There are few spaces for marginalized homeschooling families in the homeschool / unschool community to have a voice and talk about their experiences. There are even fewer marginalized voices that have a platform to speak about how homeschooling / unschooling looks for their families because it DOES look different for the marginalized community than it does for white, cis-gendered families.
I have been vocally anti-racist & anti-homophobic. I have created spaces where the dominate cultural is not centered. This week I was informed by multiple creditable sources that my family would not be safe attending next month’s Homeschool of CA Conference that I am scheduled to speak at. A conference I have spoken at multiple times about topics that some dominated cultural homeschoolers have said does do not apply to homeschooling such as Privilege, Social Justice , & POC only centered round tables. . This is not a group of ignorant parents there are families in attendance that have ties to Nazi / White Nationalist Organizations so I am taking the threat very seriously.
My first instinct was I will not be intimidated, my second was the safety of my 15 year old son. For those that have never been to a homeschooling conference let me paint a picture of what it’s like for teens. Their friends from all over come together for 4 days in a hotel space and have access to roam, attend workshops or just hang out with little supervision. Which makes it an easy target for those wanting to cause harm.
Dylan decided he still wants to attend conference and as a family we decided since one of the Keynote speakers is of color families that have not attended conference before will think the space is safer than what it is. There needs to be safe spaces for those families and my talks help facilitate that.
There have been conversations I have had to have with my son that have changed him. He knows that in order to stay safe in public spaces the rules that apply to his white friends do not apply to him. He always looks forward to conference seeing friends that live far and just being a kid but this time there is an active threat, which means he will be constantly looking over his shoulder it will change his experience.
We have been in the homeschooling world for 17+yrs and attended multiple conferences and they have always been dominate-cultural centered however, with the political climate it has become more dangerous for the non-dominate cultural. The gas lighting , limiting of access , silencing of voices , not giving diverse people a seat at the table of statewide homeschooling organizations, the HSC board allowing a speaker who has demonstrated how unsafe she is on a public platform causing 4 speakers of color to pull out of speaking at the conference and threats of 3 speaks of color safety is the norm.
Our family is taking precautions we have contacted our lawyer, have documented threats and we will be wearing a body cams. Let it sink in that this is what my family has to do just attend a homeschooling conference. All because the cowards make threats on children instead of having an adult conversation.
To the cowards I will not be backing down, I will remain vocally anti-racist, anti- homophobic and do what I can to create access , platforms and safer spaces for the marginalized homeschooling community.
See you at Conference!