Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » LETTER OF THE DAY

    Filed at 6:26 am under by dcobranchi

    I just sent this in to the Fayetteville Observer.

    NC made a laughingstock

    A branch of the state government, the Division of Non-public Education (DNPE), has completely overstepped its legal authority in its regulation of homeschooling. In so doing, it has garnered national attention alternating between cries of horror and hoots of derision.

    Whether one agrees that homeschooling is a social good or not, the fact of the matter is that it is a legal right, based on laws passed by the General Assembly. Those laws mandate that all homeschools must maintain vaccination, attendance, and testing records and that these records must be maintained at the “school,” so that a state representative from the DNPE may inspect them at reasonable times. My own belief is that these records and inspections serve little or no purpose, but the law is the law. And we follow the law– to the letter. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for DNPE.

    On October 10th, DNPE sent out a notice (reproduced here: http://nche.com/alert/index.html) requesting that homeschoolers in the Triangle area voluntarily come in for a review meeting at a centralized location. The tone of the letter was anything but a request. DNPE has no legal right to demand a meeting away from the “school,” but it gets much worse than that. Along with extra-legal requests to review textbooks, lesson plans, and portfolios, the letter tells, not asks, parents to bring their kids (ages 7 to 17) to this meeting. AT THE POLICE STATION! Yes, the state bureaucrats could not come up with a better location than that. What a terrific way to scare a bunch of kids.

    The news spread like wildfire across the NC homeschooling community and then to national blogs and listservs. DNPE is a national embarrassment, and Rod Helder, the director of DNPE, should step down. Anyone who is so tone-deaf to just how chilling is that letter he signed should not be in a position to regulate and supervise law-abiding families.

    Helder should go. Now.

    7 Responses to “LETTER OF THE DAY”

    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    October 11th, 2006
    at 7:31 am

    Field trip to the police station? You folks in NC sure are open-minded about where to take the kids.

    Around here, we just build the jail across the street from the high school. We don’t make the kids go to the jail though. . .


    Comment by
    October 11th, 2006
    at 8:20 am

    The West District community substation, housing a training and meeting room available to community groups is located at:
    1809 Garner’s Station Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27603


    Is this the only community meeting room in Garner? I would think not. Not that the meetings should be taking place to begin with but…DUH!

    This just sounds more ridiculous to me the longer I think about it. I truly am laughing out loud at the gall of DNPE.

    And is Rod Helder conveniently out of the office all week for fear of being tarred and feathered?


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    October 11th, 2006
    at 8:52 am

    And even if it were, the meeting doesn’t have to take place in Garner. Helder really needs to step down.

    Comment by
    Karen E
    October 11th, 2006
    at 9:48 am

    Too ridiculous. PLEASE, I hope no one actually complies with these “requests.”

    Comment by
    October 11th, 2006
    at 1:31 pm

    If I didn’t know you better, I’d be certain that was a joke.

    Go to the police station??????

    You are so right. That man has to step down. What the heck was he smoking when he thought up that?

    Comment by
    Joyce Snyder
    October 13th, 2006
    at 11:46 am

    I have homeschooled for over 20 years now and I would like to take up for Rod Helder. He has been Homeschoolers’friend for all these years. I had him come and speak at our church several years ago, so I have met him personally as well as spoken with him on the phone. He has to be careful not to be our ‘representative’, because he is not. He is a State employee , who is to moniter ALL non-public forms of schooling. His personal manner can be alittle distant, but this is just his personality. Please, PLEASE, do not do this thing. If you get the letter, do what your conscience alows, but to go after Mr. Helder which is a severe ‘knee-jerk’ reaction in my opinion.
    Thank you.
    Joyce Snyder

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    October 13th, 2006
    at 12:44 pm

    He’s not our friend; he’s an educrat. The CHIEF educrat. As such, his agenda is not ours. His agenda is to expand his power and to miminize the workload in his office. Our agenda ought to be reaching for MORE freedom for home educators.

    He has recently proven that he cares more about his office staff than he does about following the law. He organized these extra-legal meetings and he CONTINUES to publish our private data on the internet so that his staff doesn’t have to answer questions from the public. His staff is more important than our privacy.

    He’s been in the position far too long. It’s time for him to go.

    BTW, I heard from the Observer; they’re going to publish the letter.