Politician: “Let’s treat all homeschool parents like felony child abusers”

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.

TEN PERCENT.

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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734 Responses to Politician: “Let’s treat all homeschool parents like felony child abusers”

  1. alishia says:

    Parental rights are at risk. Everyone should watch this……

    • Tammy says:

      For a brief period of time after college, I held a job in the Head Start program in Missouri in the early 90s. I hate to break it to you but most government funded programs such as Head Start already had the requirement that parents submit to regular in house interviews and meetings in the company of the teacher, her aid, and a social service worker. We were taught early on to expect child abuse and to look for it and the social service workers job was to write up a report of what she observed in the house. We were never allowed to call and arrange a visit at the parents convenience. We were encouraged to call on the parents unannounced, and if mom was in bed with her boyfriend, it went in the report. If there were dirty diapers around, it went in the report. If she smoked, it went in the report. There was no such thing as privacy. The only crime that these parents committed were that they were often single welfare moms who entered their kid in a state funded preschool. Welcome to the Orwellian state. We have been there a long time and it is too late to go back. I hated that job. I hated having to be in a position of ratting someone out (and that is what I felt like every time I went on one of those visits). I quit after one and a half years. I refuse to work in that environment ever again.

  2. When I was in school back in the late 60’s to 1980 there was a big change in the kids. As time went on they became more aggressive and school didn’t feel as safe as it did when I was young. I was lucky to be the 4th child out of 5, which helped me not get bullied. I had a strong personality and was fortunate to be an outgoing girl. I was positive, but didn’t put up with any crap from others.
    By the time my youngest started school it seemed that bullies were getting away with all kinds of bad behavior. My daughter is a reactionary person. She never started anything, but didn’t put up with physically being threatened by others and fought back. It took getting an IEP set up to protect her from the schools treatment of the victim.
    She wanted home schooling from the 2nd grade on. As a single parent I couldn’t afford to do this and she paid the price for it. She became an introvert and had few friends. She didn’t and doesn’t trust people in general. I have found public schools have become a place where there is not control, teachers are behaving inappropriately with our children, and there is no accountability when the youth get out of hand. If I had school age children now, they would be home schooled.
    Every child I have ever met who has had this opportunity has shown me their parents have done a better job and they are usually ahead of the public school children in their studies.
    For me I would agree with a total overhaul of the public school system and how the students are handled.
    I believe in a safe environment for children to learn, respectable teachers, and giving our children every opportunity to grow in a healthy emotional environment. If that means at home, then by all means that is where it needs to be done.
    My youngest is now is college and is treated with respect by her fellow classmates and teachers. No more bullying occurs. I am blessed she took the bad side of all that has happened to her during those public school years and put it on the shelf. This allowing her to continue her education without the old luggage around her neck. She is still an introvert and works from home on line. But she hasn’t given up, like so many of the kids who were bullied to the point they shut down.
    The government is the worst group of people to think they have the answers for our children. If they think they own them, then they need to pay all their expenses growing up. Health care, dental and all. They can’t even run the government right, how can they think they can take care of children. They need to open their eyes and get a grip on reality. If we chose to stop having children then what would they do?
    We need our government re-vamped as well as the education system. Or close it down. Our tax dollars pay for this, we should have more of a say in how it is run.

  3. I understand where you’re coming from, but I think parents should take a class before home schooling. Every single home school kid or person I ever encountered has been screwed up. Parents would not educate – just use the kids to work around the house. Parents would isolate the kids and they have no friends whatsoever because they never learned to socialize. Weak parents would allow the children to dictate the lesson plans. And the worst case – a father raped his own daughter.

    • Tim Mason says:

      It’s a horrible thing when a parent hurts his/her child, without a doubt. It’s also a horrible thing to make an assumption based on very limited personal knowledge.

    • Diane says:

      How many homeschoolers do you *actually* know? Because I know many and I’m sorry but from my viewpoint MOST public school educated kids are severely “screwed up”. I homeschooled my kids and they are each a grade ahead of where they “should be”.
      The vast majority of homeschoolers are people who want BETTER for their children than what the morally corrupt government schools spoonfeed their students. Slapping the label “education” on crap doesn’t make it education. It’s crap under any name.
      The girl who was raped by her father is truly a tragic incident but did you read the blog post??? 10% of Public school students are going through similar situations AT SCHOOL and parents are the ones that need to take classes?!?!
      Anyway, there are also arguments for what the term “screwed up” could mean. Most homeschooled kids are deemed “weird” because they are often a lot different than their peers.
      If that means my kid is polite, gracious, kind, exchanges well with adults and children alike, isn’t addicted to video games or drugs, isn’t hiding pornography under his mattress, or constantly sexting his “girlfriend” then I am HAPPY to have a “screwed up” and possibly better educated child.

      • justmamakoolaid says:

        Sorry, but I am proud of my video game addicted home school kids. The games are fun, and respect based gaming communities teach real life social skills. Video Games aren’t dangerous, ignoring your children is.

