How far would you go to keep your kids safe?
Images of the 20 children who were gunned down in Newtown, Connecticut last Friday is having a profound effect on many parents.
"For me, I cried," said Christina Ramperstad. "I couldn’t stop crying that day about all the children that were lost, but I'm grateful for the opportunity to homeschool."
Ramperstad says safety isn’t why she home schools her 6-year-old son. She does it because of his above average IQ and traditional school simply didn’t challenge him enough.
However, Trish Oliva with the Florida Parent Educators Association says whenever there is school violence, they see an uptick of parent inquiries about homeschooling.
"We usually see a dramatic increase. We saw it after Columbine and some of the other school shootings that have happened," said Oliva.
It's too soon to know whether or not the Sandy Hook Tragedy will have the same effect. Oliva suspects next month they may see that bump in parental questions about home education.
Even without the school violence headlines, more and more parents are making the decision to pull their kids out of public education. The number of students who are being homeschooled in Florida have gone up every year for the past 10 years.
More than 72,000 in Florida are homeschooled including over 3,500 in Orange county, but experts warn about making a knee-jerk decision due to an isolated incident.
"We don’t want parents to be making impulsive type of decisions, homeschooling takes a lot of commitment. It is work," said Oliva. “When we get this increased response, we make an extra effort to just lead parents through the process so they know what they’re getting into.”
When we asked young mom Jessica Friedberg if she would ever consider homeschooling her children, she said it has entered her mind.
"After everything that happened in Connecticut, kind of. It's not something I would do, but it's something that entered my mind," said Friedberg. “If this streak continued regularly, I think I would try to get some parents together and do something a little more secure.”
From a movie theater in Colorado to a Portland mall, 2012 has proven violence can happen anywhere. Still some parents say homeschooling offers a little extra piece of mind.
"In light of everything that's happening and it's only intensifying. I pray that I don't have to take my kid back to public school," said Rampersad.
There doesn’t seem to be any immediate local response from parents to the Connecticut shooting. Although the Sandy Hook shootings happened last Friday, there was no noticeable increase in students being kept home from school the following Monday in both Orange and Seminole counties.