The Education Liberator, Vol. 2, No. 10, December 1996/January 1997
Each month, we will profile individuals who have signed the Proclamation for the Separation of School & State.
Wading into the Separation waters
For some, embracing Separation is as easy (or hard!) as diving head-first into a lake. For others, it comes only after much testing-of-the-waters. Pat Lentz's immersion became final at SepCon'96, but her path to the water was one of gradual, personal separation from state schooling.
Following the (home) birth of their daughter, now 10, Pat and her husband agonized over whether to homeschool her. "My husband had had a bad experience in public school, but my experience going to school in the '50s and '60s was positive. Neither of us had self-confidence that we could do homeschooling." She laughs: "We wondered, 'Can we even teach her kindergarten?'"
at SepCon '96
The Lentzes tried homeschooling for a year. It worked. They decided to try it for "just one more year" -- and then another. Soon they knew that, for them at least, it was the only way to go.
The next step was to start a support organization for homeschoolers in their rural part of Ohio. They posted fliers at the local library, and were delighted when five or six families showed up for the first meeting of the Home Educator's Advocacy League (H.E.A.L.). Since then the organization has grown in membership and has spread to surrounding counties.
Pat learned about the Separation Alliance when she heard Marshall Fritz on a radio talk show. "I thought, 'He's saying the same things as John Taylor Gatto.' Then someone in our group passed along a brochure about the conference, and I said, 'Boy, I want to go to this."
When the time came, Pat and her family (which also includes a son, age 6) made the eight-hour drive from central Ohio to Washington, D.C. While the rest of the family took in Washington's sights, Pat waded deep into SepCon'96 activities, even agreeing to help write up some of the sessions for The Education Liberator. The final plunge came on the last day, when she unhesitatingly signed the Proclamation for the Separation of School and State.
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