        • patriotdaddy says:

          and so is searching for a fight!!! which is exactly what you are doing lady!!! get over yourself!! homeschooling is the safer solution per statistics and facts!!! i grew up playing video games all the time, and still do….truth is..it prevents socializing in itself!! it also produces an alternate living reality…in retrospect….it prevented me from being able to COMPLETELY involve myself with my surroundings (school, home, athletics, etc…) all of what should have been “extra curricular activities, turned into more video gaming and nothing but “ME” time…..so continue to believe that public school is “enough schooling” for 1 day and allowing your children to facebook and play video games…you will lose them to losing themselves from reality…..as long as you are a parent allowing your children to do things they like just because “it is convenient for you and your schedule”, then you are LAZY parents that allow your life to be more important than your children!! facebook should be illegal or at the very least 18 yrs and up!! all of this computer and gaming shit has become a huge distraction to our everyday lives!! if you cannot learn to live without these things…when they are gone you will have an entire community of people with thumbs up their asses and nothing “adventurous” to do…..life will be a huge bore and no1 will have the urge to live life the way it should!! mark my words ppl..that time is near!!!

    • Tammy says:

      That is not what I have seen. The homeschooling parents have been creating great networks with each other and have developed all kinds of social and community opportunities for their homeschooled kids. They have art classes and studies now where one parent who specializes in that tutors and teaches classes as field excercises. They have more sports and activities and leagues of homeschooled children that are developing all over the country. They are forming support groups. My sister in law was asked to teach art classes to home schoolers. These kids are better behaved, more academically advanced and more enthusiastic about their learning opportunities. They do better at life and social skills and have a greater level of maturity than many of the public schooled children that they have. I say homeschooling is almost right up there with private schooling, especially Catholic schools, but it is an alternative that some parents can do.

      • Christine Giuda says:

        I have no clue where Lana Bradstream is seeing all these “screwed up”kids because they were homeschooled. We homeschooled our children through high school. Our son graduated Magna Cum Laude from the oldest military academy in the country as an honor cadet and now serves our country in the US Navy as an officer. He is far from “screwed up”. He is married and is currently on his 4th deployment to the middle east. Our twin daughters currently in college are both on the dean’s list consistently every semester.
        Our homeschooling used a college prep curriculum, faith based. We were involved with other homeschoolers, the kids were involved in dance and sports. Most days they were finished with assignments shortly after lunch and yep, they had household chores to complete before down time. That’s what being part of a family entails.
        2 of them proctored the after school program at our village public school, they were active, imaginative and creative. They have all turned out to be wonderful people.
        Are there those out there who abuse homeschooling? Absolutely! The vast majority of homeschooling parents do not
        Most homeschool curriculum absolutely meets standards. For those not using a prepackaged curriculum, like friends of ours, it is easy to meet standards. Testing is done every year not every other like in many states. Homeschool families are held to more rigid standards in most states than the public schools.
        As for “women’s rights” …how did this get into a discussion about homeschooling? Possibly because so many who homeschool are conservative Christians and are pro life? Personally, I have never met any homeschooler who was not pro life and we homeschooled in 3 different states so we weren’t just in one place. So take the women’s rights thing out of this discussion. That is the beauty of homeschooling. You teach your family’s morals and values, non revisionist history, and math that doesn’t take 108 steps to solve a problem.
        Interestingly, homeschooled children score very high on SATs, ACTs, GEDs, and college tests.
        Many liberal colleges still require more test scores from homeschooled kids than public school kids. One of our daughters had to submit SATs to a local university even though the university no longer requires SAT scores from public educated incoming students. The hoops they made her jump through because they didn’t believe she was adequately educated for their liberal agenda. She ended up at a top university elsewhere that recognized her motivation to learn and her qualifications.
        No “screwed up” kids here.

    • Deborah says:

      It think it’s obvious that you don’t know many homeschoolers. I know literally hundreds and most of these children are very well socialized and ahead of their peers (in government schools) in their studies, When I say well socialized I mean that they not only know how to get along with children their own age, they also know how to converse with adults and all children (older or younger).

      I’ve been homeschooling my children for 15 years. The first graduated from college,with honors, and is now married with a child. My second child has been holding down a job since he was 15. He is now on his own (at the age of 20), paying rent, paid for his car, and is now looking to purchase a house. My third child chose to go to a public high school and is now at the top of his class. Is this what you mean by “screwed up” children. If so, then I am proud to have “screwed up” children and an “abnormal” family.

      • FMCW says:

        well said Deborah, I went to a Liberal Arts Christian College and the kids there that were home schooled were smarter, more mature and more socially adept in any situation. Mine is 4 now and we hope he turns out half as bright, capable and affable as those home schoolers I went to college with.

    • Doug Kutilek says:

      Your experience that “every homeschooled kid was screwed up” is EXTREMELY warped and limited perspective. I know personally hundreds of homeschooled kids, and nearly all of them are bright, well-balanced, very much above “average” for their age. Not one of them is drugged out, dumbed down, inked up or anti-social, or uneducated.

    • Stacie says:

      Wow! I don’t know what kind of people do that, but I don’t know any homeschoolers like that. I was a teacher for six years, and now I homeschool my kids. They have friends at church, take taekwondo, and they are in young Marines.

