A homeschool lesson in biology/dissection lab that Homeschool Road Trips — a division of Hip Homeschool Moms had during one of their HEART trips (Homeschool learning Adventure Road Trips to Fort Caswell, North Carolina.
(Hip Homeschool Moms)
Wendy Hilton remembers dropping off her daughter at school one day and asked me whether or not they would be OK. The place was once a safe sanctuary for her autistic daughter, now it seemed to be the goal.
“What have I done?”, she remembers thinking. “What if something happens to her?”
As school shootings continue to make national headlines, parents fear of the next mass-murderer pulling their children out of schools in increasing numbers, according to the home education groups. Some parents are temporarily leaving career to home-school their children, because they were afraid that the fall of their children in school could place them in danger.
Trish Corlew (L) and Wendy Hilton (R), the co-founders of the Hip Homeschool Moms, help educate and equip parents to homeschool their children.
(Hip Homeschool Moms)
“It makes us worried, angry, emotional, we think about other mothers that feel the way I did when I dropped my daughter at school that day, and I think that I might not do well,” said Hilton, who was of the opinion that after the 9/11 attacks, when she kept thinking: “Maybe I should go back and pick her up.”
There are no national statistics on how many parents are home schooling children after the increase of school shootings. But home-school groups say that they notice an increase in the membership numbers.
The Texas Home School Coalition, said that the numbers doubled after the deadly school shootings earlier this year in the Park, Fla., that 17 people were killed, and more recently in Santa Fe, Texas, that killed 10.
Hilton, a co-founder of Hip Homeschool Moms, told Fox News that security has always been an important point of concern for parents who choose to home school their children.
A makeshift memorial left in the memory of the victims killed in a shooting rampage in Santa Fe High School, is pictured in the center of Santa Fe, Texas, USA, May 24, 2018.
But, more recently, because of school shootings almost constantly in the news, that fear has been strengthened.
“More and more parents are investigating homeschooling, and frankly, who can blame them?” she said. “As we prayed about those families that their children had been brutally stolen from them, we will admit in a silent prayer of thanks that our children with us.”
The Hip Homeschool Moms believe that more parents would homeschool if they had the resources.
“I am required by law to have my children in a public school or private or homeschool, but the state is not liable in terms of the safety of these children,” Tim Lambert, Texas Home School Coalition president, told The Washington Times. “So we get a lot of calls from people who say:” Hey, my child is being bullied, my child is attacked, and the school can’t or won’t do anything about it, so we are going to take care of our child. We withdrawal from him.'”
Another group says that the recent shootings at schools have become the latest tipping point for many parents.
“Homeschooling has exploded in our state,” Christopher Chin, president of Homeschool Louisiana told the Washington Times. “I think what happens with these school shootings, is that they are the straws that broke the camel’s back…I don’t think it’s the main decider, but it is in the back of the parents minds.”
Parents generally choose for home-education to offer religious education, or other values for their children, because of dissatisfaction with the educational program of this school, and as a result of concerns about the school environment, according to Brian D. Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute in Salem, Ore.
“Most parents get home from school for more than one reason,” Ray said. “But when we ask families why they homeschool, near the top nowadays is the concern about the environment of the schools, and that includes the security, the pressure to use drugs, pressure to get into the sexual activity. It includes all of that.”
The U.S. Department of Education estimates there were 1.69 million home school students in the spring of 2016, but member states are not obliged to report figures. Allen Weston, executive director of the National Home School Association, told Fox News that he believes the numbers are much higher.
He said that the number of parents pulling their children from public school, home school has grown to a record number for a variety of reasons.
“I am not convinced that both of the children we still have left in the public school, that they would arrive alive or not seriously harmed,” Nicole Landers, a mother whose children are faced with threats, intimidation and sexual harassment at the school, told The Daily Signal.
A teacher, however, believes home schooling is teaching kids to run from the reality.
“Well, it seems that we can to protect them, we can care of them instead of them to learn, to work and to find a solution for the problems and not necessarily running away from them,” Takisha Durm told WAAY 31, “because these things are going to happen.”
Caleb Parke is an associate editor for FoxNews.com. You can follow him on Twitter @calebparke