Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » HEADS UP: NC

    Filed at 9:43 pm under by dcobranchi

    WRAL is teasing a “controversy” surrounding home education on its 11 pm local news show. It’s probably going to be something along these lines:

    Raleigh, N.C. — A state task force that reviewed the death of a 4-year-old boy at the hands of his adoptive mother recommended more oversight for children taught at home.

    The Department of Social Services report on Sean Paddock’s death was released last week, hours after the boy’s adoptive mother, Lynn Paddock, was convicted of first-degree murder and felony child abuse in his February 2006 death.

    The report called for more state monitoring of home schools, including having medical examiners track the school status of children who die under suspicious circumstances.

    The six surviving Paddock children testified during the three-week trial that Lynn Paddock homeschooled them after the family moved to Smithfield in 2001, but that the instruction gradually devolved into reading the Bible and copying scripture passages. Several of the children, who have moved to new families, are now a grade or two behind their peers.

    More than 68,700 students were homeschooled in 2006-07 in 36,068 schools registered with the state Division of Non-Public Education.

    The state requires homeschooled students to take annual tests, but the results don’t have to be turned in and aren’t tracked by the state. The five-person staff of the Division of Non-Public Instruction doesn’t have the resources to maintain those records, officials said.

    The state has the right to inspect home schools, and records show that 362 inspections were conducted in the past year – about 1 percent of the home schools registered in the state.

    Lynn Paddock did little more than register her home school with the state, according to testimony.

    The same day the Paddock was convicted, 13-year-old Tyler McMillan died after being tied to a tree for 18 hours by his father. The family homeschooled the teen and his siblings, according to authorities.

    Home-school parents said the two deaths are tragic but shouldn’t result in more regulation.

    “I really don’t think that more government intervention in the world would’ve stopped (the deaths),” homeschooler Kristie Bloem said. “The vast majority of home schools have careful, loving parents who are dedicated to their children’s future.”

    13 Responses to “HEADS UP: NC”

    Comment by
    Peter Darby
    June 17th, 2008
    at 2:00 am

    And of course, no schooled children died at the hands of their parents on those days. OR at their own hands, or were abused, bullied or beaten by their “friends” at school.

    Because we gotta keep an eye on the weirdos.

    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    June 17th, 2008
    at 8:27 am

    Dysfunctional parents controlled by wacko delusions passing as religious practice are what actually destroys children’s lives in such cases, and “homeschool inspection” focused on whether children are on the right grade level (for God’s sake!) is an impotent, equally delusional response.

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    June 17th, 2008
    at 8:52 am

    I’m trying to track down the actual report, so I can read it with my own eyes. When/If I find a copy, I’ll post it here.

    Comment by
    Mary Nix
    June 17th, 2008
    at 1:03 pm


    The review is at the WRAL article. Here is a direct link to it:

    Comment by
    June 17th, 2008
    at 4:20 pm

    Very interesting read Mary. Thanks for the link. This really looks again like another CPS, foster care system dropped the ball & can’t really lay blame on the feet of homeschooling.

    It isn’t until the bottom of page 8 in a 10 page report that you even find homeschooling mentioned. The only negative said is that it can lead to isolation of the child.
    This child was 4 & 1/2 years old. In our state DE he wouldn’t even be allowed to enroll in school at that age unless he qualified for a gifted program., very few school here have them for that age.

    There are head start programs for younger kids but they aren’t mandatory that kids be enrolled.
    Isolation? again not a homeschool issue unless the state of NC thinks it should take even baby from birth until school age because they can’t be left alone w/ a parent.

    But in the follow up response is that the state should track the “status of school ” in the findings of children when they die. I’ll bet that they find most kids that die of abuse in NC are enrolled in school. So that report may not be a bad thing for homeschoolers.

    The report also says that the state has voluntary follow up adoptive due to lack of funding. I don’t have a problem w/ the state making those follow ups madatory.

    If they don’t have funding for reviewing all homeschools( & I don’t believe all homeschools need review) they should at least in case where foster & adoptive kids are being homeschooled have them at the top of the list.

    I also think that parents that try to skirt the system of truancy laws by running to homeschooling should also be followed up on if their cases have made it to the court system.

    (I also don’t believe that adoption at fault here either)The state asking a few more questions about their homeschool program in this case doesn’t seem out of line.

    I do worry about how is seems that homeschooling, foster care & abuse are linked to together in way that clearly show that “SOME” families are supporting themselves on state funds by loading up on foster kids & using homeschooling to hide that not all that $ is going to the kids. And when the picture starts to come together that way the state should be checking things out.

