The Altar of Government Schools

by | Mar 31, 2015

If you send your children to a private school, you are not a bad person. And anyone who claims otherwise is a monster.

Rational parents want what is best for their children. Such parents recognize that their primary responsibility is to raise their children to be independent, rational adults. A significant part of this responsibility is to provide the child with the necessary education. For many parents, this means sending their children to a private school. There are some (and perhaps more than I realize) who think such parents are evil:

You are a bad person if you send your children to private school. Not bad like murderer bad—but bad like ruining-one-of-our-nation’s-most-essential-institutions-in-order-to-get-what’s-best-for-your-kid bad. So, pretty bad.

So, according to the article, if you try to do what is best for your child, you are a bad person. And this is true even if your local government schools are performing like the post office, which is true of a large percentage of government schools.

Supposedly, if everyone sent their children to government schools, parents would demand that the quality improve. Of course, the author admits, this might take a few generations. In the meantime, your children and grandchildren will have to suffer through the propaganda and mediocrity that are so common at the post office government schools. But, the author explains, if you can afford to send your kids to a private school, you can afford a tutor or other support to help overcome the lack of education your children are receiving. We must all do are part for the “common good,” and your part is to sacrifice your children’s well-being on the altar of government schools.

It is bad enough when pundits exhort adults to sacrifice their own interests to the alleged “public interest.” But a new level of depravity is reached when parents are denigrated for seeking what is best for their children. Such calls are motivated by altruism–self-sacrificial service to others.  Morally, a parent who would heed such a call is guilty of the worst form of child abuse–willfully destroying his child’s mind.

The author admits her motivation:

Whatever you think your children need—deserve—from their school experience, assume that the parents at the nearby public housing complex want the same. No, don’t just assume it. Do something about it. Send your kids to school with their kids. Use the energy you have otherwise directed at fighting to get your daughter a slot at the competitive private school to fight for more computers at the public school. Use your connections to power and money and innovation to make your local school—the one you are now sending your child to—better. Don’t just acknowledge your liberal guilt—listen to it.

If you can afford more for your children than other parents, you should feel guilty. And to assuage your guilt, you should sacrifice your child’s education. It’s not enough that your taxes pay for that public housing complex. You should pay with your child’s life as well.

If you send your children to a private school, you are not a bad person. And anyone who claims otherwise is a monster.

Brian Phillips is the founder of the Texas Institute for Property Rights. Brian has been defending property rights for nearly thirty years. He played a key role in defeating zoning in Houston, Texas, and in Hobbs, New Mexico. He is the author of three books: Individual Rights and Government Wrongs, The Innovator Versus the Collective, and Principles and Property Rights. Visit his website at

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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