Saturday, December 21, 2013

Draconian Ohio Homeschooling Bill Withdrawn

The Left detests homeschooling as it denies them the main thing that all Leftists need - control. Many parents who are weary of what kids are being told in public schools and are rightfully concerned that "sight word" reading programs virtually guarantee a functional illiterate adult, have been moving towards teaching their children in a home environment.

In Ohio, a Senate bill was proposed that would give the Left and their allies the edge that they needed to make homeschooling subject to a litany of investigations and require approval by social services. It was reported today that the bill was withdrawn (first link below), but the very fact that it was introduced in the first place is a frightening portent for the future.

The ostensible justification for this bill was the horrific beatings and eventual murder of a young boy at the hands of his mother's boyfriend, who took her child out of public school after teachers had already reported that they believed that the boy was the victim of abuse.

So, a case in which either social services, the cops, or both, failed to save a kid is used as a reason to employ the coercive power of the state to make the decision to home-school subject to the purely arbitrary whims of social workers.

The child's murder had nothing at all to do with homeschooling, but the Left has never let the facts get in the way of their plans to enslave the People.

"Worst-Ever Homeschool Law Proposed in Ohio

With the introduction of Senate Bill 248 on December 3, 2013, by Senator Capri Cafaro, Ohio has suddenly become a frontline in the battle over homeschooling freedom.

SB 248 is breathtakingly onerous in its scope. It requires all parents who homeschool to undergo a social services investigation which would ultimately determine if homeschooling would be permitted. Social workers would have to interview parents and children separately, conduct background checks and determine whether homeschooling is recommended or not. If it is not recommended, parents would have to submit to an “intervention” before further consideration of their request to homeschool.

SB 248 was offered by sponsors as a way to respond to the death of 14-year-old Teddy Foltz-Tedesco in January 2013. News reports indicate that Teddy had been abused for years by his mother’s boyfriend, Zaryl Bush. After teachers reported abuse to authorities, Teddy’s mother withdrew him from public school, allegedly to homeschool him. Reports tell a sad story of a broken home where neighbors, friends, family, police, teachers and others knew Teddy was suffering ongoing abuse. Finally, Bush beat Teddy so severely that he later died of his injuries. Both Bush and Teddy’s mother are now in prison. A news report can be found online...........

In recent years HSLDA has observed numerous attempts to severely restrict homeschooling in state legislatures around the country. In response to a growing number of academic critics, Michael Farris wrote “Tolerance and Liberty: Answering the Academic Left’s Challenge to Homeschooling Freedom.” Published in the Peabody Journal of Education and available online, Farris articulates why laws like SB 248 are unnecessary and un-American. His response to these critics who have proposed radical constraints on homeschooling freedom puts this latest attempt in the proper context.

Teddy Foltz-Tedesco was killed because those responsible for protecting him did not step in as the law or common sense would have dictated. Why? Although news reports indicate that abuse had been reported for years prior to Teddy’s death, it does not appear that any serious intervention was made by government authorities charged with investigating such allegations. Why was not enough done to protect Teddy from known abuse?

Even if, as SB 248 would require, his mother had sought social service’s approval to homeschool and was denied, he still would have been at home subject to abuse after school. Regardless of where he went to school, Teddy was left by authorities in a home where they knew abuse was occurring.

Clearly, SB 248 would not have saved Teddy..........

Rather than target tens of thousands of decent Ohioans who homeschool, policymakers like Cafaro should try to discover what prevented police and social workers who knew what was going on from taking action and faithfully enforcing Ohio’s already adequate child protection laws. This bill is misguided and a step in the wrong direction........."

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