Homeschool families in California might get a visit from the fire marshal if proposed legislation becomes law.
Assembly Bill (AB) 2756 would require fire inspections for home schools.
“The bill would require the Superintendent to prepare a list of private schools with five or fewer pupils and to provide the list directly to the State Fire Marshal, the chief of a city or county fire department or district providing fire protection services to the area in which the school is located, and the chief’s authorized representatives to fulfill a specified annual inspection,” The Legislative Counsel’s Digest said of AB 2756.
The bill would direct the State Fire Marshal to prepare minimum requirements for any school with less than less than five students. The State Fire Marshal or city or county fire departments would then have to inspect homeschools for compliance every year.
The bill would allow for warrantless searches of homeschool families’ homes, Mike Smith of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) charged.
“Government officials would be empowered to enter a home without a warrant, reasonable cause, or consent,” Smith wrote of AB 2756. “In other words, this is a clear violation of protections we have under both the federal and state constitutions. Our homes are meant to be free from this type of unlawful state actions.”
Smith also alleged that fire safety is not the real intent of AB 2756.
“The intent of the bill is to protect children from abuse, but there is no evidence that homeschooled children are more likely to be abused than other children,” Smith wrote. “The bill unreasonably and unjustly singles out homeschooling families for this invasion of their homes. If every home with children were subject to this type of scrutiny, society would not stand for it.”
AB 2756 was introduced by assembly members Jose Medina (D-Riverside), Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) and Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego). It was co-written by Assembly Member Freddie Rodriquez (D-Pomona).
“Because of its reputation as a political and cultural trend-setter, passage of additional homeschool restrictions in California could influence lawmakers in others states to propose similar laws,” Smith warned.
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