Homeschool Freedom Under Attack – “Potential” Child Abuse, Child Neglect, and Child Fatalities
NHN Officers remain committed to the fundamental right of parents to educate their children FREE from governmental oversight despite calls for increased regulation based on a few rotten apples – read it here:
NEW STUDY RELEASED – 3/15/2018 – National Home Education Research Institute (Dr. Brian Ray):
The Relationship Between the Degree of State Regulation of Homeschooling and the Abuse of Homeschool Children (Students)
The purpose of this study is to examine whether there is a relationship between the degree of state control of homeschooling and the rate of abuse or neglect by the parents (or other legally responsible caregivers) of homeschooled children ages 6 through 17.
- NHERI – Child Abuse of Public School, Private School, and Homeschool Students: Evidence, Philosophy, and Reason
- Reno Gazette Journal – Homeschooling child abuse can happen here too by Cameron Etchart. In response, Barbara Dragon, NHN Officer Emerita, wrote this reply that was posted in the Comments section of the article and on the RGJ’s Facebook post. Many people posted comments… as of 3/22/18 they have now all been removed.
- Answers to Good Questions – 2007 Nevada Homeschool Network pamphlet outlining the protection aspect of both the fundamental parental right to educate one’s one children free from government control while still protecting the “best interests” of the child.
Fighting the Good Fight:
4/16/2018 – Parents in the Deadly California Cliff Crash Were Allowed to Keep Home-Schooling Despite Abuse Claims – Katie Reilly, TIME Magazine
- “No state prohibits parents from home-schooling their children because of a history of child-abuse allegations.” NOT TRUE! NV homeschool parents addressed this in 2007 in our homeschool law.
- This article reveals what NHN has always been concerned with… parents using the homeschool law to “hide” their abuse and/or neglect patterns;
- We were specifically concerned with those parents who would intentionally use our homeschool law to “hide” and not really educate the child.
- Therefore, we included a line that parents under investigation and/or convicted of abuse/neglect (but given a second chance as in this case in the article) could have their homeschooling “supervised” by a NV Judge/NV-CPS or curtailed in conjunction with the violation of other NV child abuse/neglect laws.
- Monitoring by a judge could be employed to allow the homeschooling by THOSE parents to continue without restricting the rest of us with burdensome government regulation:
NRS 388D.050 Educational plan.
- The parent of a child who is being homeschooled shall prepare an educational plan of instruction for the child in the subject areas of English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies, including history, geography, economics and government, as appropriate for the age and level of skill of the child as determined by the parent.
- The educational plan must be included in the notice of intent to homeschool filed pursuant to NRS 388D.020. If the educational plan contains the requirements of NRS 388D.020, the educational plan must not be used in any manner as a basis for denial of a notice of intent to homeschool that is otherwise complete. The parent must be prepared to present the educational plan of instruction and proof of the identity of the child to a court of law if required by the court.
- This section does not require a parent to ensure that each subject area is taught each year that the child is homeschooled. [Emphasis added]
~Barbara Dragon, NHN Officer Emerita
4/16/2018 – Hard-Won Homeschooling Freedoms Are Under Threat and Must Be Defended, Kerry McDonald, Foundation for Economic Education
BATTLES – State by State:
- 4/22/2018 – On Education; Parents Know Best – Tim Lambert (THSC), published in My San Antonio
- 4/17/2018 – Should Families Have the Freedom to Homeschool? – Tim Lambert, Texas Home School Coalition – YouTube video
- 01/18/2018 – Bill Would Turn Back Clock, Add Wasteful Red Tape – Scott Woodruff, HSLDA Attorney representing Iowa HSLDA member families.
- HSLDA Analysis of IA SF 2065
- 02/07/2018 – National debate about home schooling oversight hits Iowa – Colin Van Westen, The Spencer Daily Reporter – Spencer, Iowa.
- This article quotes Rachel Coleman of Coalition for Responsible Home Education (CRHE), an east coast group that believes homeschool parents should be “accountable” to the government for the education of their children and are calling for MORE restrictive homeschool laws across the country.
Threat to Homeschool Freedom in other states STOPPED when parents show up in droves to protest restrictive bills based on “allegations” that homeschool parents are potential child abusers and that the state should be the arbitrator of the education a child receives:
- 4/25/2018 – Move it to the “WIN” column! AB 2757 defeated in CA Assembly Education Committee in historic 7 hour hearing (3 hours on that bill alone). Reports to follow, but is official.
