A child denied a high school education is certainly not fully capable of functioning in society. Not even close. That child is almost forever denied the possibility of higher education or the possibility of getting a job that pays much more than minimum wage.

The Amish don’t speak English at home. They speak a German dialect sometimes called Pennsylvania Dutch. Amish children aren’t learning disabled. They don’t speak English well, or read and right it with educated fluency, because they don’t get taught it. Because they don’t go to high school or receive home schooling.

That is child abuse. If Amish parents want to be separate from broader society and live in a world that doesn’t use English and that values only farm skills, that’s perfectly fine.

But children deserve the opportunity to become whoever they wish to be. Amish children deserve the same right as any other children to receive high-school level education, either at a community school or at home.

If you dispute that, think about something. The Amish kids whose futures are at stake couldn’t even participate in this dialogue. Because they can’t read and write English well enough to understand what you and I are typing. I think you need to read my article again and click on the links to Torah’s personal story.

She expresses quite well how being kept in a state of education-free ignorance almost ruined her life. She’s as rare exception, an example of a an Amish child who had the courage and raw intelligence to escape and go to school. Far too many kids don’t get that. And even if they decide to leave the Amish Church after they become adults, they’re left on the margins of society.

Because you know as well as I do that people without high school or high school equivalent educations can’t get decent jobs and certainly can’t apply for higher education.

I’m wondering why you think it’s OK to doom children to that fate?

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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