    AS I understand it from foster parents I know is that they often end up spending out funds from their own pockets to make up for the state doesn’t provide to meet the real needs of some of these kids.

    But it seems to me that the state dropped the ball here in not completely checking out this family before even letting them have foster kids.

    I am sure that there will be some NC homeschoolers that will try & also twist this into a religious issue too. I hope that doesn’t happen.

    Yes I know my grammar is not perfect & most likely I’ve misspelled a few words too. I am juggling more than a few things today & need to be out the door about 5 minutes ago. I just wanted to check in on this important issue.

    Good Luck NC homeschoolers!!! Make sure that the state knows this isn’t a homeschool issue! Keep us posted!

    Comment by
    June 17th, 2008
    at 7:02 pm

    I agree with this much, JJRoss:

    Dysfunctional parents controlled by wacko delusions

    I agree that in this case religious practice may have played a role with the Pearl’s material, but a lot of kids are abused and killed without any need of religion to play into it. I suspect dysfunctional parents controlled by wacko delusions will use whatever materials are at their disposal. And should they happen to be Christian, Jewish, Muslim or whatever, that religion may come out in some way.

    But if the Pearls didn’t exist, would this never had occurred? Somehow I think it would have.

    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    June 18th, 2008
    at 12:16 am

    Hi Dana – I was associating it with Andrea Yates and the Longs in CA, (how about the Catholic priest scandal?) but you’re right that the danger to children under the control of an adult under the control of delusions, is real whether what’s happening to the kids is religion-related or not.

    OTOH if religion has no real part in such cases, it shouldn’t offer any sort of special shield to those who insist what they’re doing with kids is above review or intervention due to the First Amendment, as with the Catholic Church or the polygamist cult custody case?

    Comment by
    June 18th, 2008
    at 9:58 am

    The Catholic abuse scandal is actually a fairly apt comparison. Most people think it shows the priests or religious people are more likely to abuse children; in fact, Catholic priests abuse at about the same rates as other professions where there’s unsupervised contact with children (Protestant pastors, teachers, etc.). The real scandal was that people who knew and had the responsibility to do something–bishops in the Catholic case, social workers in many of these homeschool cases–failed to do anything, or even covered it up.

    The result is that now Catholic priest=abuser, and increasingly homeschooler=abuser.

    Comment by
    June 18th, 2008
    at 10:20 am

    “The result is that now Catholic priest=abuser, and increasingly homeschooler=abuser.”

    I will guess that you are basing that fact on anecdotal stories… just as I am going to guess at the following: that as the actual number of homeschoolers around the country has mushroomed and that the actual proportion of homeschooler abuse cases (to homeschool families) has not increased. Perhaps it has even decreased…

    Comment by
    June 18th, 2008
    at 10:58 pm

    Instead of spending all this time lambasting homeschooling and trying to impose stricter regulations on it, we should be spending our efforts on stricter control and management of religious delusionists.

    Comment by
    June 19th, 2008
    at 12:20 am

    You know, JJRoss, I think Yates was just plain nuts. Like that other lady who stoned her kids. I think religion entered their delusions, but if it weren’t religion, it would have been something else. For my half-uncle, it was the computer. And the fish who told him to kill his parents. Luckily, he wasn’t successful and got the help he needed.

    Had he been Christian, maybe it would have been God or some angel. Actually, I met a schizophrenic woman in college who was an atheist, but angels still visited her at night and told her things. It is all very strange, but I don’t think “religion” has much to do with it when someone is actually delusional.

    Except maybe if we are talking about the so-called honor killing. That seems to be religious in nature and not isolated to complete nuts. But then, the whole surrounding culture seems to support it.

    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    June 19th, 2008
    at 5:49 pm

    So at issue is whether they are really “homeschooling” and also whether they are really “Christian” — or at least if they’re really doing what they’re doing because of religious beliefs.

    I’ve never heard these points resolved and I see no way to resolve it short of infringing on the very freedoms we mean to protect.

    It’s almost as if society prefers being perpetually stuck on such points (different factions for different reasons) to putting children’s best interest at the center of the problem first, and then working outward from that.

    Pingback from
    No Perfect Protection for Our Kids, But Better Thinking Would Help « Cocking A Snook!
    July 12th, 2009
    at 7:08 pm

    […] Daryl in NC blogs criminal news of four-year-old “homeschooled” Sean Paddock’s dea…, in which wicked mind-controlling patriarchy from the child-beating “ministry” of Michael and Debi Pearl isn’t newsworthy, but the tragic lack of homeschool inspections is the Big Problem. The Long family child protection case in California wasn’t about homeschooling freedom or intervening to save kids who were behind a grade level in school. […]