Sunday, February 3, 2008

Parental Rights vs. Government Interference

I imagine this post will get strong comments on both sides of the fence - and that's okay.

I just received my copy of the The Home School Court Report (put out by the HSLDA), and I have to say I am shocked and appalled by what I read.

  • In Michigan, homeschoolers are harassed by school officials (illegally) in order to coerce homeschoolers to submit to taking a survey. Two years in a row.
  • In Montana, homeschoolers were (illegally) asked to register with the school district.
  • In Ohio, homeschoolers were asked to submit paperwork not required by law.
  • In Pennsylvania, school districts are (illegally) attempting to impose additional, unauthorized testing for homeschooling students.
  • In South Carolina, school officials came to the homes of homeschooling families and insisted that families provide information about their homeschooling family not required by law.

There were many more instances, but these are a good sampling of the kinds of things going on.

Our public school system is broken. Period. I am not saying that there are not a few schools out there that I would send my children to, but I know they are few and far between.

Perhaps there are those out there who want to change the public school system. That's fine. (Right now, it doesn't need to be "fixed" - I believe it needs to be completely restructured and redone, but that's another story.) I don't want my kids sitting in a broken system for years while politicians bicker about how to "fix" the schools. I want my kids to receive an excellent education without the fear of being shot in school. My children are too important to me for that.

Yes, private school is an option. I am not sure if I want my kids in any school at this point (the whole group mentality thing bugs me), but if I had to put my kids in school, I could live with private school.

The issue I have with reading all of these stories is that officials (from a broken, inefficient system) are knocking on the doors of homeschoolers (who are trying to help kids escape this broken system) and harassing them.

Where were these officials when I complained that a newsletter sent home by my child's public school teacher had more mistakes than I could count? Where were these officials when I had my public-school-educated child asking me if they spoke English in Michigan? Where were these officials when I repeatedly went to them and asked for protection for my kids because the hoodlums in the school were physically assaulting my kids? Where are these officials when I listen to the kids in my Sunday School class struggle to read? Where were these officials when I corrected schoolwork/study sheets the teachers sent home with the kids?

In my honest opinion, these officials need to worry about what is going on in their own backyard and try to fix what is wrong in their schools - not harass families who are trying to escape their broken system.

Homeschooling works. There are numerous studies (that can be seen on the HSLDA website) proving how much better homeschooling students perform academically compared to public school students.

My message to those school officials:

"Quit wasting your time and resources going after homeschoolers. Go work on the problems staring you in the face in your schools."

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