I haven’t learned enough about the acculturation of immigrants to even know terms to Google for information.
From the homeschooling position of academic freedom, this story appears to be one of those difficult ‘free to be you and me’ topics bumping up against ‘current events.’
Tri-Valley Herald, Pleasanton, California, 12 November 2006, A shrinking world: Cultural taboos – and the presence of the FBI – add up to a life of isolation for women in Lodi’s Pakistani community
Aneesa is among many girls who went to Lodi schools who have been sent back to their northwestern Pakistani village for an arranged marriage with a cousin to keep family bonds strong.
If navigating two disparate cultures wasn’t difficult enough, a terrorism investigation swept through this 2,500-member community. Between chasing toddlers around the house, and cooking meals, Aneesa hardly noticed the FBI surveillance. What she does notice is that her world is shrinking.
Aneesa Khan was allowed to attend public high school, while most girls in her Pakistani neighborhood are home-schooled. After being left with her more liberal Aunt Bibi and Uncle Walidad when her father returned to Pakistan to marry a 14-year-old girl, she was allowed to go to school, but only in traditional clothing.
Parents home-school their daughters to keep boys and girls separate and to protect their traditions and spiritual life. But girls fall through the cracks when their parents lack the education to teach them.
As an alternative, parents send their girls to an independent study program. But more could be done to reach out to families, says Roberta Wall, a Lodi School administrator.
“It’s a dilemma for us,” Wall says.
In order to qualify for independent study, students must at least attend their first year of high school. But many Pakistani parents don’t even want their girls to spend one year in an environment where they may feel pressure to date, party or do drugs.
On the same block, Aneesa’s cousin, Gulshan Din, 28, never learned to read or write. She came to Lodi with her parents when she was 9 and was pulled out of school as a teenager.