The DHM mentioned this comment that somebody made (it's in the comments after the post she was talking about, and I think they were serious):
"I couldn't help but think that 12 hours in the typical public JC [junior college] would undo 12 years of homeschooling... or at least confuse the heck out of the kid. (Mom, there were people there with metal stuck in their tongues! And they were smoking! But they were nice: One of them offered to let me have one of the pills he was taking....)"
Listen, my kids, even the younger ones, have seen people with metal stuck in their tongues and other parts of their faces more times than I can count! One of the girls who checks out our groceries (it's a little hard to make out what she's saying sometimes, though--mumble mumble is thith romaine lettuth?); the woman who cuts their hair when it gets too wild for Mr. Fixit to handle; one of their (male) Sunday School teachers sported an earring...not to mention a teenage cousin who showed them her lovely belly button piercing...And gee, yes, they have seen people smoking before. And yep, they do know what taking drugs does to you...if they don't, we'll require that they watch Up in Smoke at least once before graduation.
Did the Apprentice go into culture shock when she started taking classes this year at a downtown-type, anything-goes public high school? No. She's not too worried by people with strange colours of hair (or no hair). Come on, this is the girl who told me years ago that she wanted some black lipstick...or maybe green. She knows what Goth is and several variations I've never even heard of. Does she want to be like that? No. She's always been completely her own person and, although it means we've sometimes bumped heads over things at home, it also means she's strong enough to make smart choices about fitting in or not fitting in at school. (Oh, by the way, her science teacher wrote on her report card that the Apprentice is a "role model for the other students." Proud mamma...)
Our kids are not in any sense "canaries in the minefield." Do they know any disabled people? Yes. Any non-Caucasian people? Yes, and they even have some brown Barbies. Did we design it that way, did we set up a year and a place to slot in a mixed-race family or someone in a wheelchair? No, that's just the way things go. Some people live in Detroit, some people live in corn country, some people have Somalis next door and some people go fifty years without seeing anyone of a different skin colour. You draw from what's around you, and you add to it by all those different places we get information these days: TV, books, the Internet.
Our kids have been "everyone is special-ed" to death on kids' TV shows. They've even listened to a "Free to Be You and Me" cassette (oh so '70's politically correct) and watched a video of Michael Jackson singing "We don't have to change at all" with Roberta Flack. They've also seen recent pictures of him. (What did he do to his nose?) Yes, they do know that there are people in the world who are not just like them. (Or like anybody else we've ever seen.) How could they not know?
P.S.--Oh, do you want to see that video? It's here.