We knew this was coming.
Despite the fact that the data simply does not support a correlation between homeschooling and child abuse, the horrific case of the 13 Turpin children being held captive and starved in their own home has prompted California legislators to harshly and unconstitutionally scrutinize parents who chose to educate their children at home.
If you’re a homeschooler, you’ve heard the many proposed concerns about homeschooling, so as soon as the absolutely infuriating and heartbreaking story of the 13 heinously abused Turpin children broke, you probably anticipated that someone would use it as a weapon against homeschoolers in no time.
Of course, because the case happened in California and California is also always looking for new ways to use the emotional value of isolated incidents to further their efforts to maintain their status as the most fascist state in the Union, they were the first to put pen to paper and try to push legislation that would unfairly scrutinize homeschoolers.
The Washington Examiner’s Jenna Ellis explains in her excellent editorial, California overreacts and presumes every homeschooling parent is a child abuser:
California is seeking to treat homeschool families as presumptive child abusers. Lawmakers in that state have indicated plans to categorically require homeschool parents to prove — through home visits, interviews, and other government oversight — that indeed the parent is not abusive if they choose to exercise a legally protected and valid option for school choice. This measure would shift the burden to the parent to prove to the government’s satisfaction his or her parental fitness.
Using the Turpins’ case as one extreme example to bolster their platform, legislators are now looking to increase government regulations of homeschooling in California, which may lay the groundwork for increased regulation nationwide. Already, state legislators have suggested they will introduce legislation to cure the supposed “problem” of laxity in private school choice options, which includes homeschooling.
It would be a guilty-until-proven-innocent legal stance towards homeschooling parents, which is absolutely preposterous considering the fact that the parents of public school students would not be subject to anywhere near the same level of scrutiny and yet are just as capable of abusing their children.
Elis explains this is both unconstitutional and ridiculous:
Further, these types of proposed “solutions” pose a myriad of constitutional problems. First, it treats homeschool families as suspect child abusers without any legitimate legal basis. It is similar to requiring all drivers to undergo a breath or blood test to prove they are not under the influence simply because they chose to exercise a valid legal option of driving.
As Elis explains, the data consistently affirm there is no risk in homeschooling that would justify such serious oversight:
Moreover, the data just aren’t there to support any logical connection between homeschooling as a school choice option and child abuse. In published studies among such experts as the World Health Organization, the U.S. Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities, the American Psychological Association, the Mayo Clinic, and others, none of these sources list homeschooling as a risk factor for child abuse and neglect. In other words, there is no evidence or data to even suggest that homeschooled children are being harmed or at risk of harm at a rate higher than children in other nonhomeschooled and private schooling communities.
Elis notes that President Mike Smith of the Homeschool Legal Defense Fund, in a letter sent to members last month, warns that reactionary legislation would largely serve to punish good parents.
“These efforts incorrectly assume that homeschooling is the problem here,” Smith wrote. “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.”