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Scare Mongering about Home Schooling

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Author Topic: Scare Mongering about Home Schooling  (Read 64 times)
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« on: March 13, 2017, 08:03:36 pm »

Scare Mongering about Home Schooling

The Washington Post Magazine's cover story this week is about … the horrors of home-schooling. Specifically, the horrors of "fundamentalist Christian" home-schooling. The cover illustration for the story depicts a sinister windowless log cabin that's supposed to be your typical home school, I guess.

Author Lisa Grace Lednicer's main source for the story seems to have been an anti-home-schooling activist named Sarah Hunt, age 36, who was home-schooled herself and lived to tell the tale. Actually, Hunt seems to have done quite well for herself even though home schooling at the behest of her father had consisted "largely of reading and watching videos from the Bob Jones University curriculum."

In other words, Hunt was essentially taking college course while still in high school—what was supposed to be wrong with that? She enrolled in the University of New Mexico at age 17 (with the approval of her father—an avionics engineer, by the way—who praised her grades and encouraged her to apply for a Rhodes scholarship), went to law school at Georgetown, one of the nation's top universities, and is now a practicing lawyer. Again, what was supposed to be wrong? Here's what was wrong:

She straddled two worlds. There was the one she had grown up in, where she had learned that being a smart and outspoken woman was dangerous. And there was the world in which she was trying to make her way, where she was teased for her ignorance of pop culture touchstones such as "The Smurfs," Madonna and "Mad Max."

Gee, no Madonna. So Hunt and a home-schooled friend from Georgetown have recently formed the Center for Home Education Policy where they "do legal work for those who want to attend public school." In other words, use the legal system to prevent parents from raising and educating their children according to their own religious views and moral standards. But remember, this is "fundamentalist Christian" home-schooling we're talking about, and we can't have that.

One of the tenets of Hunt's campaign is that home-schooling breeds child abuse. She points out that her center has collected some 84 accounts of child deaths in home-schooling households over an indeterminate period dating back to at least 2011. (If you do the math, though, using figures from the federal government's Children's Bureau, you find out that that's at most less than half the rate at which children die from abuse or neglect in the general U.S. population.)

Hunt's and author Lednicer's home-school horror-story poster child—or actually, poster adult at age 18—is Cornelia Hertzler, daughter of "fundamentalist" (that word again!) parents who didn't believe that higher education was part of "'God's plan' for her." At some point the parents had taken away Hertzler's laptop and cell phone, we are told. When Hunt heard all this in a phone interview with Hertzler, she pushed the panic button:

Hunt texted a lawyer she knew in Oregon. She had a checklist: The home-schooled woman … would need to collect proof of her identity, because confiscating identification was a common parental tactic. The lawyer had to be prepared. Some parents forcibly restrain their children. If Hertzler, 18, got out, she would need to get to a computer, perhaps at a library, to alert people. She would also need help finding work and housing, and eventually coaching on issues such as the SAT and financial aid, Hunt said.

What—were Hertzler's parents Mr. and Mrs. Ariel Castro? Lednicer interviewed Hertzler (and also her father, Roger Hertzler) and wrote this:

Until recently she didn't know what the SAT was or how to shop for clothes. Home schooling, she says, "prepared me very little" for life outside her fundamentalist home.

There's that "fundamentalist" yet again! Then I read this online comment that said Hertzler's family were Mennonites. Mennonites? Those are the nice young girls in the long dresses and little caps who sell homemade goat cheese at my local farmer's market. Aren't they more like the Amish than the Westboro Baptist Church?

So my next step was to phone Roger Hertzler, a CPA with a tax-preparation business who lives in Brownsville, Oregon. Hertzler explained that although his family had attended a Mennonite church for several years, their current church is an independent church in the 500-year-old Anabaptist tradition that spawned the Mennonites, Amish, Hutterites and other close-knit groups of separatist Christians who typically dress in a distinctive "plain" style, eschew mainstream culture, marry young—and also enjoy quite a bit of respect from their neighbors for their thrift, farming skills, industriousness, and quiet ways.

