Credit Where It's Due: The Oklahoman's Positive Portrayal of Miss America's Homeschooled Background

In an unusual move, The Oklahoman devoted a house editorial to the recent Miss America competition.

Specifically, the newspaper noted, that the 2011 winner of the iconic pageant, Teresa Scanlan, a 17-year-old Nebraskan, was largely taught at home and that her educational background had “the homeschooling community buzzing with excitement.”

The paper also noticed the homeschooling bonafides of this year’s 4th runner-up, Emoly West, the reigning Miss Oklahoma.

Quoting homeschool mom, Dawn Shelton, the editorial stated:

I think when home-educated individuals like these young women, or Tim Tebow or Condoleezza Rice earn public acclaim, it helps the public image of homeschooling, showing that it is a wonderful, viable, doable and ‘legit’ way to educate our children.

“Indeed,” agreed the Oklahoman.

A couple of newsworthy tidbits that the paper didn’t mention, but that may interest Big Journalism readers: Both Teresa and Emoly are the products of a faith-based homeschool, and both are politically engaged young women. To that end, Teresa plans to attend Patrick Henry College, the Christian college in Virginia, to pursue pre-law studies. Emoly has raised funds, via her annual Winter Ball, for the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee, the Sooner State’s premier conservative PAC, as well as for Birth Choice, an organization that helps women with unexpected pregnancies.

And among the judges for this year’s pageant, was none other than Joy Behar, of “The View,” who described Teresa, the winner of a $50,000 scholarship, as “very poised.” Talk about winning over your political opponent!