Thursday, 08 February 2018

California Considers Mandatory Interviews of Homeschool Families

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A couple registered as homeschooling parents allegedly committed an atrocious and inhumane act of depravity against their children, so the state of California is now considering forcing all homeschooling families in the state to submit to mandatory home visits by state agents.

As reported by the Washington Examiner, some state legislators are pushing a plan that would force homeschooling families to prove “through home visits, interviews, and other government oversight — that indeed the parent is not abusive if they choose to exercise a legally protected and valid option for school choice.”

The Orange County Register reports that:

Assemblyman Jose Medina, the Riverside Democrat who represents Perris in the state Legislature, told the Press-Enterprise that he is “extremely concerned about the lack of oversight the state of California currently has in monitoring private and home schools.” He proposes an annual state inspection of homeschooling residences. Note that Medina is an ally of the California Teachers’ Association, the powerful teachers’ union that is no friend of homeschooling. In 2008, the CTA praised a court ruling that almost led to the criminalization of non-credentialed parents who taught their children at home.

Medina’s impetus for this tyrannical act is the horrific acts allegedly committed by a couple — David and Louise Turpin — from Perris, California, the district he represents. The Turpins are accused of harming their 13 children by chaining them, refusing to feed them, and inflicting on them abuse of unconscionable severity. Oh, and they are registered homeschoolers.

Among the many proposals being bandied about by “concerned” legislators are involuntary home visits, involuntary interviews of the parents, involuntary interviews of homeschool children, and complete oversight of the homeschool community by state agents of several departments, including Child Protective Services (CPS).

While the legislature of California is trying to make political capital from the abominable abuse of children, the lawmakers' true agenda has not changed: to use the “law” to force families to surrender control of their children’s education to the government. Those refusing to submit to such laws likely will be prohibited by the state from choosing to teach their children their families’ values, and it is not beyond the scope of the statists to insist that children subject to such “abuse” be taken from such homes and placed in the foster-care system.

This could persuade many parents planning to homeschool their children to leave them in the public-school system for fear that removing them would subject their children to seizure by the state.

Equally disturbing is the fact that advocates of homeschooling in California will be afraid to exercise the full scope of their right to speak freely, fearing arrest and the loss of custody of their own children as punishment for the public position in favor of school choice.

In a statement issued after news broke of the efforts underway in California to stifle homeschooling in that state, Homeschool Legal Defense Association President Mike Smith called out the California assembly for the illogical and unconstitutional policy they are considering:

It makes no sense to assume that someone who makes a lawful choice — in this case, to homeschool — is more likely to act illegally. The principle that individuals are innocent until proven guilty has always been at the heart of the American tradition of liberty.

Homeschooling parents around the country have demonstrated a high degree of success in raising and nurturing their children — giving them the tools to grow and flourish. And we believe that children thrive when their parents are able to tailor their education and upbringing to each child’s specific needs. This is the genius of homeschooling. It would be inappropriate and unjust to regulate homeschool freedom because of this aberrant case.

Besides the illogical aspect of the planned denial of the right to raise one’s children free from government interference and free from government approval, there is the fact that there is absolutely no evidence that homeschooled children are more often the victims of abuse than their public-school peers. As reported by the Washington Examiner:

In published studies among such experts as the World Health Organization, the U.S. Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities, the American Psychological Association, the Mayo Clinic, and others, none of these sources list homeschooling as a risk factor for child abuse and neglect. In other words, there is no evidence or data to even suggest that homeschooled children are being harmed or at risk of harm at a rate higher than children in other nonhomeschooled and private schooling communities.

This is certainly the first few yards of the slippery slope of “supervision” that quickly descends into the depths of statism.

Image: jeangill via Getty Images

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