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California Targets Homeschoolers Following Tragedy; Home Visits Possible

California Targets Homeschoolers Following Tragedy; Home Visits Possible

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Calls for severely regulating homeschooling in California have begun in the wake of the horrific Turpin child-abuse case that made national headlines.

“There’s no better way to isolate your child if you are an abusive parent than to homeschool,” Rachel Coleman, the executive director of the Coalition for Responsible Homeschooling, told NBC 4 in Los Angeles.

Two California state assembly members, Susan Talamantes-Eggman (D-Stockton) and Jose Medina (D-Riverside), want to increase restrictions on homeschooling. The two are partnering with the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torkalson, The Sacramento Bee reported.

The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board is among those pushing for tougher restrictions. David and Louise Turpin are accused of keeping their 13 child starved, chained up and living in filth.

Put God Back Into History And Teach Your Kids What They Won’t Learn Anywhere Else!

“The answer is that the couple exploited California’s lax homeschooling laws to keep the authorities from finding out what they were doing to their kids,” a Bee editorial charges. “ … Beyond local zoning and fire codes and an annual registration to show that the children enrolled are not truant, private schools have scant oversight in California. The state Department of Education doesn’t approve, monitor, inspect or oversee them. They don’t have to perform standardized testing. The state can’t monitor their academic performance or review their curricula.”

California, the editorial board said, should “follow the lead of New York and Pennsylvania, which require standardized testing and regular assessments.”

“It might also take the labor-intensive step of requiring site visits, as with private day care centers,” the editorial board said.

Civil Rights Violated?

But some say increased regulation is a bad idea.

“We are concerned … that this horrible incident – words fail to describe the depravity – may lead to an unwarranted backlash and violation of the civil rights of law-abiding, thriving, homeschooling families,” James R. Mason of the Home School Legal Defense Association wrote in a Sacramento Bee op-ed.

“The story out of Riverside has prompted The Sacramento Bee and others to adopt a frightening position,” Mason charged.

He summed up the position: “This parent who claims to be home schooling has committed unspeakable acts. Therefore, we need to treat all parents who claim to be home schooling with suspicion and make them submit to periodic government inspections of their homes and children.”

Mason then quoted a 1979 Supreme Court decision that affirmed homeschooling: “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.”

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the section below:

 

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2 comments

  1. When my son was in fourth grade, he was bored and constantly in trouble. I removed him from public school that year and home schooled him through high school. Part of the time, we were a private school. We tested infrequently and often refused standardized testing, mostly because I did not believe that it properly evaluated my son’s knowledge or ability. We also did not follow standard “book-learning” protocols. My son was a “free-range” learner and I allowed him to investigate the topics that interested him. I did not test or give him grades. At age 13, he started taking college classes. He received “A”s and was actually teaching the teachers. At 15 he had a job and by the time he was 18 he was in management. He started his first business during that time. He earned his four year degree while working full time and graduated from college with top honors. At age 20, he married and bought his first home. He now owns his own very successful advertising firm which currently employs 8 people.

    I have many stories to tell about my home schooling experience and how it shaped my son’s abilities. Had the state been supervising my home schooling efforts, I am almost certain that my son would have never had the opportunity to excel. All of my grandchildren are home schooled and can think “outside the box.” There are some excellent TED talks that address the topic of creativity. One in particular discusses the fact that 5 year old children test at the genius level for creative problem solving. By the time they are 15, only 12% test at that level. By age 30, only 2%. How many Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Mark Zukerburg’s, etc. have had their creative problem solving skills destroyed by public school testing and the associated necessity to memorize facts?

    So, shall we allow the state to regulate all home schools? State sponsored charters are good for beginning home school families but anyone who wants to allow a child to pursue his or her own interests will not do well with that much oversight. The state sponsored home school charters require testing and are incredibly restrictive.

    It’s important to note that, just because one home school family abused their children does not mean that other home school families are abusive. If we are to assume that the state must do everything to protect every child, then perhaps the state should be looking at the public school system which has allowed many educators to become sexual predators. My daughter attended public school. I saw educators’ behavior in the public school system which was inexcusable and yet the school ignored and/or dismissed that behavior.

    • Beautiful.
      I homeschool my son and it has been a wonderful experience for our family.
      Since the Florida school incident a couple of families have asked for information on homeschooling.
      Remove your children from the indoctrination centers. Other than life, its the greatest gift and sacrifice you can bestow upon them.

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