Homeschooled Kids Turn on Their Parents

Yet another homeschooled kid turns on the people who kept him away from normal, healthy socialization:

New Mexico homeschooled teen Nehemiah Griego accused of murdering family, planned to keep killing at local Walmart. . . Sources told the paper the teen had long had murder/suicide fantasies.

First Adam Lanza, then this kid.

The motive for the horrific slayings were still unclear, but the paper said the home-schooled teen had had a “minor disagreement” with his mom Sarah Griego Friday night.

Had this kid been allowed to have a normal life, with normal teenage interests, maybe this minor spat with his mother wouldn’t have looked so tragic to him. But if you want to be your child’s entire life, the consequences might be dire.

Here a blogger explains that this family belonged to a fanatical religious sect.

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49 comments on “Homeschooled Kids Turn on Their Parents

  1. Tragic, tragic, tragic. Yet another reason why homeschooling should be illegal. It doesn’t just affect the family. Homeschooling alters our larger social fabric.

    (Sidenote: why do people who have children at home all day, every day, also seem to want an arsenal in their homes??? Wouldn’t homeschooling, which presupposes minors in the home 24/7, make someone LESS likely to want guns around???)

    Such a horrible abuse of children. Sigh…..

      • “Mandatory schooling should be illegal.”

        As I’ve commented on this blog before, I am a strong strong proponent of compulsory schooling (which is why I think “homeschooling should be illegal: it’s not schooling as much as parental imprinting).

        1) Societies with an uneducated, illiterate populace are inevitably unstable. On the other hand, an educated populace spurs various social and scientific advancements. I truly believe that schooling is the bedrock of the “good society.” I know that David is an anarchist. But anarchy is a long way away (I would argue unachievable) and as long as we have some type of structure we call “country” or “society”, we need mandatory education.

        2) (This is more in line with what Clarissa says): school represents one of the only “breaks” a child has from his/her parents. Even if the parents are wonderful and amazing, every child still needs space so that s/he can explore their own identity in a safe environment. If schooling is made optional, it’s not children who make the decision about whether or not to attend: it’s that parents. And I would suggest that parents should not ever make that decision. Children are not property. They are autonomous beings. Once they are adults (i.e. 18), schooling is no longer mandatory.

        • ” If schooling is made optional, it’s not children who make the decision about whether or not to attend: it’s that parents. And I would suggest that parents should not ever make that decision. Children are not property.”

          – That’s exactly what I’m saying. We have already been at the stage when only the children of the lucky few got to learn to read and write while other children were put to work from an early age. What is the point of going back in time and repeating a structure that has already failed many times over?

  2. Isn’t there an aspect to American culture that makes a lot of people insane? I was watching a slightly out of date documentary last night about the reelection of Obama, which at the time the documentary was made was still forthcoming.

    I was surprised and alarmed to see the huge number of rather ugly, overweight and simple-minded Americans protesting against health care.

    It seems there’s something deeply wrong with a lot of people.

    • “I was surprised and alarmed to see the huge number of rather ugly, overweight and simple-minded Americans protesting against health care.”
      :-) :-) :-)

      Americans are very intense. Which is why I like them. I’m very intense, too.

      • “I’m intense but in the opposite ways. I’m very committed to my agenda and will let nobody get in my way.”

        Actually that statement sounds like _exactly_ the way in which American fanaticism works. “Nobody will get in the way of my guns”; “Nobody will stop me from educating MY children the way I want to.” “Nobody will make me pay for bith control” etc. etc. I’m not sure what you meany by that statement. But there is a certain American “type” who fears compromise at all costs.

      • Evelina Anville said: Actually that statement sounds like _exactly_ the way in which American fanaticism works. “Nobody will get in the way of my guns”; “Nobody will stop me from educating MY children the way I want to.” “Nobody will make me pay for bith control” etc. etc. I’m not sure what you meany by that statement. But there is a certain American “type” who fears compromise at all costs.

        I do have a problem with Americans reading their own character structure and connotations into my words.

      • And that problem with the written word, that it seems to connote what the majority would expect it to, is why I have taken to making videos lately. I want people to see that I don’t give my words the kinds of emotional emphasis that might be more common in other parts of the world. My way of thinking has a totally different orientation from many other approaches, including and especially ego psychology.

      • “I do have a problem with Americans reading their own character structure and connotations into my words.”

