your kids to private schools: “But many others go private for religious reasons, or because their kids have behavioral or learning issues, or simply because the public school in their district is not so hot. None of these are compelling reasons.”

This type of rhetoric merely harms the credibility of the author and the legitimacy of her argument. This type of rhetoric from the left on education for our children is something that we’ve almost grown accustomed to. Remember Melissa Harris Perry and her comments on how they are not your kids, rather our kids, the collective’s kids? This is common table talk language among the elites and we’re just now seeing it in our media intakes. This is just another example.

By Allison Benedikt’s logic, we are tied to the district by which we live in, kinda like the Hunger Games. We as citizens have an unwritten duty to send our kids to public school districts, regardless of their quality. See, if I was a parent, which I’m not, why would I not want the best for the my children? Wouldn’t I be a bad parent if I did not give my children a better education, even if I already have the resources to do so? If we are tied down to our schools, what else are we tied down to? Our neighborhoods? If we are tied down to where we live, then would I also be a bad person if I moved my family from the south side of Chicago to keep them safe? You don’t like my decision? Tough, they’re my kids.

The difference between the America in which we live and the America which Ms. Benedikt wants us to live in is that we are not tied to a mediocre system that is already failing. I have the right to choose where my kids go. I’m educationally pro-choice, and you would think Benedikt would be as well. However, she says we all should be constrained to a system, even if it’s horrible, because that’s how she was raised. Benedikt claims she had a poor education, consisting of getting drunk in 9th grade and academics that barely met standards. Her argument for getting the rest of us on board with sending our kids to that environment? She says “I’m doing fine.”

On the contrary, Ms. Benedikt, you’re not “doing fine.” You’re spilling your emotional sob stories and day dreams about “injustice” from the “bad parents.” You’re not “doing fine,” because you’re purposefully and heartlessly insulting a whole swath of caring parents across the country who work tirelessly to provide for their children.

You’re not “doing fine,” because you’re blaming others for not participating in the public education system while your oldest child is four and is also in private school!

Actually, Ms. Benedikt, you’re not “doing fine.” You’re an editor for Slate. You’re far from “doing fine.”


Tanner Brumbarger | Crossroads Bible College | @Brumbarger