The Case Against Jesse Scaccia

This morning, a political plea for funds showed up in my email-box. That isn’t unusual — I’m on a lot of mailing lists. What did surprise me was who wanted my money today. Why was I, a California resident, expected to care about who was running for city council in Norfolk, Virginia?

As I said, I’m on a lot of mailing lists. I ended up on this one because of a conversation I had three years ago with the candidate in question.

His name is Jesse Scaccia.

Scaccia is famous in the homeschooling community. Not in a name-recognition kind of way; but he’s definitely on our radar. All you have to say is, “Hey, remember that guy who wrote that blog post a few years ago? The one about his top ten reasons for hating homeschooling? He called us a bunch of self-aggrandizing society-phobes who are arrogant to the point of lunacy? And I quote?”

You probably won’t even have to say that much to get the memories flowing. I know from experience that writing in list form can be a good way to get the Internet’s attention.

Of course I wrote to him. I was angry, but that didn’t bother Jesse. He loved the attention he was getting. You can see my half of the correspondence in the article I wrote about our exchange.

Scaccia was angry by the end of the conversation — but apparently not angry enough to remove me from his email address book. Either that or he believes that old adage about all publicity being good publicity. Because when he decided to run for city council in Norfolk, Virginia, he dropped a line to the Bitter Homeschooler. He’d love a donation of either money or time.

My first thought was to write back asking him to take me off a mailing list I never should have been on. My second impulse was to email back a request for his home address so I could send him a check for a million dollars. I didn’t do either, but I did mention the incident on Facebook.

“Oh, great,” homeschooling activist and writer Tammy Takahashi responded. “Where’s he running for office?”

I told her. And then I realized I ought to be telling a lot of other people. Specifically, the homeschooling community of Norfolk, Virginia. And maybe as much of the rest of the homeschooling community as I could reach while I was at it.

In the last presidential election, I heard a lot of conversations about which candidate was more supportive of homeschooling. Which isn’t something to worry about in a presidential election. Homeschooling is legal in every state in America — but every state has its own laws about what constitutes a home education. Some states require testing; some don’t. Some require portfolios and government oversight; some think it’s enough that parents say, “Hey! Guess what? We’re homeschooling! See ya!” The president has nothing to do with any of this. It would be nice if he liked us, but it really isn’t necessary.

Local politicians, on the other hand, can have a real impact on homeschooling. They can work to implement truancy laws, testing requirements, and daytime curfews.

Jesse Scaccia is viciously anti-homeschooling. He’s made his views quite clear.

It might be a good idea for the homeschoolers in Norfolk to mobilize to keep Jesse Scaccia from getting into office — and to keep a sharp eye on him if he does get elected.

I wrote to the moderator of a Norfolk homeschooling support group letting her know who Scaccia is and what he’s running for. I got a lovely reply, telling me that she’d been thinking of supporting him since the incumbents really need booting out. However, she isn’t prepared to support someone like him.

Homeschoolers are always outstandingly generous when it comes to sharing information. It shouldn’t take long for this bit to get around.

Scaccia asked me for money and/or time. I really can’t afford the cash.

But now that he mentions it, I think I can spare a few minutes toward his campaign.

26 Responses to “The Case Against Jesse Scaccia”

  1. Gigi says:

    Wish I lived in VA so that I could take part! I was homeschooled all the way through high school. I had no problems (social or otherwise) in college and am now, at 27, a successful entrepreneur. His brand of intense homeschooling hate is not only worrisome, but unfounded. :(

  2. Adam Kinnear says:

    Consider us notified. He is officially on my radar and I have let everyone here in Norfolk know:
    http://adamshappyplace.blogspot.com/2012/04/politics-101.html

  3. Kathy says:

    Thanks for bringing this to the attention of the homeschool community here in Hampton Roads. Even if I weren’t a homeschooler (which I am), this guy’s hateful rant would scare me off from voting for him anyway. He’s stereotyping in the worst way and shows himself to be incompetent to serve a diverse community like Norfolk. Thanks again!

  4. Nance says:

    Here’s what I’d like to say to Jesse, in case he happens to read this:

    Oh, Jesse. I love the sound of your words coming back around to bite you in the ass! You slammed an entire community of people three years ago for no real reason other than…what was it? Oh, yes, we pissed you off for existing.

    You mocked us. You insulted us. You belittled us. You called us self-aggrandizing and society-phobic and selfish because we chose for a myriad of reasons to execute our legal rights to educate our own children. You said that God hates homeschooling (for the record, I’m agnostic, too, but, hey, I bet most of your potential constituents aren’t)! You said that we are arrogant to the point of lunacy. You said we could never do as good a job as public school teachers despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. You said we leave our children socially unprepared and turn them into geeks. You stereotyped us and offended us and you had fun doing it.