    • Poppy says:

      A rapist would have done the same thing no matter how his child was educated. The socialization argument is the least valid. My 17 yr old is a public school senior and fairly nonsocial. My 8 yr old, 3rd grader is home schooled, and he is very social. As we all know, each child is born with their own little personality. He is also leaps and bounds ahead of the top students in my own 4th grade classroom. He is naturally inquisitive, and we exploit that with his learning. We are not bound to CCSS or TEKS, as it is in TX. The best thing about home schooling is that he is not taught to a test. I would put his Standardized test scores up against anyone’s, but the idea that the entire value of his education is reflected in a state assessment is completely foreign to him. If I could run my classroom with the same philosophy, my students would be unstoppable. This comment makes me wonder how much exposure the writer has had to home schooled children, or public school kids for that matter. There are quirky kids and people in both groups as in every group.

    • authorintraining2014 says:

      I’ve been homeschooled from kindergarten on, and I am now 16 years old. I hate to think about what might have happened if my parents had put in me in public school (Private school isn’t an option for us financially). Even being homeschooled, I still had mental health problems. I developed depression during the sixth grade from bullying and peer pressure from environments outside of my home, and even struggled with anorexia starting in the eighth grade. I have just recently recovered from the eating disorder, and now I’m thinking: If my parents had sent me to public school, I probably would still be in the depths of depression, still struggling with that voice in my head telling me that I was fat and ugly. Being homeschooled has provided me with the care and nurturing I needed to get me through that dark period of my life. Sure, there are some disadvantages to being homeschooled, but the pros far outweigh the cons.
      As far as your assumptions go, here is my take on them:
      1) Many of my friends are also homeschooled, and I have met tons of homeschoolers. I have yet to meet a homeschooler whose parents use them just for working around the house.
      2) Never learned to socialize? Not true. I am very outgoing and I have a large group of friends that love me and care about me. Many are homeschooled, and many go to public school. How do I know kids that go to public school, you might ask? I go to church. I took dance classes for ten years. I hang out at the library. I attend choir regularly. I take academic classes with other groups of teens. I am very involved in my community and refuse to be secluded and shut up (not that my parents would let me be shut away). Sure, I spend a lot of time in my room, but that is because there are times when I want to be alone to think, read, paint, knit, write, let my creativity flow. But that doesn’t make me unsocialized.
      3) The parents do not normally let the children “dictate” the lesson plan. Actually, it is usually the exact opposite. A lot of homeschooling families take advantage of classes offered to them for subjects like English, History, Science, etc. I do math on my own simply because I work better independently in that area. Occasionally I will ask for help with a math problem, but most of the time I work by myself. That is far from letting the kid dictate the lesson plan.
      As for the abuse case, that kind of thing only happens when the parents are truly sick and twisted. Homeschooling doesn’t automatically make a parent “screwed up”. If a parent is screwed up, they’re screwed up. They’re not screwed up because they homeschool, and they’re not homeschooling because they’re screwed up. Being screwed up is a personal problem that they need to work through for themselves. Homeschooling has nothing to do with being screwed up.
      Hopefully this cleared some things up.

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  5. Dan says:

    Coming from a teacher. Are you really a teacher? For shame! Fortunately, most of the parents and homeschooled kids weighing in here can spell better and utilize proper grammar better than you, the “professional” and self proclaimed “more capable” authority on teaching. Quit (sic) (quite) laughable is what you are! A typical government employed know it all! Yeah I want you teaching my grandkids! Not!!
    Have you ever heard the saying, “Those that can, do! And those that can’t, teach.” In the case of many of our public educators this is sadly true. It’s very destructive to a society and our culture when those with very little or no real life experience outside the ivory walls of the publiic educational system become the authorities in that society!

  6. Chris Jeub says:

    Thanks for publishing this, Matt. The link to the public school study is a gem. I looked it up and found this: “Of students who experienced any kind of sexual misconduct in schools, 21 percent were targets of educators, while the remaining 79 percent were targets of other students.”

    So, 1/5 of sexual abuse were done BY EDUCATORS THEMSELVES. That’s pretty damning.

    By the way, the link you have in your article is broken. Try this one: http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/misconductreview/report.pdf

  7. Thanks for this article! We’re homeschooling parents and freedom fighters!!!

  8. Pingback: Starting Home School | Start Your Home School

  9. manogod says:

    You people, whether home schooled; public schooled; or otherwise, need to learn your rights!
    Go to this link and start learning something about the rights you have in this country and how to protect yourself from those who’d try and harm you or your children.

    Once you think you understand what’s being conveyed, then don’t stop there – keep learning and when you fully understand how things stand between you and those you think govern you – keep asserting yourself both through and in the manner in which the new-found knowledge has shown whenever it becomes necessary.

    And tor those of you who do have children, of whatever age, in public school; this is what you need to be concerned about and get proactive in.

    http://www.activistpost.com/2013/12/4th-grade-common-core-math-problem.html

    Then teach your children what you’ve learned about “rights” and what it means to be a “moral” American; ’cause they sure as hell ain’t gonna learn it in public schools.

    Whatever you choose t’do in the near future, ya best get busy, ’cause Fukushima radiation is a comin’ soon.

  10. Ed says:

    In all cases it is the failure of our State-run educational system to properly teach the ideas enumerated here http://www.everything-voluntary.com/2013/12/the-invisible-wall.html#.UrOzco1gKHk that is the cause of our social decay. The battle is ideological; a battle of ideas. The Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain have fallen, but there is one more barrier that must collapse before we can extricate ourselves from our present mess. I call it the Invisible Wall. It lurks unseen in every classroom. It is composed of the quagmire of false ideas, and untaught principles, creating an inability to identify social mistakes. It is the last wall that must come down in order for the human species to survive on this earth.