Hertzler also told me that his daughter, far from "needing help," had taken and passed the GED exam (according to Lednicer's story she plans to attend community college in the fall), and that all his seven children had the equivalent "of a tenth- or twelfth-grade education." Cornelia Hertzler is now working and living on her own just 20 minutes away from her parents. "We just took her out to lunch," he said. As for his daughter's apparent troubles maneuvering the racks at Forever 21, "my wife makes all her own dresses, and she taught our daughters how to make their own dresses."

"We've tried to give all our children the best education possible—for life in this world and also for life with Jesus Christ and his salvation," Hertzler said. "We did our best. We didn't gain our daughter's heart, and that's disappointing."

So what Hunt's campaign for government "monitoring" of the educational activities of home-schooling parents boils down to is an attack on the faith and cultural ways of the Mennonites or any Christians, adherents of other traditional religions, and perhaps people of no religion at all who wish to shield their children from school cultures that oblige students to learn how to put a condom onto a cucumber, force girls to shower with biological males, or even just plain skip the three R's in favor of lessons in trendy political correctness.

Fortunately for the Amish and the Mennonites, the Supreme Court ruled in 1972 that the First Amendment's religious-freedom guarantee allows them to educate their children as their faith demands. Other "fundamentalist" Christians may not be so lucky. Lednicer's story includes some digs at President Trump's education secretary, Betsy DeVos and her support of home schooling and other alternatives to public schools. Trump and the current Republican-dominated Congress want to "roll back regulations," Lednicer warns. Regulations that could undermine any notion that parents ought to be able to transmit their religious faith to their children.

Web Link: http://www.weeklystandard.com/article/2007136
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2017, 08:11:33 pm »

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One of the tenets of Hunt's campaign is that home-schooling breeds child abuse.

This is going to become more and more prevalent. Im quite sure that here in the near future this will also be labeled bullying. In fact any mention of the Bible what so ever in any school setting will be bullying and child abuse.
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2017, 08:49:23 pm »

Homeschoolers under attack by officials conducting unannounced visits

 (Natural News) School officials in Paris, KY are attempting to overstep their boundaries by conducting unannounced visits to homeschooling families. According to the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), these visits are a clear violation of a state-wide agreement that was implemented to protect a family’s constitutional right to privacy.

The school officials claim they are only there to help the parents, but part of their plan to help involves demanding information from parents about attendance records and curriculum. They have even asked to meet the children to question them in some instances. One home school parent, Jenny Griffith, who received one of these visits said “I got the impression that district staff could become more difficult if I didn’t cooperate in answering their questions or bring out my child to meet them. I tried to handle the situation as civilly as possible, without adding any threat to them.” The officials also told her that the district intends on visiting every homeschooling family three times a year.

After being alerted of these visits, the HSLDA quickly got involved and warned parents of this threat to their fourth amendment rights. On the HSLDA website, they spell out for their members what their rights are and how they should handle the situation. According to Kentucky laws, a homeschool program operates as a private school. While private schools are required to keep attendance and scholarship records (i.e. report cards) in the same manner as the local public school, homeschooling parents do not need to open their homes and present these documents simply because a school official comes knocking

TJ Schmidt, a contact attorney for Kentucky through the HSLDA, also said that unless school officials receive some report or have some evidence that the parents are not educating their children, no further inquiry should be made. This agreement, known as the Best Practices Document, has been in place for more than 20 years. Schmidt also assured families that he and Cindy West, a local CHEK representative and veteran homeschooling mom in Bourbon County, have contacted the Paris Independent School District and are objecting to the visits on behalf of the parents. They expect the visits to cease but promise to monitor the situation. (RELATED: Get all the news Google is trying to hide at Censored.news.)

