September 22, 2004

Homeschooling Terrorists?

Drudge Report is now linking to this report of recent anti-homeschooling activity in Michigan.

Of course Daryl was covering this yesterday. For those of you unaware, a Michigan school district, Muskegon County school district, was set to run a mock terrorist attack to test the districts readiness to respond. From the original article (emphasis mine):

"About 60 middle and high school students from Reeths-Puffer and Whitehall public schools will be part of the exercise, according to Kristin Tank, public information coordinator for the MAISD. Local law enforcement agencies, fire departments, human service agencies, transportation services and medical services will participate.

Students from Muskegon Community College and Reeths-Puffer will assist in applying makeup to add to the reality of the gruesome scene. Between 200 and 300 people will observe the exercise, including school bus drivers, school administrators, emergency personnel and evaluators from agencies across the state who will provide feedback.

The exercise will simulate an attack by a fictitious radical group called Wackos Against Schools and Education who believe everyone should be homeschooled. Under the scenario, a bomb is placed on the bus and is detonated while the bus is traveling on Durham, causing the bus to land on its side and fill with smoke. "

Obviously the concern comes from the school district choosing to reinforce negative stereotypes about homeschoolers. Comparing homeschoolers to terrorists even in a light way is unacceptable as Rob Paige found out not so long ago. Michelle Malkin makes a good point about it.

When President Bush's education secretary, Rod Paige, likened the NEA in jest to a "terrorist organization," teachers' union officials and the media became completely unhinged. How dare he make such an odious comparison, they gasped. How dare he make light of the real terrorists, they fumed.

"I can tell you what my first response was: Scary. That's really frightening," said Diana Garchow, a special-education teacher at Highland Elementary School in Bakersfield, Calif., to the Associated Press after Paige's remarks. "It's scary that you can't voice an opinion in this country without being called a terrorist. . . . I don't care if it was a joke or what it was, that was a totally inappropriate comment."

Paige was forced to apologize to teachers. What about the Muskegon County, Mich., school system? Will its public education militants apologize to homeschoolers for taking an intolerant swipe at their beliefs? Or will this politicized "Wackos Against Schools and Education" terror drill be coming to a classroom near you?"

Malkin is calling for an apology - however an official statement has already been released. Granted it should be released more publicly, but here it is.

From Kristin Tank:
Dear Lxxxxxxx Family - We are so sorry. We did not know the scenario
involved with the exercise until we read about it in the paper. Please
read our apology and that of the Chief Deputy of Emergency Services who
constructed the scenario. Please forward it on to any others in the
home school community you may be connected to. Thanks, Kristin
Statement from the MAISD Superintendent
Michael H. Bozym, Ph.D.

September 21, 2004

Contact: Kristin Tank, Public Information Coordinator, MAISD, (231)

The Muskegon Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) shared the
disappointment of others when we learned the September 21, 2004,
emergency preparedness drill referenced home schoolers as the fictitious
group responsible for a mock disaster. We apologize. The MAISD and
local districts were not aware of the scenario, and it was not shared
with students or parents who took part in the exercise.

According to Dan Stout, Chief Deputy, Emergency Services of Muskegon
County, this scenario was constructed in his office. A sample scenario
was required in order to receive the necessary funding to stage the
event. The Muskegon Area Intermediate School District and our local
schools did not construct the scenario, but participated with other
county agencies, hospitals, and emergency responders in conducting the

This exercise was meant to sharpen the skills and response time of our
emergency services personnel, but was unfortunately clouded by the
choice of this fictional group. We believe this exercise had everything
to do with testing emergency response time and the protection of our
children. It had nothing to do with the home school population.

As educators, we believe that the first and most important teacher is
the parent, whether in home schools, public schools, or non-public
schools. We all work together to ensure a safe and secure environment
for our children to live and grow.

We sincerely regret offending home school educators. We believe that
all parents are educators and do important work at home with their

# # #

Please forward all additional questions and comments to the Public
Information Coordinator at the Muskegon Area Intermediate School
District at or (231) 767-7263.

Apology from Emergency Services of Muskegon County

Daniel Stout: (231) 724-6341

In the world today Homeland security is very a important issue. The
training of our nation to respond to the many threats we face is of
importance. As part of a full scale homeland security exercise on
September 21, 2004 in Muskegon, I wrote about a fictional group and
fictional scenario for the exercise. This fictional group and scenario
reference to fictional people who are against schools. This fictional
and scenario was not meant to offend any home school students. It has
nothing to do with any home school population. Home school students and
former students are a very important part of our nation. This scenario
will not be used again.

Daniel Stout
Muskegon County Emergency Services

Kristin Tank
Public Information Coordinator
630 Harvey Street
Muskegon, MI 49442-2398
Phone: 231-767-7263
Fax: 231-773-3498
Visit our Web Site:

To read the backstory on this apology and more go here.
I encourage you to still write an complain and let them know this is unacceptable.


No comments:

Post a Comment