  11. The link in the article for the study is broken. If anyone is looking for the study, here it is: http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/misconductreview/report.pdf

  12. Pingback: Ohio State Senator withdraws controversial homeschooling bill after backlash | The Americanist

  13. It really opened my eyes to see how much abuse goes on in public schools and I am blown away that no one else is addressing this. Kids need to feel safe at school, and we need to make sure we are properly screening our teachers.

    The vast majority of homeschool parents spend time to homeschool their kids because of how much they care about their childrens education and cultural experiences and influences. Pairents that are so deeply invested into their children are probably great parents with the best intentions and hopes for their childrens future.

    But I was shocked when you said:

    ” 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.”

    What checking in to make sure that at least a basic standard of subjects like math and literacy are being taught to kids. Or those few kids that are in an abusive homeschool situation, who would ever find out about them of see them? If you child has bruises or does not show up to public school for a set number of days. laws require public schools to notify government agencies. This is to help children who are in an abusive household. If you were a child who was homeschooled, in an abuse situation and your parents were not required to check in with any from of government, what would you do? What adult would you be able to talk to? This is not uncommon issue, according to the national nonprofit organization Childhelp “every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States”.

    http://www.childhelp-usa.com/pages/statistics

    I think that everyone should have the freedom to be able to homeschool their child, but I also know not all parents are perfect. What if you are bad at math or chemistry and you just decide to not teach those subjects to your children. If you never have to check in with “any” government agency that could happen to kids all over the country. I use simple math that I learned in high school all the time at my job. That type of information is really important to teach to kids, and if you never have to be accountable for they basic life skills and information you are providing them with then it seems like a massive disservice to those children.

    Think about all the parents you have ever met, ever, they all have the right to homeschool their children. Would you feel bad for any of those kids if their parents could just teach their kids, whatever they wanted from whatever source with absolutely no type of regulation or guidelines.

    I am all for homeschoolers right, and I definitely think we need to address the abuse issue in public schools. However, I think it is unreasonable to advocate that ” homeschool parents should be required to make any effort to “check in” with any government agency, no matter how convenient they make the process”. The vast majority of the time homeschoolers have a better education and real world experience when being homeschooled, however there should be some type of safety net for the tiny minority of kids not being armed with valuable educational information. So I think that it is pretty harsh to leave those kids in an abuse or receiving a sub-standard education “no matter how convenient they make the process”.

    • Tim Mason says:

      Very slippery slope there, Andy. By that logic, every parent should have to submit to regular ‘checks’ from the government. You seem to forget that this story (and countless others like it) tells us that the abuse of the young teen in question (you know, the child whose tragic death is being exploited to push this agenda) HAD already been reported to social services. Unfortunately, the wheels of government turn slowly…and a young boy died. Not because he was home schooled. He didn’t die because there isn’t enough regulation. He died because his mother either couldn’t or wouldn’t care enough to go to authorities, or anybody for that matter, who would have helped her get away from a man who was, in hindsight, willing to beat her child to death. This isn’t the fault of SS, (although I could make that argument) the boy’s teachers, or the concept of homeschooling in general. It is the fault of his mother, and it is the fault of the monster that she was dating/shacked up with. Period.

      • Rebecca C says:

        Furthermore, Andy, why should a homeschooled kid be held to a more rigorous standard than a public schooled kid? Are you not aware of the epidemic of illiteracy among high school graduates? If you look at the statistics, a kid in public school is FAR more likely to not know how to read, do math, or recite basic scientific or historical facts than a kid who is home-schooled. Maybe fix the actual, common problem before fixing the rare one?

        I’m not a homeschooler/homeschooled (not even a parent, just a woman with a CJ degree and an interest in statistics), but the objections that evil abusive parents are just waiting to pull their kids out of public schools are pretty laughable. Does it happen? On very rare occasions. Particularly if we are talking about a parent that literally does not ever let their child leave the house, or ever have visitors (a la, your objection that they have no adults in their lives to talk to). It is vastly more common to have a kid being abused who goes to public school, and nobody notices. The reason people think it is so common is because of the media. They report with glee when an abuse case involves a homeschooler, squeezing the word into their stories as many times as possible. On the other hand, when was the last time you saw an abuse story that repeats throughout that the victim went to So-and-So Elementary?

    • Carie says:

