Joint Newsflash – May 17, 2018
From: Roy Hanson and Nathan Pierce – Family Protection Ministries, and Mike Smith – HSLDA
Just when we, the homeschool community, thought we could breathe a sigh of relief after AB 2926 and AB 2756 failed to pass out of the Assembly Education Committee, bad news has hit again.
Several news sources are reporting that parents in Fairfield who say they homeschool have been charged with abuse and neglect in connection with their 10 children.
The allegations are very serious. A video of the house shows a pretty grim picture of the conditions at the time of the arrest. As we did in the Turpin case, we want to say from the outset that child abuse is tragic, and that our hearts go out to the children who have suffered.
We also want to be measured in our response to this story. The news has just broken, and our purpose in reporting it to you is not to jump to a conclusion, but to make you aware. Because the family says they were homeschooling, we may see the kind of media circus we saw in January that focused on the Turpin family in Riverside County and resulted in the above two bills being filed in the Assembly seeking to further regulate homeschooling.
Proponents for those bills argued that homeschooling is a breeding ground for abuse because it allows parents to isolate their children. To prevent further abuse, the critics said, California’s homeschool law should be changed so that it requires direct state oversight of homeschooling.
A study by the National Home Education Research Institute refuted this presumption, however. Researchers analyzed 18 years of child abuse statistics and homeschool regulations in all U.S. states and “found no relationship between the degree of state control or regulation of homeschooling and the frequency of abuse of homeschool students.” Another study demonstrated that homeschoolers, on average, abuse their children less than the general population.
We don’t know whether this story will lead to another attempt to regulate homeschooling. We certainly hope that will not happen. But all of us should be ready to speak up once again for our homeschool freedoms before the relevant legislative body. Stay tuned for the latest developments.
The ongoing battle to protect private homeschool freedoms has stretched our already-tight funding very thin. Please consider donating financially on a regular basis and pray that we would remain strong throughout this legislative session. Without your support, we would not be able to advocate on your behalf on bills relating to homeschooling.
Roy Hanson and Nathan Pierce
Family Protection Ministries
PO Box 730
Lincoln, CA 95648
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