- 4/23/2018 – CHEA of CA, Family Protection Ministries, and HSLDA Call To Action – Oppose AB 2757
- 4/19/2018 – Homeschool Bill Drops Teacher Certification, But … – Mike Smith, HSLDA
- 4/16/2018 – California’s crazy-intrusive politicians can’t keep their hands off anything — Next up? Homeschoolers! Sam Sorbo, radio show host, author and homeschool mom. Opinion piece in FoxNews.
- 4/15/2018 – Oppose AB 2926 Protect Homeschooling in CA – Pastor Roger Jimenez, Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento, CA – YouTube video.
- 4/9/2018 – California Lawmakers Consider How To Regulate Home Schools After Abuse Discovery – Benjamin Purber, NPR – All Things Considered
- 4/4/2018 – Homeschoolers Cause Legislator to Back Down, But There’s More Work to Do – Mike Smith, President – HSLDA
- 3/28/2018 – Is Homeschooling Safe? New Bill Would Investigate – Mike Smith, HSLDA President – two bills in CA Legislature seek government control/monitoring of homeschooling.
- 3/24/2018 – The sad story of the Perris torture case doesn’t justify a bad homeschooling law – James R. Mason, HSLDA VP & Director of Litigation, Press Enterprise
- 3/19/18 – California, Maryland Politicians Use Horrible CA Crime As Pretext to Crush Homeschool Rights – P. Gardner Goldsmith, Media Research Center (MCR-TV)
- 3/12/2018 – Stands for You: An investigation into proposed homeschool legislation – Tom Tucker, KESQ News – Bill Sponsor Assemblyman Jose Medina initially agreed to be interviewed on camera about the bill but then refused.
- 2/20/2018 – Lawmakers threaten future of CA homeschooling – Timothy R. Snowball, Attorney with Pacific Legal Institute
- “We are left with the inescapable conclusion that AB 2756 is not really about the health and safety of privately educated children in California at all: It is about the desire of certain California lawmakers to shut down the ability of California parents to homeschool their own children through a breach of the Fourth Amendment.”
- 2/17/2018 – Turpin abuse case prompts California bill to tighten regulation of home schools – Anna M. Phillips, Los Angeles Times
- “Mike Smith, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association, a national advocacy group that opposes increased home-schooling regulations, called Medina’s proposal “the biggest threat,” to come out of California in recent years. He said the proposed language would violate home-schooling families’ Fourth Amendment privacy protections and single them out for unnecessary scrutiny.”
- 2/16/2018 – Sparked by California torture case involving 13 siblings, assemblyman seeks private school oversight – San Jose Mercury News
- 2/28/2018 – HSLDA Responds: Why Does California Want Fire Inspections for Homeschools?
- 2/4/2018 – State Now Assumes All Homeschoolers Are Child Abusers, Reveals Plans for Involuntary Home Visits – Rachel Blevens, The Free Thought Project
- 1/31/2018 – California overreacts and presumes every homeschooling parent is a child abuser – Jenna Ellis, Washington Examiner
- “California is seeking to treat homeschool families as presumptive child abusers. Lawmakers in that state have indicated plans to categorically require homeschool parents 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. This measure would shift the burden to the parent to prove to the government’s satisfaction his or her parental fitness.This is absurdly unconstitutional.”
- Homeschool Legal Defense Association President Mike Smith said in a message last week to members and friends of the organization, “These efforts incorrectly assume that homeschooling is the problem here. Hasty legislation based on horrific and criminal behavior — behavior that has nothing to do with homeschooling — would be unfair to the thousands of law-abiding families in California who work hard to provide a safe and loving environment for their children.”
- 3/13/2018 – HSLDA and CHEK have been assured that HB 574 in Kentucky is NOT going forward and will die in committee.
CHEK and many of you, as constituents, have been assured that HB 574 will not move out of committee, long sigh of relief…..
BUT, we also have been told this will be discussed in the legislative interim.
Yes, the Chair of the Education Committee and several Representatives have responded with, “This bill is dead, but there will be discussion during interim”, or they responded with questions asking their constituents, “What would be acceptable oversight?”.