      Andy, one of the points of homeschooling is to break away from the idea that all children have to know all subjects the same way. Checking in with a government agency means that the government agency somehow has all the answers about what people should learn and how they should learn it. We are all as different as our fingerprints and we all learn and gravitate towards our own passions. What you are suggesting is a variation of the lawmaker’s proposed legislation. When children are given the opportunity to be inspired to learn, then they naturally seek out that knowledge. The parent’s role is to help guide and direct that educational curiosity so it can blossom into who that child will ultimately become. The education isn’t “sub-standard” as you put it because it is relevant to their journey in life.
      Children receive a sub-standard education in public schools. How many children fall through the cracks because the teacher’s don’t have time to accommodate their individual learning styles? Children are abused in schools. How many children are bullied or placed in situations to be sexually abused by teachers or other students? Most adults can trace the worst experiences of their lives back to something that happen in public school. All of this being said, children are harmed fail in many different environments that are supposed to protect them.
      A friend’s husband wrote the following in response to any argument for greater legislation over any part of our lives:
      “The Primary and Natural Seat of Government”, by Craig Hess
      We’ve slipped away from distinguishing between who is sovereign and who is servant. The primary and natural seat of government is the individual. Next is the family.
      Legislators need to ask certain questions before they foist laws upon the people.
      1. Will this measure support or detract from personal liberty?
      2. Will this measure support or detract from family sovereignty?
      3. To what benefit (Can any benefit support the erosion of family sovereignty?)
      4. What is the real probability that ANY benefit will be realized?
      5. What unintended consequences can be foreseen?
      6. Who will be responsible for failures and at what cost?
      Liberty is the rule when creating laws. Our country has degenerated in a land of laws that remove personal liberty. The government controls our light bulbs, toilets, healthcare, and now they want to control our ability to parent our children. More regulation is not the key. And punishing good parents and families is not how this problem should be resolved.

    • Marie says:

      If a person accused of murder is to be considered innocent until proven guilty, then why cannot a law-abiding parent be considered to have the best intentions when it comes to educating their children? Why should law-abiding parent be subject to intrusive government agencies due to a difference in ideas of how to best educate youth? Clearly, there are tragic instances in homeschooling, but they also happen in public school situations. The point of this article is not to incite arguments as to which way of education is best. Both public school and homeschool can work and produce good results. The point of the article is people should be careful about witnessing parental rights being taken away because of a hysteria caused by a politician. We should all be outraged over the abuse of children, no matter where it occurs. We should all be concerned also by the government intruding into the lives of private, law-abiding citizens.

  14. Speaking as a homeschool graduate, I personally was blessed by the way in which I was educated. It let me start college at fourteen and graduate from high school two years early, to go on to pursue first a certificate at Bible college and now a BS in Biology. I understand that there are some homeschool students that have been abused by their parents–and my heart goes out to them. Homeschooling, however, is not the problem, nor does it specifically add to the problem. As far as I’m concerned, the government has no business in the way children are raised. Assuming parents to be incompetent-until-proven-innocent is absurd.

    As far as needing to “check in,” I would argue that for the most part, homeschool students have some of the highest standardized test scores nationally. Typically, I think a parent has more vested interest in doing a good job teaching that teachers do–not to say that teachers don’t do their jobs, just that if anyone is going to be motivated it would be a parent. When it comes to the quality of the education itself, some of that is up to the student and some to the teacher. Bottom line, I don’t see any evidence that homeschooling is in any way inferior to the alternatives.

    • Marylamb says:

      Good for you! Do you have any websites that give stats on homeschooled? Want to help dispel the myth that homeschooled kids are not achievers.

      • Many of our founders were homeschooled. Some of the more popular ones were: Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, James Madison.

        Oliver DeMille wrote an excellent book called “A Thomas Jefferson Education,” and while we wouldn’t necessarily adhere to all of its premises, it’s definitely worth a read as is Susan Wise Bauer’s “A Well-Trained Mind.”

        As for this latest attack on homeschoolers, we’re surprised it was this blatant. There will be more subtle ones for sure, and as the article infers, it will too late by the time [many] parents wake up to the fact that progressives on both sides of the aisle have destroyed what best practice models exist in education – that is those who produce thinkers vs. bricks in a wall. The rest of the parents simply don’t care or really do believe that the state should own and care for all children from cradle to grave, so they’ll either be clueless or grateful when progressives get to them, if they are not already in the system.

        The biggest facilitator of the attack on family sovereignty mentioned in this article is the loss of local control via Race to the Top/Common Core. Read the DOEd’s documentation; it tells in disturbing detail the promises made to the federal gov’t in order to remain eligible for RttT grant money. It is Goals/America 2000 + NCLB on steroids that affects ALL environments, if not directly (those funded by state money), then indirectly (coercion-in as all college board exams are aligned).

        That is the particular hill on which a large population of parents, grandparents and teachers have chosen to fight here in swing-state Ohio…and to be clear, while our former Democrat governor & legislature started the ball rolling, our current Republican governor, legislature and state school board continue the madness.

        http://educationfreedomohio.org/2013/06/25/ohio-parcc-the-feds/
        http://educationfreedomohio.org/2013/12/02/ferpa-101/

        Cheers.

      • MW says:

        My brothers and I were homeschooled for several years. I got straight A’s throughout school and graduated second in my university class; I had a career as a journalist before becoming a photographer and freelance writer to stay home and raise my kids. One brother has his MFA and is a poetry professor, the other is a school counselor. I know we are just three homeschooled kids, but many are certainly achievers.

  15. This occurs because the NEA is a powerful lobby with deep pockets and turf to protect. They can’t allow parents to discover that they can do a much better job than the public schools and that their kids might actually be better off at home than a government run indoctrination center!

  16. tiffany b says:

    You could replace the word “homeschool” with “midwife-assisted home-birth” and the blog post would be just as accurate.

  17. Mary says:

    God bless these parents who love their children so much that they will take the time and effort to educate them to become decent men and women in a hostile world.

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  20. Keith says:

    Matt, the link to the Sexual Misconduct study is broken. Can you reference the study for us? Thanks!

  21. dansgdiva says:

    Very good points. Thank you.