    As a whole, Jesse, we are a bunch of dedicated and passionate people making informed and well-researched choices to give our children a well-rounded education, and a childhood full of meaningful experiences. We go out of our way to socialize them plenty, and to give them as many diverse experiences and opportunities as we can. And we do it because it’s working for us.

    We also tend to be a politically active bunch. We have to be. Our livelihood is on the line. And people like you, Jesse, are a threat to people like us. And people like us vote. ;)

    Back when you wrote that hateful post, you got a lot of responses. You ignored a lot of them. You commented back to some of them, saying things like: “I am delighted by your defensiveness!”

    You know what I’M delighted by, Jesse? I’m delighted by your back pedaling. It’s so much fun to watch!

    You said things like: “The poll question for tomorrow: Why are homeschooling parents and students so defensive? (Possible answer: They weren’t teased and challenged enough at public school, and thus never learned how to have an unemotional conversation about a topic that impacts them.)”

    You know what MY poll question for tomorrow is, Jesse?

    Why won’t Jesse get elected to city council in the end? Possible answer: He never learned how to be truly diplomatic and how to not alienate an entire, large community of people by acting like a playground bully and needlessly offending them with a hate-filled rant, possibly brought on by the fact that it just ate him alive that almost any parent with a mere high-school diploma could, in fact, teach their offspring just as well as he could with all his degrees and years of teaching experience. Maybe if he had been homeschooled instead, he’d have known better!

    I don’t live in Norfolk, or even in Virginia, so I don’t actually get a say in whether you’re elected, but your name sure is moving like wildfire around the homeschooling circles once again, and I’m curious to see how the homeschooling community over there in Norfolk turns out.

    Good luck with that campaign, Jesse!

    Love,
    Nance
    (A Self-Aggrandizing, Society-Phobic, Selfish, Arrogant to the Point of Lunacy, Homeschooling Mom to two geeky and unsocialized homeschooled kids who are getting on just fine without public school and teachers like you).

    P.S. Did YOU of all people really just ask someone not to “rush to judgment” on you based on one thing about you in response to a comment here (you know, where you were doing all that back pedaling)?

    http://adamshappyplace.blogspot.com/2012/04/politics-101.html

    I’m giddy with the delicious irony of it all!

    • Kathy says:

      His comments section on the Facebook wall is open. I left my comment and he said he didn’t mean it…. I loved your response by the way. Maybe you could visit his wall and leave your own love note.

  5. T.C. says:

    I must say, reading the article you posted about the email conversation leaves me concerned. I’ve had conversations exactly like that..where the focus was wrong, easily confused, no response until they perceived a threat (real or imagined), suddenly needing to talk on the phone. This is a severe case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This is a dangerous person.. a psychopath. There also may be standing on the autism spectrum ..Asperger end.. (thus the misunderstanding of phrases).

    Nothing wrong with Asperger’s but when it’s coupled with Narcissism (dangerous enough on it’s own) the two blend into a horrible beast that all humans should fear.

  6. Kathy says:

    Just so you know, Homeschooing in Hampton Roads shared the link and Jesse whats-his-name made the following comment: “This is literally the worst, most embarrassing blog I have ever published. My apologies to the homeschooling community–if there’s one I could take back and revise, it would be this one.” Maybe I should “friend” him…..

    • Jean says:

      That’s the first time I’ve seen the word ‘apology’ from his keyboard. I think it might help a lot if he made that apology public and general. For example: “I insulted a large and diverse group of people about whom I knew nothing. I was prejudiced. I sincerely apologize for everything I said, which was ill-considered, ignorant, and arrogant.” One comment on a blog post that relatively few will see will not do that job, but he could make a decent start by posting something like that all over the place.

      Not that I would vote for him anyway, since he commented on Adam’s blog that he “always has the well-being of the community in mind first, and the individual second” (I wouldn’t want him making decisions on, say, eminent domain questions!). But a real, public apology would be nice.

  7. Kathy says:

    feel free to share his lovely blogpost on his wall… the comments are wide open!

  8. M.H. says:

    Forgive, people. So he said some dumb, sensationalistic things about homeschooling three years ago. He has apologized. Trying to get back at him in this way seems a little childish. What do you want? Would you be satisfied if he dropped out of the race with his head in his hands? Do you really think he poses a threat to homeschooling? C’mon, now. Let the man shine.

    • Kathy says:

      I’d be happy if he dropped out of the race. Let’s put it this way, if his article was about his top 10 reasons why he didn’t like African Americans don’t you think that would come back to haunt him? He made a list of why he didn’t like a certain group of people. It’s ok not to like someone but when you put it on the internet, it’s there forever. It was ugly and no matter how much he back peddles, he said it and he shouldn’t have.

