Mother Accused of Homeschool Bullying
|Mrs. Jenks and her daughter Melanie react as this reporter accidentally sits on their cat|
One advantage that homeschooled children have over real kids is that the homeschoolers can generally avoid one unpleasant reality of the playground: bullying. Who among us can forget the threats, the taunts, the chants of “Fatty, fatty, two-by-four, can’t get through the kitchen door!” as I struggled to get through the kitchen door.
Schooled at home all her life, 11-year-old Melanie Jenks thought she’d never have to worry about bullies. But she’s joined a long line of kids who report a new phenomenon: homeschool parental bullying.
Melanie claims that her mother waits for her every day outside the kitchen, knocks her down, and steals her lunch.
Her mom doesn’t deny the accusation. “I don’t want my daughter to become a hothouse flower,” she says. “I want her to experience everything that public school has to offer. And one of those things is bullying.”
Melanie also claims that sometimes when she’s in the shower, her mother will throw open the curtain and shout, “Telegram for Mrs. Boobs! Oops, I see there’s nobody here by that name!”
Mrs. Jenks insists it’s all part of the character-building process. She cites Buffalo Bill, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Charles Lindbergh as examples of other Americans who were bullied as children, but who went on to make their marks. “And Thomas Jefferson’s classmates used to stuff his wig down his pants and dangle him off the roof of the gym.”
Such stories give us hope for the future of young Melanie. While she may not ever tame the Old West, fly the Atlantic, become president, or even shoot one, we have to like her chances of someday being dangled off the roof of the gym.