Homeschooling Under Fire: Should Regulations Increase? A message from HSLDA
Please read the following message that we are passing on from Mike Smith of HSLDA.
Dear HSLDA members and friends,
Like many of you, we have heard the news of the parents in Riverside County who have been arrested and charged with horrific crimes against their children. We are aware of the outcry in the media and elsewhere to increase homeschool regulations in California. Several state legislators have indicated they are going to introduce legislation to take care of the “laxity” in the private school law by which homeschooling is conducted.
These efforts incorrectly assume that homeschooling is the problem here. Hasty legislation based on horrific and criminal behavior—behavior that has nothing to do with homeschooling—would be unfair to the thousands of law-abiding families in California who work hard to provide a safe and loving environment for their children.
One suggested change is to require homeschooling families to submit themselves to a mandatory child abuse reporter (such as a doctor) at least once a year, to ensure that neglect and/or abuse is not taking place in their home. Why is this a problem? Because it treats every homeschooling family as if they are suspected child abusers.
It makes no sense to assume that someone who makes a lawful choice—in this case, to homeschool—is more likely to act illegally. The principle that individuals are innocent until proven guilty has always been at the heart of the American tradition of liberty.
Homeschooling parents around the country have demonstrated a high degree of success in raising and nurturing their children—giving them the tools to grow and flourish. And we believe that children thrive when their parents are able to tailor their education and upbringing to each child’s specific needs. This is the genius of homeschooling. It would be inappropriate and unjust to regulate homeschool freedom because of this aberrant case.
We wanted to assure you that HSLDA is working in partnership with Family Protection Ministries (FPM) and Christian Home Educators Association (CHEA) to protect our current homeschool freedom against further regulation.
We will keep you informed of any activity that impacts you. And if necessary, we will ask for your help should the legislature attempt to impose additional regulations on homeschooling families.
Finally, some of you have asked about the fire code requirements for homeschooling families in California. California law recognizes that a private school consisting of just parents and their children is not subject to the same fire code regulations as brick-and-mortar private schools.
We ask you to pray for God’s favor on all our efforts. Thank you so much for your support.
FPM continues to closely monitor and work on any legislation that could impact homeschool families and will deal with individual legislative proposals as they are introduced. CHEA will continue to inform, support and encourage their members both directly as well as through their vital Support Network regarding the above issue. HSLDA will continue dealing with the legal issues of proposed legislation and helping all of us understand the effects on homeschooling and homeschool families.
Roy Hanson and Nathan Pierce
Family Protection Ministries
PO Box 730
Lincoln, CA 95648
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