A horrific story from California regarding an abusive family who was allegedly homeschooling has burst onto the national scene. The family had 13 children ranging in age from two to 29. Yes, I said 29! According to the reports, the children are small and malnourished, and the seven adult children appeared to be much younger than their actual ages of 18-29.
A 17-year-old teen escaped the home and used a cell phone to call police, showed them pictures from the home and pleaded for help to rescue her siblings, some of whom were being chained to beds. The teen is being credited with saving her siblings.
Officials have removed the children and placed both parents under arrest on charges of torture and child endangerment. Bail has been set at $9 million for each of them.
This is a heartbreaking story, and our prayers go out to these children. Initial reports are that the children are all hospitalized and being treated for malnutrition and psychological abuse.
This family reportedly spent time in Texas and declared bankruptcy in Johnson County before they moved to California.
Regulating Homeschoolers is Not the Answer
These kind of situations highlight the critical importance of protecting children from unfit, abusive parents and reporting such cases. The laws in place for these purposes must be enforced.
Sadly, some people are using this horrible situation to say that all homeschoolers should be subject to government oversight, regulation, and even Child Protective Services (CPS) visits, absent any cause! As good sense and proper research show, this is the wrong response. This kind of response is akin to the regular call from the left to outlawing gun from private citizens in the wake of every horrible gun crime.
Unnecessary government interference in family life hurts children, and even scars them for life. The sad reality is that children in public school are significantly more likely to have suffered abuse than homeschooled children. In a recent report from the Home Education Research Institute researcher Brian Ray concluded that, “In a simple statistical analysis, it was revealed that those who were homeschooled were significantly less likely to have been sexually abused as minors than were those who were public schooled and those who attended private Christian schools.”
We have a problem that extends beyond the educational choices of parents. If history is any indication, a knee-jerk reaction calling for the regulation of homeschoolers because of this tragedy would result in increased CPS investigations that harm innocent families.
This situation may also result in legislation being filed in Texas’ next legislative session limiting the freedom of Texas families. This makes it critical that Texas families vote in the upcoming primary for candidates that will protect Texas families.
Let’s pray for the family in California and be prepared to rescue children from such situations. Let us also oppose efforts of those who seek to use these kinds of calamities to propel state regulation of homeschooling, causing the unintended consequence of unnecessarily hurting more children.
Won’t you join THSC today in fighting for the freedom of Texas parents to raise their children?