        1) There isn’t _one_ American character structure/identity. Just as there isn’t any one “colonial identity.” There are trends to be sure (just as there are trends with colonials.) But to take a country as vast and varied as the US and identify one character, and a buffoonish, “ugly and overweight” character at that, is probably a bit simplistic. And I’m far from a patriot. I’m very critical of many things about the U.S. and about Americans. Still, I think your vision of “the American” doesn’t quite represent the complicated reality.

        2) I don’t know and I can’t know what was in your head as you wrote your initial phrase. I was merely noting the similarity of vocabulary. The phrases “committed to my agenda” and “nobody [can] get in my way” are literally being uttered right now by American gun fanatics. We are embroiled in a very nasty gun control fight and there are people who are arming themselves to the teeth, threatening rebellion, and actually saying that they are “committed to guns” and that “nobody” especially not the “government” can get between them and their guns (i.e. their agenda.)

        The fact that you use similar vocabulary to certain extremist American groups is undisputable. Of course, you can certainly argue that you meant something different than the American gun fanatics. I actually expect that you hold very different beliefs than they do. Still, words are words. And words have meaning. I just think it’s interesting that you share a vocabulary with a group that you seem to define yourself against.

      • Evelina said:”The fact that you use similar vocabulary to certain extremist American groups is undisputable. Of course, you can certainly argue that you meant something different than the American gun fanatics. I actually expect that you hold very different beliefs than they do. Still, words are words. And words have meaning. I just think it’s interesting that you share a vocabulary with a group that you seem to define yourself against.”

        Thanks for your kind words!

        I will try to keep it in mind that words have meaning.

    • Oh of course, there is more going on then homeschooling and religion. Many students are homeschooled who don’t go on shooting rampages. Still, I think homeschooling and fanaticism make any situation worse. I also think that homeschooling can suggest a pattern of parental abuse.

      • Exactly. I cannot imagine a normal, healthy environment where people feel the need to stockpile an arsenal of weapons. There is usually a narrative accompanying such a decision and that narrative cannot be healthy.

    • The words “mental illness” have become a code for people who don;t want to think or analyze. They chirp “mental illness” whenever reality baffles them as if these words actually explained anything.

      There is no mental illness that just happens for no reason. Mental illness is a reaction to something. In this case, fanatical, possessive, abusive parents create an environment where it is hard not to lose one’s grasp on reality.

  3. I noticed that all the articles about homeschooling you’ve linked to are related to the Quiverfull movement. Now from reading the “No Longer Qivering” blog it does sound like Quiverfull parents intentionally use homeschooling to control and limit their kids, but that doesn’t mean that homeschooling inevitably has to be used in this way.

    • We have a huge homeschooling thread on this blog. If you read it (although it’s enormously long, I warn you), you will discover that homeschooling parents are terrifying, unhinged, and heavily into bullying. Two of them cyber-stalked me because I dared express an opinion on my own blog. After that horrible experience, I don’t even want to imagine what they do to helpless children if they treat strangers this way for simply having an opinion.

    • Also, as the blogger in Clarissa’s second link points out, there are some really strong “tells” that this particular family was Quiverfull — the large number of kids, the homeschooling of same, the biblical names, the fact that the father is a preacher who runs a prison ministry.

      • Perhaps interesting here, although no longer new news, is Rigoberta Menchú’s father’s apparent reasons for not sending the kids to state schools: because of the explicit deculturation, and of how they would be taught to look down on themselves due to cultural origins.

        But generally speaking, kids learn less in school than at home; one only wishes one could teach the kids as much as it is feared one can.

        • “But generally speaking, kids learn less in school than at home; one only wishes one could teach the kids as much as it is feared one can.”

          – Of course! School’s main purpose is socialization outside of the parents’ presence, that’s all. If we think about it, never in the history of humanity did this practice exist of children who spend all of their time until adulthood with their mother and have every aspect of their lives managed by the mother who has no other role or occupation. I’m finding it very hard to explain Lazarillo de Tormes to my students. :-) :-)

    • Because nobody has as much time and energy to invest into bullying a single child as this child’s parents. :-) As I always say, there is no history of people visiting therapists for issues connected to “state-capitalist brainwashing.” Every patient is there only because of his or her parents.

      • It’s not because people have no therapists that they are not affected in their lives.

