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IPFS News Link • Propaganda

Government Schools Are Propaganda Machines

•, by Karl Streitel

In Artis Shepherd's recent article, which I highly recommend, he aptly detailed the numerous benefits of homeschooling and data showing that homeschooled students—far from being socially stunted, academically insular young people—are actually generally high-achieving, socially adroit young adults ready to provide value in the world.

Thus, in this commentary, I want to address a common argument against homeschooling: namely, that homeschooling is a breeding ground for propaganda—mainly "far right" political and religious ideologies—from parents and religious institutions, which is dangerous for social cohesion and democracy.

The Propaganda Problem

To begin, there is a dearth of evidence to show the widespread inculcation of homeschooled students with so-called radical political or religious ideologies. The media often provide anecdotes that are supposed to represent the larger reality, but, in fact, a National Center for Education Statistics survey from 2019 showed that "a desire to provide religious instruction" was only the fifth most popular reason for homeschooling (chosen by 58.9 percent of parents) whereas the most popular reason to homeschool was "a concern about school environment, such as safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure" (chosen by 80.3 percent of parents, who could choose more than one reason in this survey).

Does such a reason strike you as ideologically or religiously radical? I would be much more judgmental of parents who were not concerned about their children's school environments.

However, I concede it is undeniably true that homeschooled students—like any students or human beings, for that matter—can be propagandized by any type of ideology: right, left, center, or otherwise. I know of no person or teaching materials that are truly unbiased because to be so would entail having no opinions and providing all available information on a subject without any explanations. So, every teacher, parent, textbook, online course, or forum post is, by nature, biased in some way. Of course, this fact also means that government school or private school students are also susceptible to and recipients of propaganda daily.

Home Grown Food