  22. Michael says:

    I am a public school teacher. My wife and I homeschool our kids. When asked, “Why would a public school teacher homeschool their kids?”, I respond, “Because I want the best education for them.” This floors most of my co-teachers. They operate under the faulty assumption that parents are not “properly equipped” to teach their kids adequately. As a Christian Libertatian, I believe that the author of this article is spot on in stating the case for family sovereingty. God created the family unit before he made the first edict about civil governance. We must retake our freedom from this oppressive big-government crowd in Washington. We must re-assert our God-given rights and stand for personal and family sovereignty.

    • gw says:

      My wife is one of the best teachers in the county. Principals fight over her. We’re planning on homeschooling as well. Our son who isn’t even old enough for kindergarten spells and counts as well or better than 2nd graders at her school. And that’s not because he’s a genius. (And for the record, we do not abuse him as some politicians apparently might suggest)

      The public school system, in general, is a complete mess and any child that is on level or above gets brought down. Teachers are getting swamped with pointless paperwork and meeting after meeting after meeting. They should be teaching – using methods that work. Not whatever new whiz-bang idea is being sold this year.

      We are taking responsibility for our own child’s education. True, the county will lose an excellent teacher who brings a lot kids from well below level at the beginning of the year to on level or above by the end of the year. That’s unfortunate, but our responsibility is to our child first – just as any parent’s responsibility is to their child first. It’s not the government’s.

  23. Lana says:

    I can’t believe the number of people who liked this post. Look, it’s not okay that some homeschool kids are abused. No one has said more homeschool kids are abused than public school kids. The point is that if kids are being abused, we are responsible to do something about it. And if there are homeschool parents using homeschooling to cover up abuse, then we are obligated to do something about it. If public school kids are abused, we are obligated to do something about it. But it’s a poor argument to say, “well public school kids are abused, so I don’t need to worry about homeschool abuse.” That’s sorry. And sweeping this under the rug is ignoring it.

    • gw says:

      You’re right, it’s not ok for homeschool kids to be abused.
      However, public school kids, or any kids for that matter, get abused at home too. By your logic, shouldn’t the government come around and check every single home that has children in it? Or just the homeschool homes? Do we not have an obligation then to those kids are abused in the home whether they are homeschooled or not?

      • Lana says:

        I did not say workers need to come in the homeschoolers homes.

        • Randy Jessup says:

          Ok what did you say? That this piece of legislation that Matt talked about was OK? Did you say it was OK to treat homeschoolers as criminal sex offenders but not treat sex abusing teachers the same way? 10 %….I will say it again 10% that comes out to 1 in 10 children in public school is sexually abused by an educator in the school. Yet we are supposed to be more concerned about homeschooling parents than Teachers in Public schools? Please clarify what you are saying then if you are not saying that as this legislation Matt was bringing to light states that Social Services will have the right to as “an Ohio Democrat who wants to require all homeschool parents to undergo a Social Services investigation.” This actually means that Social Services will get involved with every homeschool family in that state. What do you think that means to a family considering homeschooling? It means they are going to have control of those families lives. If you didn’t mean that then obviously you didn’t think your argument through before you jumped on the bandwagon of protecting children at the expense of all parents rights to educate their children. That is about like those people that post those pictures of a child who has been abused and asking people to like if you are against child abuse. Every thinking person should be against child abuse but the question then becomes how do we prevent it? Well as this Ohio legislator tried to do he wanted to win votes with out thinking about the consequences of his actions introduce legislation that will insert the government into homeschooling families to stop child abuse which then means that all families are going to be subject to the same legislation regardless of home school or not because eventually homeschooling families will say why single us out no one will stop it from being expanded to all families and eventually the state has control of you from cradle to grave. Taking away one groups rights because you are not a part of that group just leads to eventually taking away your rights too. Don’t believe me then ask a Nazi concentration camp survivor? Ask a native American Indian how well you can trust the government? it is a slippery slope and it all leads to the same place.
          Any person who gives up liberty for security gets and deserves neither.

      • ab says:

        Not to mention, if we are then taking up all the social workers’ time with all the new caseloads that are “what if” cases, where does all the funding and resources for that come from? If this child in the article was already reported as being abused and nothing was done about it, why do we think that is? It almost always boils down to lack of funding and/or resources. So now the answer is to dump a lot of empty files on the system “just in case” one of them is an abusive situation? HOW does that help again? It’s ass backward and it’s a grab for the little freedom we have left. And it’s sad that some people are so quick to jump on the bandwagon instead of actually thinking it through.

    • Wilson says:

      “We must do something about the bad thing!” is an emotion that it’s hard to disagree with, but it doesn’t have any weight as an argument.

    • Lana,
      Please read SB 248. Even if it would have been in place, it would not have saved Teddy. The same “social worker” who would have approved or denied them the ability to homeschool, would have been one – if not the same one – who had failed the boy prior to the request.

      A MYRIAD of social workers, teachers & neighbors failed Teddy BEFORE he was pulled out to homeschool (but this is who they chose to target). Would it surprise you to know that Sen. Cafaro’s main source of funding is the OEA & local social workers’ unions?

      Must protect those funding sources…

      It never ceases to amaze me why some folks think that it’s ok to punish the majority of loving, responsible parents/individuals b/c of the actions of a few degenerates.