      • M.H. says:

        That’s a misleading comparison. African-Americans are a marginalized group of people whose ancestors were brought to America to be slaves, and who currently face a society of deadly stereotypes (ask Trayvon Martin) and institutional racism (check the demographics of your nearest prison).

        Last I checked, no one ever got killed or forced to sit in the back of the bus for homeschooling. The fact that some unknown dude can write a dumb post for some unknown blog, and homeschoolers still remember it three years later—well, that tells me you all don’t have much to get upset about.

        Let it go, hey? What Jesse does in Norfolk is really none of your business.

        • M.H. says:

          Unless you’re from Norfolk. In which case, do what you will.

          • Kathy says:

            I live in Portsmouth, which is 5 minutes from Norfolk but I’ll be sure to let my friends in Norfolk know about his post. And picking on ANY group of people is bullying!

    • Elizabeth Conley says:

      It’s not about revenge, it’s about common sense. Scacia is a malignant narcissist. He won’t bring anything good to the office he’s running for.

      • Cheryl says:

        Forgiveness isn’t the issue. It is possible to forgive a person who robbed you, but still remember the incident and never want to trust them with your house keys. That would be the case here. Forgiving is possible, but trusting such a person to represent the public, including the homeschooling public, in office sounds like a matter of poor judgment.

        • M.H. says:

          Kathy — I don’t buy your comparisons. One man picking on tens of thousands? He was saying, I, personally, have some problems with homeschooling. And here they are. And, as I said before, and as he has acknowledged, he made a childish argument that came off as mean instead of funny. End of story. That’s certainly not my definition of bullying. The man has done a lot for the city of Norfolk. And he cares about education. Nor does he want to take your right to homeschool away.

          Elizabeth Conley — You have no idea what Jesse will do in office or how much he cares about the city of Norfolk. Nor do you know that he’s a narcissist. Let’s the drop the name-calling and groundless predictions.

          Cheryl — Do you even know who are the alternatives to Jesse? If you did, you’d know not voting for Jesse is a matter of poor judgment.

          • Lisa says:

            M.H. (or are you really Jesse?)
            Like any ‘good’ politician, Jesse is just saying what he thinks people want to hear. Has he really seen the error of his hateful ways and changed his whole outlook? Possible, but highly unlikely. Go shill for Jesse somewhere else. The HS community is not as naive as you’d like to believe. Voting for people like him to represent us in our government is a mistake, and it’s why the US is in such dire straits these days.

          • Elizabeth Conley says:

            Scaccia’s posts in his blog identify him as a malignant narcissist. He showed off the characteristics with his interactions with the home schooling community.

            I do know how he’ll behave when in office, because I’ve seen him in action.

            No way would I knowingly vote for someone with Scaccia’s mental healty issues.

          • Z. Murray says:

            One of the biggest problems is that he has never acknowledged the fact that he was/is ignorant about homeschooling, homeschooling methods, what homeschooling really is, and how homeschooling can actually work. If he has, I have not seen it. The fact that he waited until someone outed him, right in the middle of a political campaign, shows most of us that he is not sincere. Oh, sincere that he couldn’t erase what he’d said because it damages his chances, sure. Sincerely sorry that he was caught, absolutely. But if the man was really as “caring” and “sensitive” to his community as he wants people to believe, he would have actually tried, sometime in the past 3 years, to educate himself about the entire community he wants to represent, and that includes homeschoolers.

            Realize that if he can believe such contrived drivel and belittle an entire nation of homeschoolers, he can do the same about any other number of subjects and groups of people. Only now he’s learned better than to put his damaging views out into the general public.

  9. Elizabeth Conley says:

    Boy do I remember this guy. What a kook. He’s really deranged. He loved the attention he got from his hateful rant.

    Jesse Scacia is a textbook case of narcissism, and has no business in public service.

    It doesn’t matter if home schoolhool or not, Scacia is not the kind of person you want in local politics.

    We need to find that blog of his where he wrote all that hateful nonsense. No one with a grain of sense would vote for him after seeing how utterly irrational and self-absorbed Scacia is.

  10. Elizabeth Conley says:

    Here’s Scaccia’s Blog. I apologize for misspelling his name in my previous posts.

    http://teacherrevised.org/2009/05/30/the-case-against-homeschooling/

    Read through the comments and I think you’ll see why this is not the kind of person you want in local politics.

  11. Karin Asin says:

    So worried he will be elected to Council what a horrific blow to homeschoolers everywhere that would be he will be at the Chrysler Museum tomorrow/Thursday the 26th tons of people there for the Candidates forum come and share what you know/ask him questions/most people have NO CLUE about his stances

  12. Caladonia March says:

    You will be interested to know that Jesse Scaccia is now being considered for appointment to the Norfolk School Board!
    http://hamptonroads.com/2012/06/offcolor-poem-spells-trouble-norfolk-candidate

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