Homeschooling field-trip gone bad

We’ve been on a lot of field trips over the past 13 years of homeschooling. We’ve been to farms, factories, metro parks, government buildings, art houses, a variety of places at OSU and many more. Out of all of these field trips we have never been on a bad field trip. Some were better than others, some engaged the kids more, some the parents enjoyed more than the kids but none of them have been bad. That all changed yesterday when we visited a small radio and TV studio in Westerville. When I saw the trip come up on one of my many homeschool lists I thought it sounded interesting and like something the kids would like. So I signed up my youngest and me and we were pleasantly surprised when my 18yo said that he would join us since he didn’t have classes that day. This is the first homeschool event he has joined us for since starting high school 3 years ago.

There were quite few people that met for this trip, about 75 kids and parents. Most of our regular posse of homeschoolers, that we do everything with, were there and quite a few people that we didn’t know. I suspected that this was a Christian radio station since I had never heard of it but I didn’t anticipate that causing any problems. This was confirmed by the religious plaques hanging in the lobby. While we were waiting music videos were palying on the tvs and the kids couldn’t believe that these were Christian rock bands, they looked the same as any heavy metal band you would see on MTV, tattoos, mohawks, the works and the music was definately heavy metal.

Once everyone arrived we went into the on air room and talked to the DJ. That was really cool.

We learned a little bit about how the radio side works. We also learned about the history of the radio station; they don’t play any commercials, it’s all publically funded and that this is their mission from God. So far, so good; I don’t have any problems listening to how people have had positive experiences and how they attribute that to God. Next they led our very large group into the TV studio.

And this is where it all went downhill! When we entered the studio all the kids were directed to the risers and a stage and they graciously offered the parents a couch off to the side for us to sit on.

Then for almost an hour we were heavily evangelized. Never in all of my years have I ever sat through so much rhetoric and misinformation as I did then. And were were trapped. To leave we would have had to walk through the middle of this large group, grab our kids from the other side of the room, walk back across the group to the side door. When they first started the evangelizing we all thought certainly this can’t last long but it just never ended. I felt so bad for our kids trapped on the other side of the room. This is not what we were here for, we all wanted to learn about the TV station. Which never once in that 45 minutes did they even mention. When they started in on the dangers of education and how college is bad because it will only brainwash you and pull you away from God, one of the fearless in our group could take no more. She not so subtly walked around back grabbed her two kids and made a hasty exit. I won’t mention any names. Those of us that were left behind started planning our exodus. Soon after the unnamed left, the sermon moved to how you won’t always be friends with people who have God in their lives, “like the girl who just left, but we still need to love them and pray for them,” said the deceptively hip & young leader of this program. So now on top of everything we have to be concerned for our brave friend’s soul and pray for her. 🙂 Finally when we thought we were never going to be free they announced that they were going to divide the group in half. Half gets to go watch videos (music videos, religious videos who knows at this point) and the other half gets to stay in the room and learn more about how God is your friend. Yes, finally our escape. We grabbed our kids and bolted for the door. We then spent the next 2 hours eating lunch at Laura’s house while we deprogrammed our kids and vented until everything seemed almost back to normal.

Daniel, presumably hiding from the sermon and proudly showing his favorite bands on his arms. Which he stated that he will continue to listen to, fearful not for his soul.


4 thoughts on “Homeschooling field-trip gone bad

  1. I’m still recovering. Even after spending a nice evening at our church eating pancakes, I couldn’t get the intolerance, ignorance, and arrogance of that banter out of my head (sorry if those were college words for any teens reading). I woke up at 1:30 a.m. thinking about this –Talk about brainwashing! And I still have to ask you, Sheila, why do men have dimples? Nice pictures!I’m so glad to have friends like you. I have to remind you again who did not want to go to this in the first place. Trust my instincts!

  2. I can’t believe the rest of you didn’t leave when Pam did! Where were your backbones? Better to let them talk about you behind your backs than to sit through it. What were you afraid of?

  3. Now looking back I wish I would have handled it so differently. But at the time we were all so incredulous that this was happening that I think we just didn’t know what to do. And we really thought it had to end any minute and they would actually show us the TV studio. The sad thing is Thomas left that less tolerant of this form of Christianity than he has ever been. My kids were raised to respect all religions but how were these 2 adults showing any respect to us by forcing their beliefs on our children. No adult has the right to do that to someone else’s child. That is what i really wish I would have said to these two people.

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