- Kentucky Rep Harris said this bill was recommended to him by several public school officials. TJ Schmidt of HSLDA recommends that if asked why there should not be more restrictions on homeschooling ask the person… “What are you trying to fix? What is the purpose in your bill?” Homeschooling provides parents the flexibility to educate their individual children dependent on their needs. Give your personal story on the success of your homeschool. Every state has a different level of requirements of parents… some more restrictive than others. But with all these differing levels of regulation homeschool children ARE all doing well and becoming productive members of society not dependent on their parents or the state after the age of majority… check out the research here, NHERI research-facts-on-homeschooling. Homeschooling works and does not need to monitored beyond existing laws (and some states need to reduce theirs in the name of FREEDOM)… we certainly don’t need more.
- 3/6/2018 – Kentucky HB 574 – Aggressive Encroachment of Private Home Education – CHEC of Kentucky Legislative Alert
- This bill would put Kentucky homeschoolers under regulations similar to what Nevada had back in 1988, the most restrictive time in our state’s homeschool history!
- 3/8/2018 – Boosting Term Limits, Busting Bad Homeschooling Bills Jim Waters, surfky.com “Liberty Buster: Rep. Chris Harris’ awful House Bill 574, which adds significant new mandates on the backs of Kentucky’s homeschooling parents and discourages those considering this approach to educating their children.When radical legislation like this is introduced every couple of years, it creates consternation in Kentucky’s homeschooling community and brings swift reaction.The good news is HB 574 isn’t going anywhere except in the legislative trash can where it belongs. Still, isn’t it remarkable that such a bad bill wasting taxpayers’ time and treasure even gets filed in Kentucky?”
- 3/7/18 – Is Homeschooling in Kentucky Under Attack? Richard Innes, Bluegrass Institute, “Based on this information, I would submit the legislature needs to spend a whole lot more time worrying about the state’s public schools before trying to chase after, at best, a few hundred students each year who might not – or, then again, might – be getting a decent homeschool education.”
- 2/7/17 – HSLDA: Enrollment Down? Let’s Harass Homeschoolers! TJ Schmidt, HSLDA Attorney for Kentucky. Looks like a school board in Kentucky began discussing homeschoolers at a meeting. Homeschoolers alarmed by the discussion contacted HSLDA leading Mr. Schmidt to say, “As I reviewed the Lee County School Board minutes, it became clear to me that the board was worried about money. Before the discussion of homeschooling families, board members talked about the fact that their overall enrollment is down. We wonder if their concern about whether homeschooling families are valid is related to a desire to get them back into the public school system in order to boost enrollment, and consequently, the district’s funding.” Could the discussions of the school board have been the precursor to the current Kentucky bill? We can only guess – but it is suspicious. Always “follow the money!”
- 3/14/2018 – Homeschoolers Send Home Visitation Bill Packing – Dave Dentel, HSLDA
- 3/12/2018 – Sponsor of HB 1798 withdraws his bill from consideration for this session of the Maryland Legislature. This bill was “fast-tracked” last Friday and pulled on Monday… GOOD WORK Maryland homeschool parents! However, parents will need stay engaged based on the Delegate’s last sentence in his email. Maryland Homeschool Association
- 3/19/18 – California, Maryland Politicians Use Horrible CA Crime As Pretext to Crush Homeschool Rights – P. Gardner Goldsmith, Media Research Center TV
- 3/9/2018 – Maryland Homeschool Legislative Update – HB 1798 – bill introduced late in the Maryland legislative session and is being fast-tracked. Maryland Homeschool Association
- This bill would require parents to annually inform their county school boards of their homeschool child’s primary instructor and of the primary location where homeschooling is taking place each year. Furthermore, in order to legally homeschool in the state of Maryland, parents would be required to allow a representative of the county board to observe instruction at the family’s primary homeschooling location (in other words, their home!) at least twice a year. Finally, this bill would require county school board employees who observe a family’s instruction and who believe a homeschool child has been subjected to abuse or neglect to report their suspicion to the proper authorities. [Emphasis added]
- HSLDA position statement/call to action
- Letter to Bill Sponsor from Scott Woodruff, HSLDA Attorney for Maryland member families explaining the right of Maryland families protection of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that this bill would violate.