  24. gary says:

    The Government tortured me as a child – don’t believe it? Look up White House Boys Marianna and Okeechobee abuse and torture. I was 13

    • dansgdiva says:

      I am so very sorry that you had to endure that. Jesus wept then and now for the abuse of all children. If there hasn’t been yet, there will be justice for you when they stand before God.

  25. RMP says:

    I’m a homeschool mother, and it makes me sick to think that our government and society sign over the lives of millions of unborn children, casting them aside in to the trash heap without a second glance, all in the name of women’s rights, but when a loving mother and father decide to devote their time and energy into making sure their children have everything they need to become successful, well-rounded, solid human beings, well….. that may just not be a right they should have as parents….
    I’m a woman. Don’t I have rights? If I were to have chosen to end my daughter’s life 13 years ago, before she had even begun to live it, who would I have had to answer to? What government agent would have come knocking on my door to question me and investigate my validity as a child-killer? Yet, now that I am choosing to give her life, and I am helping to equip her on all levels for that life, now I’m looked upon as a threat?

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  28. jasondrexler says:

    This reminds me of the absurd claim of atheists such as Richard Dawkins that parents teaching religion to their children constitutes “child abuse.”

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  30. daveburton says:

    The “commissioned” link in your article, which pointed to a Psychology Today Act of Violence blog entry, doesn’t work. Here’s the correct link to the referenced article, What’s Behind Today’s Epidemic of Teacher-Student Sex?, by David Kupelian:
    http://www.wnd.com/2006/03/35370/

    The 2004 DoEd report, Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature, is here:
    http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/misconductreview/report.pdf

  31. Rachel says:

    “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”

    Whilst I actually agree that people should be able to home school, your line of reasoning simply doesn’t make sense. If you’re not able to home school you don’t have *any* rights at all? So, you’re saying that by legislation on home schooling existing you don’t have the right to vote then? No? What about the right to free speech? No, you’ve got that too eh? And lots of other rights that remain unaffected by the issue of home schooling.

    If you want to make a case against legislation that exists in relation to home schooling, then by all means make that case. But by merely exaggerating and stating your case in terms of a logical fallacy that is easily, demonstrably untrue you diminish the case for what you believe in rather than enhance it.

    • Coral says:

      I believe his point is valid. If we lose the right to raise and teach our children them the future is in the hands of the government and polleticians. We lose the right to freedom of religion because they over ride that. We lose the right to free speech because the public schools are teaching our kids to fall in line. We lose rights because the schools are teaching our kids to give up those rights for the perceived greater good. We lose the ability to make medical decisions for our kids because schools are allowed to vaccinate in the event of an epidemic (there have been case where epidemics were two kids with the chicken pox). Teachers make decisions to have kids medicated for ADHD an other disorders and push it on parents. If all of our eggs are in one basket there is no one to question what is going on. Research common core, look at the materials bring provided in the tests to gauge retention. Look at the social studies texts. I’ve seen it. It’s scary.

    • amandam says:

      I disagree not only with the content of your comment but the spirit in which it was made. If the State has more control over your own offspring than you do, how would they not also be limiting freedom of speech? It is the most basic of human rights to educate your own children. If teaching is discipleship, and we are not permitted to disciple our own children, it is absolutely a limit on free speech and, I would also argue, a limit on freedom of religion.

    • Tim Mason says:

      Rachel, if the state has the power to tell you that you cannot homeschool your child, then, by definition, you DON’T have that right. At that point, it is a privilege that the nanny state bestows or rescinds at will. If, on the other hand, you have the ability to tell the state to pound sand when they ‘suggest’ how you should do things, THEN you have a right. Since raising our children, our offspring, our progeny, our continuing legacy is one of the fundamental rights we have, if we in fact have to ask “mother may I?”, then no, we have no rights at all. Our children (and, hopefully, their children) are our chance to have a lasting affect after leaving this mortal coil. If we allow our government to decide the impact of that affect, we give away everything.

  32. Karen says:

    As the parent of 9 home educated children, I thank you for this article!

  33. Venita says:

    I am a mother and Home school my two children.I Love this article and 100% agree…

  34. kat says:

