Thursday, September 23, 2004

Homeschool Terrorists: fictionally absurd?...

As reported by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) in, Homeschoolers Portrayed as "Terrorists," we see how a Muskegon (Michigan) County Emergency Services terrorism drill used, as part of its scenario, a radical (and fictional) homeschool group known as Wackos Against Schools and Education. According to the scenario, the WASE believe that everyone should be homeschooled. From the Muskegon Chronicle:
Daniel Stout, chief deputy for emergency services with the Muskegon County Sheriff's Department, said he never meant to offend anyone. "That's just what I decided to use," he said of the name choice for Tuesday's drill. "It may have been a poor choice, but that's what was used ... I'm the one who wrote the scenario." Planning for the event began last year, he said, and no one indicated that the name would offend anyone until a few weeks ago. Stout said he decided not to change the name. He said it will not be used again. Last year, a similar terrorism exercise at Muskegon's Heritage Landing was called "Wackos Against Relaxation and Recreation," he said. Fictitious group names often are made up for anti-terrorist drills. Stout referred to a May 2002 exercise in Manistee County where the domestic terrorist group was called ELF, which stood for Ethical Liberation for Fish.
The Muskegon Area Intermediate School District did issue an apology that can be found at HSLDA's website. Although those involved in this fiasco have apologized for their gross ignorance, homeschoolers should take notice of how this incident exposes an underlying attitude towards homeschoolers in general. Given that the previous terrorism drills used ridiculously absurd, and fictitious, group names such as Wackos Against Relaxation and Recreation, or Ethical Liberation for Fish, are we to then conclude that those in charge also consider homeschoolers to be just as ridiculous?

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