Michigan Proposes Bill to Require Official Visits to Parents Homeschooling Their Children

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why-homeschoolThe busy­bod­ies in Michi­gan have pro­posed a new bill direct­ed at chil­dren who are home­schooled, which will require two annu­al home inspec­tions and offi­cial state reg­is­tra­tion.

Stephanie Chang, a Michi­gan State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, is wor­ried that home­school par­ents will abuse their chil­dren while no one is watch­ing. Appar­ent­ly, the state wants to be the sole author­i­ty on child abuse; includ­ing indoc­tri­na­tion, a dai­ly sta­tist pledge for 5-year-olds, and the dis­tri­b­u­tion of crim­i­nal records to teens who decide to smoke a plant.

Like dogs and sex offend­ers, the state wants chil­dren reg­is­tered. As a result, thou­sands of decent and car­ing home­school par­ents may soon be forced to allow an inspec­tion of their fam­i­ly or be in vio­la­tion of the law.

The tragedy the state is point­ing to in order to push this bill is a 2012 case in which two home­schooled chil­dren were tor­tured, killed, and then left in a freez­er by their moth­er. As trag­ic as this is, using it to cre­ate a new law to infringe on the pri­va­cy and sov­er­eign­ty of 48,000 home­schooled chil­dren in Michi­gan is wrong.

Obvi­ous­ly, that moth­er was crazy and deranged.I would argue that it is clear­ly not the norm for home­school par­ents who have con­scious­ly cho­sen to have a larg­er role in rais­ing their chil­dren to then go on and tor­ture them.

This pro­posed law is anoth­er knee-jerk and reck­less response to a hor­ri­ble event. Try­ing to pre­vent it from hap­pen­ing again by restrict­ing the rights of all par­ents who home­school is sim­ply wrong. How many chil­dren are abused by their par­ents while attend­ing tax­pay­er-fund­ed schools? How many chil­dren are sex­u­al­ly abused by teach­ers at school? What about the babies who are abused or killed by their par­ents before they were old enough to attend school? Should all fam­i­lies be sub­ject to vis­its by social work­ers regard­less of where they go to school?

This mis­guid­ed ide­ol­o­gy of ever increas­ing state inter­ven­tion into our lives “for our own good” will prove end­less if we allow it. It’s like the nev­er-end­ing war on ter­ror; once you go down that road, it’s very dif­fi­cult to reverse course and it becomes an excuse for all sorts of injus­tices. First, minori­ties and the weak will be tar­get­ed, which in this par­tic­u­lar case is the home­school kids.

The real kick­er to this whole saga is that inspec­tions wouldn’t have even helped stop this par­tic­u­lar tragedy. For exam­ple, the moth­er had already been inves­ti­gat­ed by the state for child abuse in 2002 and 2005. The state’s response was to refer her to coun­sel­ing. Dis­as­ter was not avert­ed despite her already being on the state’s radar.

Like restric­tions on gun own­er­ship, the log­ic in this new­ly pro­posed law is lack­ing. If passed, law-abid­ing home­school par­ents will unnec­es­sar­i­ly reg­is­ter their kids and open the door for annu­al inspec­tions, while the abu­sive par­ents won’t. The twist­ed par­ents who tor­ture their chil­dren have no ethics to begin with. They’ll sim­ply avoid the law, move dis­tricts, fail to report, avoid the police, not answer the door for inspec­tions, and do every­thing they can to remain under the radar.

The moth­er in this sto­ry no doubt has psy­cho­log­i­cal prob­lems, but so do these politi­cians who think they can end­less­ly intrude on our lives, forc­ing pun­ish­ment upon decent, law-abid­ing peo­ple based on actions of crazy crim­i­nals.