“People who think the public schools are indoctrinating don’t know what indoctrination is. We were indoctrinated,” said Aaron Beall. “It’s not even comparable.”
The couple first rejected the terrifying corporal punishment their parents had inflicted, as prescribed by the book “To Train Up a Child” by the popular Christian home-schooling authors Michael and Debi Pearl. They soon found themselves questioning other aspects of their upbringing, the Post reported.
“When it came time for me to hit my kids, that was the first independent thought I remember having: ‘This can’t be right. I think I’ll just skip this part,’” Aaron Beall said, adding that he felt disoriented by his newfound skepticism. “It’s like having the rug pulled out from under your feet. All of reality is kind of up for grabs.”
The self-taught software engineer eventually lost his faith, and that caused his wife Christina to begin questioning the biblical literalism and patriarchal values that had been instilled in her, although she kept her religious faith.
“This is the guy I’ve been married to for eight years,” Christina recalled thinking. “I know him. I know his heart. I know what kind of parent he wants to be to our kids. These easy answers of ‘Oh, you’re just not a Christian anymore, you just want to sin’ … didn’t work anymore.”
The Bealls knew of many home-schooling families that had drifted away from the religious dogma that had been imposed on them, and they came to believe the law failed to protect children growing up in that world.
“It’s specifically a system that is set up to hide the abuse, to make them invisible, to strip them of any capability of getting help. And not just in a physical way,” Christina said. “At some point, you become so mentally imprisoned you don’t even realize you need help.”
Last year, a year after their daughter had started first grade, the couple decided to enroll their three other school-age children in Round Hill Elementary, and even their daughter wondered what might have been if her parents had the same opportunities she had been afforded.
“You should have asked to go to school,” said Aimee, who just completed her second-grade year. “It affects your whole life.”