Recently a committee in Connecticut came up with a proposal it says will prevent a repeat of the December 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. That terrible day, Adam Lanza, a mentally disturbed young man, showed up at the school with several guns and killed 20 students and six teachers and administrators–after murdering his own mother.
In spite of the fact that this 20-year-old spent the vast majority of his educational years in public schools and was “home schooled” only a short time, the committee recommended that the state give local school officials the authority to periodically inspect home schooled children to review their psychological and social well-being and approve whether the parents may home school.
I wonder if the committee will suggest the same thing for public schooled children.
Home school advocates in Connecticut are understandably up in arms. They have clearly articulated the ridiculous nature of this proposal and have pointed out that it is simply an excuse for usurping the rights of parents raise their own kids.
This whole episode brings to mind the comment by Rahm Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff, who suggested the U.S. government should be prepared to exploit the economic crisis of 2008 to try things that might have seemed impossible before. “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” he said. In other words, take advantage of a public crisis (or perceived crisis) to play on emotions and get the government to do what might otherwise be impossible.
Indeed, President Obama took advantage of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy to attempt to enact federal gun control laws in spite of the fact that everyone acknowledged the proposed legislation would not have prevented it. On top of that, Connecticut already had some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country.
Now it seems the statists who believe that government control is the answer to almost every problem are seizing on the disaster to argue that parents in Connecticut can only home school students with “emotional, behavioral, or social” issues with the approval of the local public school officials. That, of course, raises a whole spectrum of questions, like:
- How are those issues defined?
- Who gets to determine if a child has such issues?
I’m sure the answer is that government officials will inspect all home schooled children and then make the decision about who may be home schooled and how. Parents will be at their mercy.
Some things never change. Twenty-odd years ago a child in White Settlement, near Fort Worth, was killed by his parents, and the family claimed to be home schooling. The usual left wing statists immediately began to argue that home schooling should be controlled by the state of Texas and had that been the case the child would still be alive.
However, the facts were that the family had been reported to CPS for abuse twice while in public school and once after the family began to “home school,” and the government officials represented by CPS did not remove the child.
We have laws–and entire agencies–in place to protect children. The answer is not more regulation.
There will always be people looking to maximize on a calamity to push the restriction of parents’ rights to raise their own kids. There always have been. After all, how can what the children are learning be regulated otherwise?
So what can we do to fight government overreach? Well, living in Texas is a good start. THSC has worked almost 30 years to help governing authorities establish the policies now enforced for how districts must respect home school families. One article calls it “a hands-off approach.” Exactly.
But we can’t let our hard-earned freedom lull us into a state of laziness. As John Philipot Curran stated so well, “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.” So let’s stand strong.
- Stay informed.
- Be involved in the election of officials–they’re making decisions that impact our children and the future of our country.
- Band together with THSC to send the message that we can raise our own kids.
Let’s not wind up with a committee that proposes the government should decide if we can home school. Not on our watch.
About THSC–For almost 30 years, THSC has advocated for families and protected the rights of parents. THSC is the only organization in Texas whose primary function is to defend parental rights and the sanctity of the family, which is the foundation of civilization and is critical to the future of our nation.