Statists Using Spotlight on Tragedy
As Texas mourns the death of students and teachers in the latest mass murder that took place in Sante Fe, Texas, I am reminded again of those who believe that the answer to every evil in our society is another law.
They use these tragedies to attempt to take freedom from citizens under the guise of “protecting people.”
While the Parkland, Florida, mass murder was the result of local and national law enforcement and local school officials not enforcing current law, the political response has been to renew the call for the restriction of the right to own firearms—even though there is not data to support that such laws would lower these kinds of crimes. The same has been true in the most recent event.
We see the same sort of effort by statists who are using every negative event involving homeschooling to call for the “reasonable” government restriction of homeschooling. The regulations they call for are registration, annual testing and interviews by certified teachers, and annual home visits and physicals by a doctor.
Those are radical, unreasonable proposals and the data shows that the only likely effect would be fewer people choosing to teach their children at home, which is likely the real goal.
The reality is that more people are considering homeschooling every time we have a mass murder in a public school. People are safer in their homes than in a public place that killers know will have few, if any, firearms to protect their targets. Despite the implication that children would be safer if the state had oversight of homeschooling, no data supports that premise.
Taking guns from law-abiding citizens will not end mass murders, and restricting the freedom of homeschooling families will not end child abuse.
May 22, 2018
Officials “Concerned” About Homeschool Growth in U.K.
While the battle rages across America to restrict homeschooling because of abuse cases, a news story from the U.K. cites the growth of homeschooling in that country by 41 percent in the last three years. One hundred sixty-four of 177 localities report an increase in homeschooling over that period of time. In fact, the number of homeschool families has tripled since 2011.
Officials seem to blame government school accountability measures for the dramatic rise in the number of homeschoolers. Officials there are “very concerned” and want homeschool registration and local authorities to be empowered to “take action if necessary.”
All of these government authorities may be missing a key point. Families believe that they should be the ones to make decisions for their children instead of the government.
We have been recently reminded of the horrible results in the U.K. when the government usurps that right from families. Parents of a two year-old baby were prohibited by the doctors, hospitals and courts from removing their child to another hospital for treatment and instead told that it was “in the best interest of the child” to withhold life support and allow him to die.
This kind of “government-knows-better-than-families” approach to decision-making for children is what we see almost everywhere—and it’s on the rise in our nation too. When fit families lose the right to make decisions for their children it hurts children, families and society as a whole. That situation also leads to the government deciding who can homeschool and who cannot.
We believe that parents should be empowered to raise the next generation of leaders. We will continue to uphold the rights of families in raising their children. Will you consider joining with THSC in Keeping Texas Families Free by donating today?
Connecticut Seeks Regulation of Homeschooling
The state of Connecticut has become the latest battlefront between homeschoolers and state officials. There seems to be a concerted effort across the country to capitalize on abuse cases to campaign for regulation of homeschooling.
In the Connecticut situation, the head of the Office of the Child Advocate presented a report from the Connecticut Mirror that officials and homeschoolers in attendance had not seen or been made aware of prior to the meeting (although a local newspaper had the information and printed a story on the issue). Homeschool advocates in the meeting questioned the data in the report: that 36 percent of students withdrawn for homeschooling were shown to live in families that had at least one prior accepted report for suspected abuse or neglect from the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
Deborah Stevenson of the Connecticut-based National Home Education Legal Defense said, “No one in the legislature should listen to the Child Advocate’s recommendations for changing any laws, especially when she is the only one who has seen any of the facts and evidence here. We made FOI [Freedom of Information] requests of all these agencies in February to obtain the underlying information so we could all be on the same page to have a dialogue, to look at things rationally … we have received zero, nothing from the Child Advocate, zero, nothing from DCF.
Speakers also pointed out that the state agencies involved had failed to protect children in such abusive situations, therefore failing bureaucracies should be the focus of attempts to address the issue of child safety.
As we have seen in other tragedies, failures of government agencies which result in harm to children are often ignored, and the focus shifted to limiting citizens’ freedoms.
I could not agree more with Stevenson who said, “Homeschooling parents will not be the scapegoats for the failure and incompetence of these agencies. Homeschoolers are not going to be the scapegoats for the failed child protection system, not going to be scapegoats for the failed educational system, and not going to be scapegoats for the failed judicial system.”
