I received a comment (a number of them actually, from the same anonymous source) that I deleted today. Deleting comments is not something I do happily, so I want to explain why and add my own comments on what I think is a vital issue for people to be discussing about writing and the internet.
Both comments in question began with obnoxious name calling. I won't have needlessly inappropriate remarks like that on my blog for many reasons, but most importantly because my students read this blog. Not only do I not want them to have to read such nonsense, I don't want them learning from me that such things are to be tolerated simply because one opens a discussion about a topic that may be controversial. I welcome opinions that may disagree with my own and blog as a way of opening a forum for discussion. I learn a lot from such discussions. But stating an opposing position and childish name calling are not the same thing.
My post earlier today was on homeschooling and socialization and I've received a number of useful comments and emails expressing many different viewpoints, but it was clear that this particular individual hadn't even read the whole post and simply had an ax to grind against homeschooling.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of cowards on the internet who are happy to spend their time leaving rude comments on blogs, so long as they can hide under the cover of anonymity. I suppose it's the price we must pay for the sorts of open discussions blogs and the internet allow. I'm sure if this individual returns, I'll get more of the same in response to this post. This isn't the first ugly and pointless comment I've received and I'm quite sure it won't be the last. Still, I refuse to provide a forum for just plain nastiness on my blog and though I greatly value thoughtful disagreement, will always delete pointless insults. So now I've switched to comment moderation... sad, but necessary.