Homeschool parents frequently are criticized for depriving their children of the interaction and social influence that could be obtained by being away from their home and with other children and adults. So now a homeschool mom is taking criticism for doing just that.

According to a report at WTNH-Television, New Haven, Conn., mother Jennifer Ghoshray has taken her six- and seven-year-old children, who are her students, to the Steven Hayes trial.

But Hayes is on trial for the home invasion murders of 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela and their mother, Jennifer Hawke Petit.

Reported WTNH, “The graphic nature of the Steven Hayes murder trial may be too much for many people to handle.”

But Ghoshray said the trial is an opportunity to see the justice system in action.

“It wasn’t just yesterday I woke up and said ‘let’s go.’ It’s been six or seven months talking about this case,” Ghoshray told the station. “What Dr. Petit might be going through? How he’s feeling? And then what about the other side? Laying out everything to my children.”

The television station report cited critics who say the children are being “exposed” to disturbing details, but Ghoshray said she’s already prepared for that.

“Both have been told if it’s too much, we’ll leave. If it’s too much, we’ll put our head down,” she said.

In fact, her seven-year-old, Shreyoshi, already wants to be a lawyer and work on the U.S. Supreme Court. Nothing bothered her, she said.

“The reason I came here was to understand this crime, and also because I want to write about it when I come home,” Shreyoshi said.

Jennifer also turned the arguments back on those who are critical of her actions.

“Where is the place [for children]? Is it in front of a videogame where you’re slaughtering your opponents and no parents are around to monitor it?” she asked the station.

On the Consent of the Governed blog, was this comment: “It is most interesting to me that the media has fixated on this homeschool parent as a story.

“Critics of homeschooling are apt to say that homeschoolers are shielded from the real world, now with this media piece they are saying that they are harshly presented with the real world. So which is it?”

On a forum accompanying the blog was a reader’s comment, “Judging by her child’s response to reporters, it looks like they are prepared to go into a courtroom. … It is apparent that they been doing a lot of talking about this case beforehand.”


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