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The Homeschool Police

I take offense at unfounded arguments like that found in a recent editorial printed here about a case involving online home-based education wherein the teacher took concern over the welfare of a student that, if I’m not mistaken, was seen via a webcam during the administration of an online test, to be malnourished and trodden.

In that editorial, a clear jab is taken at home schooling and home education in general, that appears to lump all home educators in with the company of the criminal(s) that were abusing their children, and assumes because one would choose to educate their child or children at home they must face a higher standard and level of scrutiny than other parents who simply allow their child to be taken to public school–because apparently nothing bad could happen to that child before, during or after attending school elsewhere.

The premise to say that such scrutiny ought to be required is a dangerous, slippery slope, not only violating all manner of parental rights, but Constitutional rights as well.

The editorial also seems to suggest the implementation of a tattle-tale system akin to proposed “red flag gun laws” that would make it easy for just about anyone to make a claim against you as a home educator so as to facilitate a no-knock middle-of-the-night raid by SWAT in the name of “child welfare,” and if not that, a requirement for home educators to “check-in” with some new Homeschool Police, you know, just to make sure you’re “following the law.”

To say that because of the choice of how one decides to educate their child, you somehow lose certain rights and must allow the state into your home, is not only a frightening notion that brings to mind a Soviet-styled police state, but one that violates the fundamental, Biblical, natural, inherent bonds between parent(s) and child, and the basic understanding of the foundation of civilization–the family.

Not the State.

In 2013, a tragedy occurred when 14-year-old Teddy Foltz-Tedesco was brutally beaten and subsequently murdered at the hands of his mother’s abusive boyfriend. The case then was for Sen. Capri Cafaro and others to blame the fact Teddy was being home schooled as a reason for his murder, discounting that even before he was “pulled” from public school the abuse by the now-convicted murderer on this poor child was apparent, and yet Teddy was not spared.

No law, not even outlawing home education could have saved Teddy. The child mentioned before who was being abused along with other children in that home had nothing to do with them attending online schooling at home.

The phenomena of certain criminals to take advantage of a system, and subsequently tarnish the reputation and exceptional choice of education that homeschooling is, is merely a choice or byproduct of the fact that those types of sick people are already criminals in their own right–and no law, perchance not even a “home visit”–would prevent such abuse from occurring.

Indeed, such is the case with a myriad of other so-called preventative measures that makes normal, everyday life difficult and less free. Would we really want to invite the TSA, for example, into our homes? Pat us down when we wake up every morning, and every time we leave our homes? An argument–ludicrously–could be made that such State police action benefits the public safety by making sure we don’t accidentally carry an “illegal” firearm with us or perhaps put on a pair of exploding underwear when we’re in a bad mood and feel like carrying out a little jihad.

To say that this scenario is completely unfounded is to say that just a little bit of poison won’t hurt you, but a lot of it will. Poison is poison, and more State control over the fundamental family foundation is a dangerous idea, one filled with so many “what-ifs” the State would have a field day of saying “just a little bit more control.”

It’s an unfortunate and sad thing our society has such bad people in it that some children are abused as they are. However, though I almost feel sad to say it as it seems a callous notion, which is worse: A situation that may be relatively insulated and may or may not be successfully resolved? Or, the wholesale erosion and surrender of our natural-born rights?

I say the latter–for if we place the value of preventing criminal behavior at the behest of giving up all our rights, what exactly is the kind of future we are bringing our children up in when they have no more rights to enjoy? Stop and think.

Sam Ludtman

Marietta