Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » OPTING OUT

    Filed at 5:15 am under by dcobranchi

    Debbie Clark has a column up over on LewRockwell.com about g-schools “sharing” personal data with the military. The column is ok, but what really caught my eye was Ms. Clark’s bio:

    Debbie Clark [send her email] is a former US Army criminal investigator, a member of Veterans For Peace, and a researcher for Antiwar.com. She is the mother of two children, now in college and high school, who she homeschooled to the ages of 11 ½ and 6 at which time they were taken from her by court order and placed in public school due to her non-compliance with the home study provision of the Georgia compulsory school attendance law.

    I don’t get this. I’m about as ornery as they come when complying with unnecessary rules and regulations. But I’d have pulled up way short of allowing my family to be ripped apart. Pyrrhic victories are still losses. What’s needed here is a bit of context. Anyone know anything about this decade-old tale?

    3 Responses to “OPTING OUT”

    Comment by
    December 15th, 2005
    at 12:06 pm

    I don’t usually mention this, but from sordid personal experience in Georgia (my own and that of others) I can assure you that it takes practically nothing for them to yank your kids if they happen to notice you one day in connection with their duties. They might even personally think you’re OK and be on your side, as were the social workers in my case, but feel obligated to “do their jobs” anyway just because there is bureaucratic paperwork that they need to fill out with the “right” outcome.

    ‘Nuff said. Daryl, you can write to me if you really want to know the details (it doesn’t involve homeschooling, but I had heard of those too while I was dealing with the system).

    Comment by
    December 15th, 2005
    at 1:03 pm

    We were living in GA when we first started to think about HS’ing. I don’t remember the details, but I also don’t remember being overly concerned about whatever regulations existed in GA. Further, the Oracle of all the right and just with Homeschooling lists GA as a moderately regulated state. They also list VA as moderate, which I think overstates the level of regulation here.

    Comment by
    December 15th, 2005
    at 10:41 pm

    Keep in mind that state of residence is only one (and sometimes a minor) part of it.

    Whether a state is “good” or “bad” is secondary, really, to the sentiments of the locals. It is the local people (neighbors, social workers, schools superintendents) who decide whether to turn you in, check you out, leave you alone, whatever, as the case may be.

    If the local powers-that-be don’t like you, or don’t like homeschooling in general, you stand a good chance of being hounded or bothered with extra “requirements” whether you’re “legal” or not (e.g., that schools super in IL a couple years back; the one who sent squad cars to the homes of REGISTERED homeschoolers).

    And if the local powers-that-be are more relaxed, less uptight (which sure as heck doesn’t necessarily translate to “liberal” or “progressive,” as some so-called “liberals/progressives” can be about as conservative and statist and all-around incredibly uptight as it is possible to be — in short, anything but relaxed and not uptight — when it comes to non-State, non-institutional education), then you can live in even a “bad” homeschooling state AND be totally noncompliant and yet never have a lick of trouble.

    (I’ve had the experience of meeting — at a social event — a local schools super who thought homeschooling was a wonderful thing, and expressed to me the desire to do it himself. He even struck me as a “liberal” in a largely “conservative” area. Go figure.)

    Of course, things like race and politics and religion and income level and marital status and so forth all enter into whether they leave you alone or not, “good” state or “bad.” If you’re one of “THOSE people” — whatever “THOSE people” means to the people most likely to give you grief — then you’re at higher risk for being hounded. That’s why, as big a proponent of noncompliance as I am, I always say, if you are, for any reason, at particular risk of negative attention, or if you are in an adversarial or (shudder) court-supervised relationship with your child’s other parent, then you’re best off at least going through the motions of compliance.