HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Since the shooting at Santa Fe High School, more people are now looking into home schooling. In fact, one home school program near Santa Fe is being inundated with inquiries from parents looking to keep their kids safe. It's one of the largest in town and also just 20 miles from Santa Fe.
Typically, the home school Open House at Home Education Partnership of Texas is held in August and attracts, at its best, 15 people. Well, so many moms and dads are now considering home schooling after the Santa Fe school shooting, HEP had to hold two separate seminars in one day. More than 50 people showed up to each.
"I just feel right now our public schools aren’t keeping our kids safe. I feel like I’m playing Russian Roulette with my kids every day when I take them to school,” says mother of four Tekara Lyons who is considering home school for her daughters.
Joanne Juren started HEP 20 years ago and says before now parents wanted to home school for two specific purposes. "Usually for religious reasons, for academic reasons but today we’re seeing more people coming because of a fear of safety,” explains Juren who is the founder of Home Education Partnership of Texas
“She’ll be home with me so I know she’ll be safe, versus in public school with all the things going on recently you just don’t know. So it’s better for her to be home,” says Laura Campos who’s considering home schooling her daughter.
Jacob Blanchard, 16, says he is more comfortable with being home-schooled. "Because a fellow student who was previously a friend threatened to kill me. He even stated I was on the top of his kill list,” says Blanchard. "And he specifically told my son he wanted a double barrel shotgun so he could shoot him in the face and kill him in front of other students,” explains the teen’s mom Phyllis Waltz.
Juren says nearly all of the parents asking about home schooling want to know how to juggle doing so while continuing to work. She says many parents plan to find a tutor or simply a trusted adult.
“Who could actually help maybe get your child to a class or two, or help you supervise that child but you can home school on the weekends. You can home school in the evenings. It’s a lifestyle," Juren says.
Many of the parents we spoke with who now plan to home school are happy to hear there are now home-school graduations, proms, honor society, clubs and sports teams for their kids. They tell me socialization is important but safety, they say, is top priority.