Sure. If you're considering homeschooling, that's certainly another angle to the whole thing. We bought this house specifically (well in part) because it's in a really good school district, so that's one less concern I have.
Amen to your first sentence (me too!). And for me, the more I'm pressed, the more I resist.
Certainly not a huge thing. Has worked really really well for us, and if other parents had a few more brain cells, would work even better.
So sad about your friend's son. All of these vague worries we have as parents become so much more focused if we know someone it actually happened to.
I have a friend whose little girl (she was about 5 at the time I think) was playing in her gated yard while the friend/ mom was inside doing stuff -- the mom went to check on her and she wasn't there, went crazy calling her and looking around, sprinted down the street, asked all of the neighbors, someone had seen the girl walking along the street with a man. Another person had seen them go into a specific house. Called the cops, there fast, burst in, the girl was sitting in the front room talking to him, completely unharmed (whole thing was maybe 5-10 minutes start to finish.) But the guy was a registered sex offender.
(I also checked for registered sex offenders before we bought this house.)
Scary as hell, E.G. doesn't want sozlet ever ever ever playing in the yard unsupervised, I struggle with that a bit.
Anyway, understand how that would wig anyone out.