    My daughter would shut down in class for years. At first they said she had a hearing problem even after I said she didn’t…I had to take her in to get it checked. She had NO HEARING PROBLEM. Then they said she must not get things because she has an eye problem. I said no she doesn’t…but again had to get her tested. Guess what…perfect eye sight. Mind you, during summer breaks I jumped her 3 reading levels while the school could only get her through one or two levels per year. Lets not even talk about her being behind in math. I asked for more one on one time for her and she didn’t qualify for it. I was involved in her classes and in and out of school everyday. I saw the issues, and she shut down because of being bullied and she was to afraid to answer questions in fear of getting them wrong. The last straw was they said she was dyslexic. I said she was not…if she could learn from me, she should be able to learn in class. Again, had to get her tested for their sake…guess what….she wasn’t dyslexic. She was in grade 5 this year, and I decided to homeschool her. I was floored at things she did not yet know. There were things from all prior grades missed (telling time, the order of months in a year, spelling the days of the week to name a few). Homeschooling I believe saved my little girl emotionally, physically, and mentally. She used to bite the cuticles of her fingers in class without realizing it to the point she had band aids on her fingers all year….her fingers are beautiful now and she doesn’t have that anxiety. She found her passion for reading again and we talk about her goals and work with things that interest her. I am a single mom, but I make this work. It is the best bonding experience to. I love my daughter and I want to see her succeed and have confidence to make it through this sometimes hostile world. The fact that she is excelling with this change makes me wish I would have done it sooner. I encourage people to remember we are our child’s advocate! I knew my daughter did not have the problems they were labeling her as having so they didn’t have to think it was poor schooling. They even tried to pin things on me saying I wasn’t doing enough homework with her at night when we did almost 2 hours of it every day. Mind you, they don’t send books home anymore and the math is new core math so you can’t teach them the old school ways or they get it wrong on their tests (even if the answer is correct). Also, math testing in 4th grade is all reading…so if a child can not read then they fail the test. Teachers are not allowed to read the kids the questions. So even though my daughter would have known how to do things with help reading the questions (story problems) it didn’t matter. I was told that is a glitch in the system and my daughter falls in it. Guess what, my daughter is not a glitch….she is a bright young lady with a even brighter future. She just needed the proper tools to excel and she wasn’t getting that in class. The government has failed many children like this…and parents are afraid to homeschool because of the bad mouthing of it. I hear it all the time and I laugh now. It is true that if you homeschool you are singled out. To be pulled over by officers or questioned by grocery clerks as to why she is not in school. To always have to carry a piece of paper in your purse to show she is registered as a homeschool student when you are doing little field trips in your community…to worry that people will ring the doorbell because of nosey neighbors which just invade privacy …I do it all for my little girl! I don’t mind concerns, but I do mind people looking at me like I am some kind of monster if they don’t know me. How dare me not send her to school? How dare me revolve my life and schedule around my child? I even had people tell me I should send her so she learns to “suck it up” when life is bad!

  35. Jane says:

    Matt, Thank you for this informative article. I homeschooled my four children over a 20 year period and met countless homeschooling families. Despite their different methods of raising and teaching their children, they all loved their children and worked hard to provide what they felt was in the best interest for each child.
    During these same years I saw families lives disrupted by government agencies. Since when are we guilty until proven not guilty. Children were ripped from homes on false reports and Parents were left powerless to protect them. Only after months of fighting for their rights and lots of legal expenses could they prove the that they were innocent could they get their children back.
    Those of you who doubt Matt think twice before you give government more authority over your children than you have. It doesn’t matter that you may not be interested in homeschooling. Every time more laws are passed to regulate and control the choices of the people, the whole of society looses a little more freedom.

  36. Joe says:

    Great read…My sister home schools her three girls and does an excellent job. There is so much support for each other among her local home school community and the girls have varied interests among their learning successes. If my wife and I are able to have kids I am already committed to home schooling them.

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  39. wildwomyn says:

    ” 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.”

    How about those who would regulate women’s access to reproductive freedom (abortion and birth control for starters)? They certainly want to control women’s bodies through the state legislatures. If someone wants dominion over their family, that also means that female human beings have the right to dominion over their bodies.

    I think states have the right to regulate homeschooling, so that all children at least are exposed to standard curricula and achievement criteria.

    • Andrew says:

      Nobody I know thinks that the government should regulate women’s “access” to birth control. No one is barricading the door of CVS pharmacy. If you want birth control pills, buy your own damn birth control pills. What conservatives object to is being forced by the government to pay for things that they find morally objectionable, such as abortion and for some, birth control pills.

    • Tim Mason says:

      The “state” already regulates homeschooling. It’s called testing. IOW, when a homeschooler graduates, he or she has to pass a test (just like everybody else!!) in order to advance to the college or university of their choice. Unfortunately, that isn’t what we’re talking about here, and neither are reproductive rights. What we ARE talking about, is ‘the state wanting to come into a person’s home ‘to make sure everything is okay’ WITHOUT EVER HAVING HAD TO VERIFY THAT SOMETHING MIGHT HAVE BEEN WRONG IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! This is something that NOBODY else has to deal with. Despite all of the tragedies that occur on a daily basis with kids that go to public schools, nobody is proposing that state officials be able to ‘check up’ on all public school families, and rightly so. The mere thought is absurd. Now, if we’re talking about somebody who has shown themselves to be a problem in the past, then maybe such scrutiny is necessary, but to tar ALL homeschooling families with the same broad brush is beyond the pale.

      As a proponent of ‘women’s rights’, you may want to re-evaluate your position. With that sort of logic, it’s not hard to see how those very reproductive rights you tout might become jeopardized by such intervention. Now, I’d be okay with that…but I’m guessing you wouldn’t. Just sayin’

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  42. Skippyjonjones says:

    “How could it be that so many who describe themselves as “pro-choice” would then turn around and argue against homeschooling rights?”

    Worst.Strawman.Ever

    Many, many, many “pro-choice” also homeschool, and for the same reasons. Instead of fighting these folks, embrace and agree on your common beliefs.

  43. Parsley says:

    So when are you going to write about the Tutts??? Just curious… http://www.thsc.org/2014/01/judge-removes-children-illegally/

  44. Todd says:

    Why would we allow children to be taught about anything involving sex from school employees when those same school employees sexually abuse children at such a high rate?

    I saw the 9.6% rate of sexually abused children by school employees and was floored. I was wondering what percentage of school employees are committing the acts? Is there data on that?

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  46. Tabasam says:

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