This is not the first time that the HSLDA has had to step in when dealing with a Kentucky school district. In 2015 homeschooling families in Gallatin County, KY received a packet from Roxann Booth, the director of pupil personnel, letting them know county officials would visit the home of every homeschool program through the coming school year. The packet also contained forms that requested detailed information not required by state law.

When the HSLDA was alerted about this violation Schmidt wrote a letter to Ms. Booth on behalf of the families informing her that the information requested went well beyond what is required under Kentucky law. And because home visits would violate each homeschooling individual’s privacy rights the HSLDA would legally challenge any attempt to carry out these visits. Within two weeks, every homeschooling family received a follow-up letter from Ms. Booth apologizing for the demands for additional information and the challenge to the legitimacy of their homeschool programs.

Public schools do not want any challenge to their plans to turn all of our children into politically correct social justice warriors with no ability to think for themselves. As we see from these examples, they know very well where the lines are but are more than willing to cross them until someone is brave enough to stand up and tell them that they refuse to conform.

http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-03-12-homeschoolers-under-attack-by-officials-conducting-unannounced-visits.html
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2017, 06:24:34 pm »

Bill in West Virginia would BAN homeschooling, treating it as child abuse

A new bill proposed in West Virginia could make the act of homeschooling equal to that of child abuse. Lawmakers feel that parents are denying their children an appropriate education. If passed into law, Bill SB 528 would prohibit homeschooling and order CPS investigations for children who had ten or more absences without an acceptable excuse.

The Bill is a bipartisan effort proposed by West Virginia Senate Education Chair Kenneth Mann (R-Monroe, 10) and Democratic senators Michael Romano and Ron Stollings. SB 528’s summary says, “The purpose of this bill is to establish a process for providing that a student is not eligible for either home instruction exemption once certain truancy related legal proceedings begin or after a conviction.” The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is vehemently opposing this bill and is urging its members, as well as citizens in the homeschooling community, to contact their state senators, including Kenneth Mann, and tell them not to vote in favor of this legislation.

The HSLDA explains that the bill is unnecessary because there are already laws in place providing procedures for school authorities to step in if there are legitimate concerns for the welfare of the child. They also state that schools often make mistakes when it comes to recording so-called unexcused absences. The fact that a child has accumulated ten days of alleged unexcused absences is not a viable reason to interpret parental abuse or neglect. (RELATED: Get more new like this at LivingFree.news.)

An increasing number of parents have decided to homeschool their kids or place them in homeschool communities for various reasons, including health concerns for the child, bullying, religion, and objections to the common core curriculum taught in public schools. For the schools, the real concerns over the child boil down to dollar signs. As reported by One News Now, in 2014 it was estimated that West Virginia public schools were losing nearly $12,000 of funding per student. Not willing to take such a substantial loss, that same year Ritchie County Superintendent of Schools Ed Toman forced his staff to contact the residences and places of employment of homeschool parents in an attempt to bully them into putting their children back in public schools. During the calls, parents were questioned about their ability to teach their children and asked a series of questions including, “What can we do to get your kids back in school?” Some families were also guilt-tripped when they decided to meet with school counselors at the beginning of the school year and told that their choice to homeschool could result in teachers losing their jobs.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed a bill that went into effect May of 2016 that significantly reduced the rules imposed on homeschooled students and parents in West Virginia. As reported by the Charleston Gazette, the bill, HB 4175, no longer required annual assessment reporting for homeschool students and lowered the threshold that homeschoolers must pass on tests to achieve “acceptable progress.” Sen. Romano was opposed to that Bill and SB 528 feels a lot like a retaliation tactic against Tomblin and the homeschooling families.

The right to decide how to educate children best has been a hot button issue. The HSLDA further states that this bill would lead to laws that presume public education is what is best for children, and that parents are not reliable when deciding whether or not to homeschool. This is classic nanny-state behavior, and it would be an alarming overreach of the State government if passed.

Sources:

http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-03-26-bill-in-west-virginia-would-ban-homeschooling-treat-it-as-child-abuse.html
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