Thursday, February 02, 2006

WorldNetDaily: Oprah's essay contest excludes homeschoolers

The subject of the essay is "Why is the book Night by Elie Wiesel relevant today?" But the fine print on the essay rules reads: "Contest open to all legal residents of the U.S. who are currently enrolled full-time (and in good standing) in a public or state-accredited private or parochial school, grades 9-12." In other words, no home-schooler need play.

The Home School Legal Defense Association, willing to grant Oprah the benefit of the doubt, asked for a clarification--after all, maybe Oprah didn't want a bunch of drop-outs, habitual truants, or academic probationers submitting essays. But Oprah's production company refused even to talk to HSLDA. That sounds to me as though Oprah, or someone in her office, has a "thing" against home schooling.

What could that be? Oprah, why won't you answer? What do you think home schooling is? Have you any idea how hard parents work at teaching their own kids? It's one of the most challenging, exciting, and rewarding tasks that any parent could undertake--and has much more honor than you seem to appreciate. And by excluding home-schooled children from your essay contest, you're cutting out a lot of participants who would bring excellent results.

Is your contest really about promoting the best commentary on the subject at hand, or at least the best example of expository writing? Or is it about picking winners for the sake of who they are? Inquiring minds want to know.


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