- 3/11/2018 – State to Force Homeschoolers to Submit to Warrantless Home Inspections, Trampling Rights – Matt Agorist, Freedom Outpost
- “Freethinkers are a danger to the empire. And whether or not the lawmakers in California and Maryland will admit it, violating the rights of homeschoolers is not in the interest of public safety. It is in the interest of self-preservation.”
New Hampshire –
- 3/6/2018 – New Hampshire House Kills Bill to Add Oversight for Homeschool Students
- “As soon as the bill was introduced it faced overwhelming opposition from homeschool families, who turned out by the dozens (according to eye witnesses more like 700 hundred) to testify against bill during its public hearing. The bill came out of committee with a unanimous negative recommendation. It was voted down by the full House on a voice vote.”
- 2/13/2018 – Hundreds Rally at State House for Homeschool Freedom – HSLDA, “So many homeschooling moms, dads, and students showed up for the hearing (one account put the number at about 600) that it had to be moved from the committee room to Representatives Hall. And the families still didn’t fit!”
- 1/25/2018 – Homeschoolers turn out in force to oppose oversight – Dave Solomon, New Hampshire Union Leader
- 1/25/2018 – Home schooling advocates flood State House in opposition of oversight bill – Ethan DeWITT, Concord Monitor
- 11/13/2017 – Legislator Apologizes for Calling Homeschooling “Child Abuse” – Mike Donnelly, HSLDA
- 1/2018 – HSLDA response to New Hampshire HB 1263 (click “New Hampshire” in drop-down box to access HSLDA full position statement):
- QUESTION: I’m concerned about children who are falling through the cracks. What is a less burdensome way for a homeschooled child to be checked on other than this?” ANSWER: “In answering this question, it is appropriate to acknowledge the concern of the legislator. The truth is there are cases of abuse or neglect, but this often-repeated concern makes a pre-suppositional mistake that homeschooling has something to do with children falling through the cracks and that it is the duty of the state to check up on homeschooled (or any other) children proactively without evidence of harm – this is not the case.Absent evidence of a reason to do so, checking up on children proactively is not a state responsibility or duty. Parents are endowed with the inalienable and constitutionally protected fundamental right to direct the education and upbringing of their children (U.S. Supreme Court decision Pierce v. Society of Sisters) and are entitled to a constitutional presumption to be acting in the best interest of their child (U.S. Supreme Court decision Parham v. J.R.).“That some parents “may at times be acting against the interests of their children” . . . creates a basis for caution, but it is hardly a reason to discard wholesale those pages of human experience that teach that parents generally do act in the child’s best interest. . . . The statist notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority in all cases because some parents abuse and neglect children is repugnant to American tradition.”If there is a reason to believe parents are not acting in their children’s best interest, current laws provide sufficient means for state involvement to protect the safety and education of all children.”
- QUESTION: If the state is going to be funding homeschooling under the school choice bill we should have more oversight.* ANSWER: “Homeschoolers who accept funding under the proposed school choice bill will have to submit to whatever required measures are imposed for receiving that funding. However, families who do not receive funding should not have to submit to additional regulation. The homeschool community is not looking for money from the state; all we want is to be left alone. When members of the community violate the laws and there is evidence of that, then they should be investigated and prosecuted in accordance with the law. Absent a reason to believe someone is violating the law, that person should be left alone.” [Emphasis added] Mike Donnelly, HSLDA Attorney for New Hampshire
- *BUYER BEWARE: This is the reason NHN opposed and blocked the inclusion of “homeschooling” in the 2015 NV-ESA Bill – SB 302 (although the bill did pass, to date it has not been funded and is not operational). Nevada homeschoolers value their LIBERTY over funding. The History of the NV Homeschool Law tells us that accepting one penny of taxpayer funding WILL return us to over-burdensome regulation by the government in return for the money.
- 2/21/2018 – Massive Opposition Kills Hawaii’s Anti-Homeschooling Bill – Alex Newman, The New American
- According to people in attendance – parents showed up in droves filling four rooms and hallways to overflowing… so much so that the Fire Marshall showed up to shut the hearing down because TOO many people were in the building! The bill died then and there.
- From the article, “By contrast, the available evidence “shows that homeschooled children are abused at a lower rate than are those in the general public, and no evidence shows that the home educated are at any higher risk of abuse,” explained Dr. Brian Ray, who leads the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) and is perhaps the world’s leading scholar in the field.”
