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MOVED TO THE FRONT OF THE BUS

Filed at 4:22 pm under by dcobranchi

I thought this comment (made on a post from a couple of days ago) deserved some airplay:

Just found your website. Interested in the New Jersey case and the impact it will have on the homeschooling movement. I am not a strong partisan on either side, but I can understand why people want to homeschool and I know that mostly it is done out of love. My question is, what is a legitimate amount of oversight for the state to exercise over homeschooled children? Shouldn’t homeschooled children be required to have yearly medical examinations? What if the Jacksons had NOT been in the foster care system, what if the abuse charges were correct, and they were just an ordinary family. Why would homeschooling families with nothing to hide have any objection to demonstrating that they are taking good care of their homeschooled children? Children are not property!

Lots of questions. I’ll try to take them one at a time.

[W]hat is a legitimate amount of oversight for the state to exercise over homeschooled children?

There is no legitimate amount. Zero. Homeschooling is an educational choice, just like private or parochial schools. Does the state exercise oversight over them? No. Public schools are accountable to the public because the public pays the bills. Private schools are accountable to the parents of the students because the parents pay the bills. Guess who pays my homeschooling bills. So, we’re not accountable to the government for our educational choices. What about child abuse? Well, there are plenty of laws and bureaucrats to enforce them. We see how well that worked in New Jersey.

What if the Jacksons had NOT been in the foster care system, what if the abuse charges were correct, and they were just an ordinary family. Why would homeschooling families with nothing to hide have any objection to demonstrating that they are taking good care of their homeschooled children?

This is a classic statist argument. The Founders were well familiar with it. That’s why they included the 4th Amendment. Hey, if you’ve got nothing to hide, I’m sure you wouldn’t mind the police coming into your home to “look around.” It just doesn’t work that way in the US. Government actors are not permitted to come into our homes and our lives just because we might be doing something wrong. Not even if IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN(tm). If there is a legitimate suspicion they can go to a judge, get a search warrant, and bring the police. Failing that, they have to leave us alone.

3 Responses to “MOVED TO THE FRONT OF THE BUS”


Comment by
Bas Braams
October 29th, 2003
at 6:56 pm

So, Daryl, do I understand correctly that you do
not want the state to make distinctions between
homeschooling and truancy?


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
October 30th, 2003
at 5:24 am

I don’t want to leave this one hanging. Bas and I have exchanged a couple of emails about this. I’ll excerpt my reply. Bas, feel free to chime in.
*********************

Bas: You wrote that there is *no* legitimate amount of oversight for the state to exercise over homeschooled children. So then how can the state distinguish between homeschooling and
truancy?

Daryl: I’m pretty hardcore on this one as I am opposed to compulsory ed laws, too. [In DE w]e tell the state that we are going to homeschool. Note, we don’t ask permission and the state cannot
refuse. After that, we are on our own.

Also, truancy (at least in DE) is defined only in terms of the g-schools. Kids can play hooky from a private school and the state couldn’t do anything about it. What’s the difference between a private school and homeschooling? In DE, not much. In fact, in 18 states homeschools are defined as private schools.

So, no, I don’t think the state has any business regulating homeschools (including mandatory testing)


Comment by
Ross
October 30th, 2003
at 11:09 am

Daryl
Your points on individual freedom and freedom from government control are so well reasoned and obvious that it is scary that there are people who don’t understand them. Relatedly, I occasionally teach an Information Systems course at the local college. The vast majority says that they would have no objections to the government connecting private databases to serve the “common good”. Things along the line of using the records of people who use the frequent shopper card in grocery stores to make sure parents are feeding their kids correctly. I am afraid we are in for a serious erosion of our basic liberties and their is nothing you and I can do about it.