        “Because nobody has as much time and energy to invest into bullying a single child as this child’s parents.”

        So why are you in favor of parenting? Because this is the main reason why I’m against it.

    • No, I;m against homeschooling because a child needs a break in the day from even the most phenomenal parents in the universe. Children are human beings who need to have an existence outside of their parents’ presence. Even the most amazing parent cannot and should not substitute the world for a child.

        • “So we should also respect this child if he doesn’t want to be annoyed by boring teachers and bullies like Big Bad Jim all day long.”

          – If a child doesn’t want to learn, this is definitely the fault of the parents. The situation will not be made better by exposing this child to such immature, irresponsible parents for even greater stretches of time. And BBJ is not a teacher. He very obviously has no job and never had any job. Can you imagine anybody wanting to hire him? :-)

  4. I believe there are good homeschooling parents, including some who homeschool primarily for religious reasons, but what I object to is the heavy pressure and judgment from certain areas of the religious right that homeschooling is appropriate or even safe for any parent and any child. Same goes for having large families, mom staying home full-time with kids, etc. I always want to ask these people such as Linda Dobson what they think about Andrea Yates. She was under heavy pressure from her husband & others to continue to have more children and to homeschool even after having a history of postpartum depression which led to her eventual postpartum psychosis and murder of all of her children. The very church that the Griego family were part of is known for laying these kind of guilt trips on people. For example, their main pastor has preached that it is wrong for women to try to do “men’s jobs” or to do any work outside the home if they have children under the age of 18. Also, this pastor preaches the child rearing methods of Ted Tripp, which advocates spanking infants under one year of age and some weird patriarchy stuff like a father taking a child (male or female) into a room alone and placing the child facedown over his lap to administer a spanking.

  5. There is a BIG difference between the average homeschooler and those hoemschoolers from a fanatic, religious sect. In fact, most of the over the edge kids or parents I have read about in the news were part of a strict religious group, forced against their will (Yates) or just browbeaten until they cracked.

    My son is 18, a private pilot, an EMT, he dates, he drives, he’s pretty normal and he was homeschooled. He keeps a bit of a messy room and likes to make Youtube videos proclaiming his opinion on certain topics, but I suppose that is also normal.

  6. Home schooling for Grade 3 math questions:

    “Brian, a brave member of a SWAT team in California, had a terribly busyweek last week. He had to work for 7 whole days. He killed 163 terrorists,296 murderers and 206 arsonists. How many criminals did he kill on average each day?

    When I was sleeping in a forest last night, 2555 fire ants crawled up my nose and built a nestin my brain. I woke up screaming the next morning. My distraught mother rushed me tohospital for an emergency operation. The doctor was able to kill 1953 fire ants. Theremaining ants in my brain formed themselves into 7 equal-sized groups and fled to 7different organs in my body, one being my stomach. a) How many fire ants escaped? b) How many ants fled to my stomach?

    John’s father gave him 1359 marbles on his birthday. John swallowed 585 marbles and died.9 of John’s friends came for his funeral the next day. John’s grieving father gave the remaining marbles to John’s friends in equal numbers. How many marbles did each friend get?”

    And so on. No wonder these kids have socialization problems.

  7. “it was probably an innocent attempt at making math interesting that that went far enough that some people could easily see the results as weird, extreme, or too far”

    From the video at least one school teacher couldn’t see the results as “weird, extreme or too far” and do you expect eight years olds to understand?

    • I was thinking of the person who first created this test. I supposed that some homeschooling parent became convinced that their kid was finding math word problems boring. For that reason, they created the test and spiced up the questions (maybe the kid liked video games). Later, it was sent online (to the defunct [AFACT] website Homeschooling Paradise) and then the result above.

      • “John’s father gave him 1359 marbles on his birthday. John swallowed 585 marbles and died.9 of John’s friends came for his funeral the next day. John’s grieving father gave the remaining marbles to John’s friends in equal numbers. How many marbles did each friend get?”

        – OK, I read the discussion and I still find it impossible to believe that this is not a joke. Are these marbles that John swallowed the ones that the creator of the math assignments lost just before creating them?

        “I was thinking of the person who first created this test. I supposed that some homeschooling parent became convinced that their kid was finding math word problems boring.”

        – Yeah, why go boring when you can go creepy instead?

        The whole thing is too funny.

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