In an effort to promote the power of homeschooling the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) recently interviewed the 2011 Miss America, Teresa Scanlan.
Through five short interviews on the Home School Heartbeat radio, Mike Smith presented Ms. Scanlan as a prime example of the power of homeschooling: "I think it’s a great example of how homeschooling can actually prepare a person for so many different opportunities."
In her desire to find college money to become a criminal prosecutor, Ms. Scanlan stumbled upon the local county fair pageant. Apparently, the "majority of contestants" are "Christian conservatives," according to Ms. Scanlan. What "Christian conservative" meant to her was unclear.
She did receive criticism for participating in the pageant:
"it was kind of surprising to me that probably the most criticism I received was actually from conservative Christians that competing in the competition like Miss America did not line up with their morals and values."
Nevertheless, she persevered, reportedly by the strength of her homeschooling training. Mike highlighted: "the thing that I’m impressed with is your opportunity now. You have a real stage, because you’ve won Miss America, to give a testimony about your Christian faith."
Ms. Scanlan's website portrays a non-typical homeschooler. Currently a student at Patrick Henry College, she plans to become a Supreme Court judge or president, hoping to "break down the stereotype of crooked and dishonest politicians." But she is open to whatever God sends her way. As an all-American mid-West career girl, she continues to work in various community and church capacities, including a pageant coach.
One question was left unanswered in the interview: is this the model homeschooler that the HSLDA wishes to promote? It is unclear what members of the organization think about these interviews. Regardless, HSLDA continues to be the go-to legal defense option for all types of homeschoolers, stereotypical or not.