Protecting the freedom to raise their children as families see fit requires eternal vigilance and is why we have responded to similar threats in Texas and are prepared to protect families against such an assault.
We believe that the best place for children is in a home with their loving parents and we will continue to fight for the rights of families. Will you consider donating today to partner with us in Keeping Texas Families Free?
1,000 People Testify (Beating Back Another Attack on Homeschooling)
On April 25, the latest battle in the war against homeschooling was waged in California in a marathon legislative hearing designed to restrict the freedom of families to teach their children at home.
One of the original bills (Assembly Bill 2756) required fire marshals to inspect every homeschool. Although that language was removed, the bill continued to require tracking of homeschool families.
The author of the bill said, “I do not see a problem with the homeschool community at all. This bill is not an attempt in any way to attack homeschooling. It is not an attempt to solve a problem with homeschooling.”
However, he admitted that he was motivated to file the legislation as a result of the Turpin abuse case. A member of the committee told the author that basing legislation to restrict homeschooling on such a case of abuse was bad policy as the case was obviously not representative of homeschool families.
After three hours of testimony by 1,000 people against the legislation and only two in favor of the bill, with no quorum present, the chairman left the bill pending.
One Republican legislator and candidate for state governor said, “AB 2756 is absolutely wrong. It must fail. It must fail today. California’s parents and children have the right to the very best education this state can possibly provide.”
Later in the day, the chairman brought the bill back up for consideration to allow a member of the committee to offer a motion to vote on the bill. No one was even willing to make a motion to consider the bill and it died.
This is the second bill filed in response to an abuse case. The first was filed in Hawaii and both have met a similar fate. The reason is simple: The facts do not support limiting the rights of families to educate of their children.
There is no reasonable foundation for the state to restrict or regulate homeschooling. There is no connection between homeschooling and abuse.
THSC believes that families have a God-given right to direct the care, control and upbringing of their children—which includes educational decisions. Will you consider donating to THSC today to help us fight the aggressive onslaught against families? Together, we are Keeping Texas Families Free.
The Tragedy of Alfie Evans’ Case (And Governmental Control)
Another horrific case in the U.K. has gained international attention and the reports across the internet have gone viral.
Once again parents have been told by doctors that they will not be allowed to make medical decisions for their ill infant. The courts have ruled that the child must be allowed to “die with dignity” and the parents’ request to move him to another hospital in Italy for treatment has been denied.
The physicians said that the child could not breathe on his own and the courts ordered that he be removed from the respirator and allowed to die. Amazingly, the baby survived for five days afterward.
As a result of public pressure, the hospital restored fluids for a time, and then removed them as well, and would not allow the parents to provide their own oxygen for the child.
A heavy police presence was established to prevent supporters from removing the child and the courts even hinted at taking legal action against supporters who made comments against the government’s actions on social media.
The baby died after five days without life support.
The government has distorted the legal standard used in abuse cases (“best interest of the child”) where parents cannot agree on decisions for their child. The government is now using the legal standard to usurp the right of families to make decisions for their own children.
Governmental Abuse Closer to Home
In Dallas, news reports of children voluntarily admitted to psychiatric hospitals by parents and then cut off from their families and kept against their wills and the wishes of their parents at the direction of staff doctors are another example of this disturbing anti-family, government-knows-best mentality.
As I have been chronicling for some time now, we are also seeing efforts to severely restrict families’ rights to homeschool from those who believe that parents cannot be trusted to make decisions for their children without the heavy hand of government control.
We have responded to these efforts with data and a clear message that we will vigorously defend and support the right of families to make decisions for their children and oppose radical efforts to place families under the control of government.
Make no mistake. The forces who believe that the government or doctors, rather than fit parents, should make decisions for our children are in Texas as well. Choosing those who represent us in Austin and Washington, D.C. is critical to being able to protect our freedoms next year in the Texas legislature.
We believe that families have the God-given right to raise their children. Join us in our fight for keeping Keeping Texas Families Free by prayerfully considering voting for these pro-family candidates in the runoff election or making a donation to THSC today.