Let me try to explain why you should care about homeschooling rights, even if you aren’t a homeschool parent:
Because we don’t have any rights at all if we don’t have the unquestioned and absolute right to teach and raise our own children. In a country where you do not have a right to your own offspring, to what else could you possibly have a right? Your home? Your car? Your body? Not in a nation ruled by bureaucratic deities so powerful that they may deign the very fruit of your loin to be their property. If we forfeit our jurisdiction over our sons and daughters, where else can we draw the line. “Sure, government, regulate how I educate my kids, but you better have a warrant if you want to take a peek in my glove compartment!” We all have to pick a hill to die on, I suppose, but mine will be the hill of Family Sovereignty.
Let me put it another way:
There is no power the state doesn’t have if it has a power over your children that supersedes your own.
Let me put it still another way:
If you do not have the right to teach and raise your own children on your own terms, then you don’t have the right to free speech, religion, association, or privacy, and you are not protected from unreasonable government intrusion into your personal life.
How could it be that so many who describe themselves as “pro-choice” would then turn around and argue against homeschooling rights? As terrifying as it may be, we need to confront the fact that our society is filled with people who honestly believe that you ought to have the right to kill your child, but you shouldn’t have the right to educate him.
When I call such people “lunatics,” I do so with great optimism. I’d prefer to be surrounded by delusional maniacs than to be surrounded by rational individuals who have actually reached the conclusion that a person’s only fundamental parental right is to butcher their children.
So, if liberty — true, God given liberty — is your thing, you might take a particular interest in the story of an Ohio Democrat who wants to require all homeschool parents to undergo a Social Services investigation. To make his case, Senator Capri Cafaro is repulsively exploiting the child abuse death of a 14 year old kid. Teddy Foltz-Tedesco died last year after his mother pulled him out of school to hide his abuse from authorities. The boy was finally beaten to death by the mother’s boyfriend.
In keeping with the government’s long tradition of being incompetent in every possible facet of existence, this young child’s abuse was already reported to Social Services. Social Services failed to act, and now, in response to THEIR OWN failures, politicians want to give them MORE power. This is a brand of mania that you can only find in government: an agency bungles its authority, and the solution is to give them more of it.
In any case, this is a tragic, awful situation. The mother and the mother’s boyfriend ought to be charged to the fullest extent of the law, and that means they should spend the rest of their pitiful lives in a cage.
But only a manipulative tyrant would take this one isolated incident and use it as a tool to intrude into the lives of every homeschool parent. And not just every homeschool parent, but every parent, period. This proposed piece of legislation, or any law in any state that regulates or oversees how parents teach their children, has the effect of giving the government a claim to your child. Certainly, you should be able to lose your claim over your child if you are truly abusive, or if you commit any felony crime that would put you in prison and require your kids to be cared for by someone else, but homeschool laws assume abusive and criminal intent in every parent. If that is not tyranny, then there is no such thing.
Moreover, if the rare case of an abusive homeschool parent can serve as an indictment of homeschooling, why can’t the more common case of a sexually abusive teacher serve as an indictment of public schools? By this politician’s own logic, all government schools should have been shutdown long ago. In fact, there was a 2004 study titled, “Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature,” commissioned by the Department of Education. It received no attention from anyone, but the findings were terrifying: nearly 10 percent of all public schooled students had been raped, abused, or sexually harassed by teachers.
That makes the sex scandal in public schools many, many, many times more prevalent than the abuse epidemic in the Catholic Church. It’s not even close, actually. The Hofstra researcher who conducted the study had this to say: “The physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.”
And homeschool kids are the ones at risk?
Add school shootings, gang violence, fights, bullying, and administrative abuse in the form of zero tolerance policies that brand and label young kids as criminals, and public school is clearly a much more dangerous proposition.
But what serious attempt have our politicians made to curb the sexual abuse of kids in public schools? It’s hard to address a problem if you’ve decided that the problem doesn’t exist.
Some teacher’s unions even think teachers ought to be given cash rewards after being found guilty of serial rape. A severance package for a man who sexually abused a young boy for three years? That’s not just “inappropriate,” that’s co-conspiratorial, as far as I’m concerned.
The government has no place pointing the finger of suspicion at parents. We are the ones who have every possible reason to be suspicious of them. The vast majority of us are doing our best to raise our kids in a hostile environment; an environment made all the more hostile by the very government entities that pretend to be concerned about the health and safety of our children.
We have a problem, America. We seem to be under the impression that our kids are safer in government buildings than they are in our homes. We have succumbed to a brainwashing campaign so effective that it makes me wish that the State was half as good at constitutional governance as it is at convincing its citizens to hate freedom.
Homeschooling laws vary by state. Some have virtually no regulations, some make moderate efforts to “keep tabs” on those dangerous homeschooling terrorists, while others are ruthless in protecting and expanding their government education system. In these states, homeschooling parents have to (among other things) register their curriculum with the education department, and even endure home visitations from government agents.
Surely, we can all see how terrible that is, can’t we? A government agent invading your house to investigate what information you’re passing on to your child? Can any substantive notion of freedom coexist along side such a thing? Extremist that I am, I don’t think homeschool parents should be required to make any effort to “check in” with any government agency, no matter how convenient they make the process. But even if you aren’t ready to meet me there, even if you can’t quite get on board with full parental liberty, aren’t we at least on the same page that homeschool parents shouldn’t be treated like sex offenders on parole?
No? We can’t even agree on that point?
I didn’t think so.
Well, carry on, Freedom Fighter.
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