Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Gunman Was Homeschooled

Charles Carl Roberts IV, the gunman in yesterdays shooting at an Amish school was homeschooled.

Charles Carl Roberts IV was married with three children and drove a milk truck. The son of a police officer, he didn't attend public schools, instead earning a diploma through a home-school association.
In a statement his wife Marie said,

"The man who did this today was not the Charles I've been married to for almost 10 years," she said. "My husband was loving, supportive, thoughtful - all the things you'd always want, and more."

"Our hearts are broken, our lives are shattered and we grieve for the innocence and the lives that were lost today. "Above all, please pray. Pray for the families who lost children. And please pray, too, for our family and children."

A local fireman had this to say after the senseless shooting,

"This is the last place you would expect this to happen," said the man, who asked he not be identified. "There is no place more helpless than an Amish schoolhouse.
They were defenseless."

Update: There are some in the comments who are wondering why I would post that the gunman is homeschooled. Daryl said,

Surely his educational background is irrelevant. We criticize the MSM when they bring these irrelevant facts to the fore. And yet you do the same?

That's a legitimate criticism and something I thought about before posting. This is a small town, in a highly regulated homeschooled state. The idea that this could be used to increase regulation especially in a state like PA is why I posted it.

I don't see his method of education as being completely irrelevant either. Maybe not for attempting to explain why he did it. But how we are brought up affects us as adults. It's naive to think it doesn't. That's why many of us homeschool in the first place.

Homeschooling was a part of his upbringing. I wanted parents to know that just because we homeschool doesn't mean our children are immune from the temptations that affect all human nature. This man held a grudge since he was 12. Homeschooling is about more than just academics, it's about guarding our children's hearts and watching for signs of anger and bitterness. If they are not dealt with they can trigger awful behavior down the road. While not necessarily in such extreme measures, certainly in many unintended consequences.

There are some in the homeschool community who believe that homeschooling will guard against such things. It doesn't. That is the work of our Lord alone. While I am a strong advocate for homeschooling, it isn't the cure all for society's problems that many want to think it is.

In saying all that, I don't hold his parents responsible for not dealing with something that may have happened in his past, that triggered this. I'm sure his parents are regular folks who did the best they could for their son.There are also those within homeschooling and parenting circles who believe that a parent who does it all a certain way will produce a "well behaved and obedient child" who never does wrong. And if they do have a child who goes wayward, it is the fault of their bad parenting. Many homeschoolers fall for this lie. Parenting is more than just homeschooling and following the latest "how to" manual.

And yes, I do know that the media could pick up on this and use it to their advantage. I'd rather play offense than defense any day. His actions aren't the fault of his homeschooling as the media may portray it. This man alone is responsible for his awful acts.

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