- 2/21/2018 – State Legislature Couldn’t Ignore Hundreds of Motivated Homeschoolers – Peter Kamakawiwoole, HSLDA
- 1/29/2018 – Red Alert (Not a Drill): Three Bills would require Approval, Criminal Background Checks of Homeschool Parents – Peter Kamakawiwoole, HSLDA
Articles on the threat to homeschool freedom based on false allegations of child abuse against homeschoolers:
2/23/2018 – From HSLDA:
On Wednesday we noticed several negative articles linking child abuse and homeschooling in a number of states. By the time we got to the third article, we realized that it was essentially the same article with only minor tweaks (picture, headline, contributor, and first few paragraphs) which target specific states—and they were all being published by Patch.com.
Some of you were seeing the same articles and contacted us expressing concern about the messaging.
Although Patch purports to be local news, this series is clearly a campaign.
What’s the best response? Comments from their local audience—you! A few of you have reported that comments with viewpoints opposed to that of the authors are being deleted or marked as spam, or the article is deleted and re-posted with no comments. But this appears to be a localized phenomenon and must be happening at the discretion of local Patch editors or moderators.
Calm, reasoned, caring, and compassionate responses from local homeschoolers are the best antidote to attempts to misrepresent homeschooling families. Patch.com invites articles from people like you. If you want to write something, check out our resource Responding to Calls for Increased Homeschool Regulation: Some Things to Consider at http://ow.ly/mhZE50gBYik
Also, let your friends and family know about the opportunity to respond as readers, homeschooling parents/grads, and friends of homeschooling families.
HSLDA is here to protect your right to homeschool. If legislation is introduced in any state, we will be there to make sure that hasty legislation does not discriminate against and unjustly burden homeschooling families who are raising their children in a safe, loving, and educationally rich environment.
2/22/2018 – For a change of pace, here is an article on three Harvard students that were homeschooled and why the FREEDOM- they enjoyed got them to where they are today. THIS is the dream of a clear majority (if not nearly all) TRUE homeschool parents: Homeschooled en route to Harvard.
1/24/17 – This was published in the Reno Gazette Journal – Homeschooling child abuse can happen here too by Cameron Etchart. In response, Barbara Dragon, NHN Officer Emerita, wrote a reply that was posted in the Comment section of the article and on the RGJ’s Facebook post. As the reply seems to keep being marked as “spam” we are publishing her response here – for the record.
1/23/2018 – Evil, Not Homeschooling, Caused the California ‘House of Horrors’ – Cheryl Magness, The Federalist
1/23/2018 – Dr. Brian Ray of National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) wrote on child abuse occurring in American homes back in 2016… at this time it is worth a read,
Child Abuse of Public School, Private School, and Homeschool Students: Evidence, Philosophy, and Reason
NHN appreciates Dr. Ray’s fact-based ideas and philosophical positions. NHN has worked for two decades with loving families devoted their children’s academic success and emotional well-being. We believe overwhelmingly that PARENTS LOVE THEIR CHILDREN more than the government ever can or will.
Nevada had a similar case to the current reported case of massive child abuse by a California couple. Back in 2006 two children living in Carson City, Nevada had been similarly caged in their home while other children in the family, who lived in the same household, went to public school every day. NO ONE ever said anything about the two abused children being caged in a bathroom in the home. It wasn’t until one of the children escaped and was seen wandering around by local police officer. So, the sad fact is that child abuse happens every day… whether a child attends public school, private school, is homeschooled, or as in that case – never attended a school at all.
NHN grieves for abused children everywhere. In 2007, when we lobbied for SB 404 – The Homeschool Freedom Bill, we addressed this issue head on. Using governmental statistics we showed that in Nevada 81% of all child abuse reports come from non-school related sources; nationally it was 83.9%. We pointed out that private and homeschooled students do not become “invisible” from CPS by not attending public school. For more check out the pamphlet, Answers to Good Questions.
1/22/2018 – Don’t Blame Homeschooling For Child Abuse Cases Like the Turpins’ – G. Shane Morris, The Federalist
1/18/2018 – The Horror of Homeschooling – Alan Jacobs, Snakes and Ladders