By Frank Kermit MA
April 27, 2016
When the news story broke a week ago that Karla Homolka was found to be living in Chateauguay, Quebec, with a legally changed name, married with 3 young children and thus was regularly on the grounds of an elementary school where she took two of her oldest, I started to think.
One of my first thoughts was did her new husband know of her past before he had children with her, or was that information hidden from him and he was duped? After all, given the fact that she is a convicted serial killer who helped target her own younger sister, along with two other teenage girls, that simply cannot be something a person could easily overlook while falling in love. As it turns out, her husband is the brother of her lawyer, and I would personally assume he knows even more details about what happened than the public does. Maybe I am wrong.
Another question I had was whether or not the news media did any disservice to her children by revealing the exact house they live in. Although the young kids are not responsible for the sins of their mother, would these very young children now be the targets of school bullies as well as any adults in and around the school who may take on the mantle of social justice, to justify abusive actions against these children that happen to be just as innocent as Homolka’s original victims? Even if other school children, the school staff, and the parents of the other children in the school make it a point not to target those little kids, could revealing the exact location of the home in that neighborhood, ignite an individual vigilante who seeks to make more innocent children suffer in an effort to appease social justice’s call of an-eye-for-an-eye?
But the final question I had was what if it was my child was going to school with the children of a convicted serial killer? I thought about this question the most. What would I do? It seems that after serving her sentence there is no legal action that can be taken to force her to remove her children from that school, and I do not know if isolating her children is an answer I would be comfortable with. Again, I would not want to punish the children for the actions of a parent.
One of the thoughts that came to my mind is that my kids could already be going to school with the children of convicted criminals and I simply do not know it. Just because it does not appear on the news media does not mean it does not exist. The fact is, we really do not intimately know our neighbors, and that includes the neighbors we actually do know. Every family has secrets they do not share with the neighbors. So where does that leave us with what to do, when you are concerned for the safety and well being of your children?
Many years ago, on our first date my wife and I talked about a hypothetical situation of what we would do if it turned out one of our children was being so severely bullied at school that it started to affect their mental health. We both agreed that we would take every measure possible to protect our children including modifying our day-to-day work lifestyles and make whatever sacrifices were necessary to pull our child out of a brick-and-mortar school where our child was being victimized, and simply do whatever it took to home-school our kids. As we may not legally be able to expel the other kids who torment our children, we always have a choice about whether or not we send our children to a school in order to meet the educational requirements of the government.
That conversation with my wife was one of the reasons I knew I was going to marry her, as we both felt very strongly about protecting our children and we both had the same vision of how we wanted to parent.
So, I guess that is what I would do.
From what I gather in the media follow-up stories, neither the school, nor the government is forced to remove Homolka’s children from any elementary school regardless of her criminal past. It has nothing to do with rehabilitation, as it seems it has to do more with the deal she and her lawyers struck with the prosecution, and the fact that she completed her 12-year sentence. Again, maybe I am wrong.
What I do feel confident in stating, is that if it were my children in the position of so many other kids going to school where I did not feel my kids were extra safe I might very well put the home-school plan into action.
According to http://thecanadianhomeschooler.com/canadian-homeschool-laws-quebec/, a student who receives home schooling and benefits from an education experience which according to an evaluation made by or for the school are equivalent to what is provided at school, are exempt from compulsory school attendance.
For more information about home-schooling and how to transition your child from going to a brick-and-mortar school, to schooling your own kids at home, please contact the Home School Legal Defense Association http://www.hslda.ca/
I really do not mean to offend anyone with this article.
I just see people being very concerned about what they should do, and before anyone takes any actions they are going to later regret or feel terrible about, I thought it would be wise to at least cover other options that are available.
I wish you all peace and healing.