Leave Them Kids Alone

According to Utah state Senator Aaron Osmond, the time has come to end compulsory education and give families the choice of not educating their children at all.

SALT LAKE CITY The idea of forcing children to attend school is outdated and should be scrapped in favor of a system that encourages learning by choice, state Sen. Aaron Osmond said in calling for an end to compulsory education in Utah.

“Some parents act as if the responsibility to educate, and even care for their child, is primarily the responsibility of the public school system,” the South Jordan Republican first wrote on a state Senate blog on Friday.

Some parents act as if the public school system has a responsibility to educate children? The audacity!

“As a result, our teachers and schools have been forced to become surrogate parents, expected to do everything from behavioral counseling, to providing adequate nutrition, to teaching sex education, as well as ensuring full college and career readiness.”

And they expect schools to prepare their children for college or even a job? Who do these people think they are?

“Let’s let them choose it, let’s not force them to do it,” he told the Desert News on Monday. “I think that’s when you start seeing the shift.”

Our nation’s educational institutions may be inadequate or falling behind the rest of the world, but it’s still better than nothing. And that’s what they would choose if given a chance: nothing.

If children in Utah don’t learn to behave themselves at school, they may never. If they aren’t provided lunch at school, they may not eat at all. If they’re denied sex education at school, they certainly won’t learn about that until its too late. And if they aren’t prepared for college or a career after high school, they may never be.

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  • BillAndersoot

    Fits perfectly with the Republican/Fox strategy of dumbing down voters. “To rule the people with impunity, fill their bellies and empty their minds.” ~ Lao Tzu

    • 1933john

      Fat, Dumb and Happy, plus it will save shipping cost to/from China.

    • Mike_Norris

      That’s right. An educated electorate doesn’t vote Republican and they know it.

  • muselet

    As a result, our teachers and schools have been forced to become surrogate parents, expected to do everything from behavioral counseling, to providing adequate nutrition, to teaching sex education, as well as ensuring full college and career readiness.

    Yes, because parents are perfectly capable of doing all those things, especially behavioral counseling (which is a required course at Parent School).

    It seems to me what Aaron Osmond’s mad scheme would do—after the state closes all but three or four K–12 schools in the state due to low enrollment—is force more mothers to stay at home with their children. That could be purely coincidental, of course.

    And it sounds like whatever education Osmond received didn’t stick.

    –alopecia

    • Christopher Foxx

      Alas, I suspect the education he received is sticking too well.

      • muselet

        Point taken.

        –alopecia

  • Teddy’s Person

    Shorter Osmond: Keep ‘em dumb so they vote for me.
    p.s. It’s Utah, they’re not getting sex education at school.

  • Christopher Foxx


    “Some parents act as if the responsibility to educate, and even care for their child, is primarily the responsibility of the public school system,” the South Jordan Republican first wrote on a state Senate blog on Friday.

    Some parents act as if the public school system has a responsibility to educate children? The audacity!

    Seems to me what he actually said was parents act as if they don’t have a responsibility to educate their children. Not quite the same thing.

    And while I disagree with him about not providing public education, he does have a point in that too many parents are ceding their parental responsibilities to schools.

    • Claude Weaver

      I have to agree with Christopher Foxx here. Osmond makes a good point about how too many parents feel that the schools should have to handle all of a child’s rearing.

      The problem is, why do parents feel this way? It can’t be laziness. Maybe it is parents who have to work multiple jobs to even keep a roof over their kids’ heads, oftentimes with the loss of food? Maybe the parents are barely out of being kids themselves, and because they didn’t have comprehensive sex education and other choices, they were forced to have children they can barely support and have little in the way of life skills? Maybe it is the public school systems being gutted in exchange for the shell game known as the charter school? Why, Senator Osmond, why do so many parents feel this way? And how does shuttering more school fix that?

      It is clear that Osmond can parrot the “parents need to be more involved” line with the best of them, but he is sorely mistaken (at best) about how to address it. Then again, seeing as how he was raised Mormon, he probably assumes everyone has a massive and insular family structure to fall back on when the schools fail.

      • Ipecac

        I call BS on that “good point”. Sure, there are some sub-optimal parents, but parents who “feel that the schools should have to handle all of a child’s rearing”? I don’t buy that.

        Your second paragraph nicely lays out the many reasons some parents may not be able to do everything they’d like for their children, but I don’t think it supports the point Osmond was making. You clearly get it, Osmond does not.

        • tromnick

          I buy that. There are parents out there who really don’t get it. Just don’t get it. They expect teachers to coddle their young ones…and when they don’t…its the teacher’s fault. And yet, they expect teachers to teach them everything too….and when their kid fails, it’s the teachers fault. PArents need to realize that they have just as much influence, if not moreso, as a teacher in how their child learns.

  • Ned F

    My 12 year old thinks this is a wonderful idea.

    • Christopher Foxx

      And now we know what level of maturity is possessed by Aaron Osmond.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Don’t worry. The kids will still have Brawndo.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5Q-yNNu-tM

    • Tbone

      I love that documentary!

  • Ipecac

    Do Republicans EVER have any GOOD ideas?

    I mean, shouldn’t they have a workable, ethical, effective, useful, good idea just once in a while at least?

    • Victor_the_Crab

      Well, Lincoln thought that freeing the slaves was a good idea. But that was a different group of Republicans from a looooooong time ago.

  • mgardener

    Did this guy even think one bit about what he wrote?
    If the parents are not taking responsibility for their children’s welfare when they send them to school, what happens if they take no responsibility for their kids and don’t send them to school?
    He will have kids roaming the streets when young and jobless when older.

    Or is he trying to make a generation of kids, tied to their family farms or business’s without an education?
    Or trying to force parents to home school their kids?

    Why do republicans hate America?

    • Ipecac

      And what about parents who don’t have a family farm or business, who are most likely the ones having trouble “taking responsibility” for their kids in the first place?

      What happens to those kids?

  • trgahan

    If passed, and this in important, the school districts WON’T HAVE to ensure every eligible child within their district is enrolled. Therefore, the district administrators can ignore certain portions of their communities and not be held accountable if certain demographics suddenly have less access to public education.

    The South Jordan School district already spilt in 2010 along very district racial and economic demographic lines. The State and Fed have had to heavily subsidize both new districts since one side now doesn’t have the tax base to support itself and the other won’t allow their taxes to inch up a cent to protect their newly created paradise.

    This proposed law has nothing to do with parental responsibility…