Homeschooling to require State approval, if OH Bill passes


#1

The news link:
wkbn.com/news/local/cafaro-supports-teddys-law

The motivation for the bill (Ohio Senate Bill 248) was the tragic case of a 14-year-old who was being abused. The school suspected abuse, and his mother pulled him out. He was beaten to death by his mother’s boyfriend of three years. According to a site set up against child abuse in homeschooling, the abuse had been going on for three years:

hsinvisiblechildren.org/2013/12/18/teddy-foltz-tedesco-and-2-siblings/

The hsinvisiblechildren link notes that Teddy’s Law (as S.248 is known) would require schools to check parents who homeschool against state rosters of child abuse. The first link I gave also notes that parents must have in-home interviews conducted by a social worker, and the children be interviewed separately, before permission will be given for homeschooling.

While I applaud the motivation of this bill - to prevent abusive parents from taking their kids out of the purview of school teachers and staff who could detect signs of abuse and intervene - I think it’s overly broad and difficult to impose. At the same time, I can’t think of a better way to monitor kids who don’t go to school - to give that extra layer of supervision that teachers who are trained to spot abuse provide already.


#2

No guarantee the boyfriend wouldn’t have beaten the kid to death anyway. Blaming this on home schooling seems like a mighty big stretch to me. I think we can be confident this beating wasn’t the first one the boyfriend delivered. Nor, if he attended school, would it have been the last.

Home schooling wasn’t the problem here. A bad mother and psychopathic boyfriend were.


#3

I hate it when they craft these laws on the basis of one random example. If there were statistics showing a disturbing trend of homsechooled children getting abused, that would be one thing. But this is a fluke that has absolutely nothing to do with homeschooling. Should we send social workers to the home of every public school kid the next time a public school child gets beaten to death?

In Ohio, you already have to notify the superintendent of your intent to homeschool and then have a certified teacher verify the child’s work at the end of the year. But the superintendent does not give permission for you to homeschool. It’s not his to give because parents have a right to educate their own children.


#4

I just looked it up on the HSLDA website (Home School Legal Defense Association) and apparently the senator who introduced the bill has withdrawn the bill as of yesterday.

I had hoped this was one of those bills that was so overreaching it couldn’t possibly come to fruition. I’m glad that hope was not unfounded. :slight_smile:


#5

In my experience a child is in far more jeopardy for abuse in a public school than in a home schooling environment. My brother-in-law’s wife home schooled their six daughters and all of them did fine in college. The girl diagnosed with a learning disability graduated with honors and is now a teacher in a Catholic school.


#6

Exactly. And why haven’t they closed down all the public schools by now since children sometimes get abused by public school teachers?


#7

My question if the school suspected abuse, then they withdrew the child from public school, did protective services drop the ball or did the school never contect them?


#8

“You never want a serious crisis go to waste.” - Rahm Emanuel (D)

Source


#9

They better have contacted them. If there any suspicion of abuse going on, a teacher is required by law to report it. Laws may vary from state to state, but here in NC, I am required to report those suspicions I may have to our school’s guidance counselor or the principle.

On the other hand, and related to the broader issue, there is no guarantee that a child being in school would end the threat of abuse at home. Further, schools typically are not in session for 8 to 10 weeks in the summer. So, if the idea is to use the schools as a watchdog on parents, there are certainly big gaps in the system.

As a teacher, the biggest issue I see with homeschooling is that, for some, it becomes home-no-schooling, but inconsistency in quality of education is a big issue in public schools as well, and growing worse the more the central government is involved.

Jon


#10

I home schooled as a child. It was a disaster for me and I eventually obtained a GED. Lost submissions, guardian not caring if I did any studying or school work, very poor text books that denied all science as of the devil. Other kids, about 10, from our church that were enrolled in the home school program all had similar results.

A child should be taught only by a person that is a state certified educator at a state certified school whether it is private or public. While a few home schoolers do fine, most are put into a situation that is not in their best interest. In my experience most parents that home school are not competent enough to be educators.

I will give one example out of many that I had with home school grading. I took an American history test that I did not study for and only knew half of the answers. The home school grader gave me an A on that test. No matter how I did the grade was always an A or B. No one watches over these home school companies on their standards.


#11

I am so sorry to hear of your terrible experience.

While not minimizing at all what happened to you, I completely disagree with your assertion that children should only be taught by a state certified educator at a state certified school. Parents bear the responsibility and right to educate their children. If they choose to send them to government school, so be it. But a parent’s right to educate their child should not be restricted.

I also would ask for evidence that “…most (home schoolers) are put into a situation that is not in their best interest.”


#12

That is impossible because no one over sees the home school industry. It is an unregulated wild west that is driven by idealogy, not logic. Any parent that puts their child in home schooling is putting their child at a disadvantage.


#13

On the bolded, my brother has a doctorate in English literature and has taught at the university level for over 20 years… and he is not eligible to teach high school English in his state…because he doesn’t have state certification to teach K12 public school. So much for state certification. :shrug:

Parents bear the responsibility and right to educate their children. If they choose to send them to government school, so be it. But a parent’s right to educate their child should not be restricted.

:thumbsup: And I’m someone who gets to see the bad outcomes of homeschooling (the good outcomes don’t darken the threshold of a school house door).

Jon


#14

My daughter attended Hillsdale College. It is loaded with homeschooled kids. No disadvantages there, as its one of the best and toughest schools in the country, without all the progressive foolishness of the Ivy League.

That said, do you have source for your claim?

Jon


#15

Can I ask a question of homeschooling parents? How do you socialize your kids? I was homeschooled for a semester of high school and plummetted into depression as a result, because I lost contact with all kids my age/friends and spent every day in my house or out with family. I had to literally beg my parents to let me go back to public school just so I could have social contact.

This is not meant as an agenda, even though I have a personal story attached. I am honestly curious how homeschoolers socialize their kids (hopefully in a way much better than my parents did).


#16

And we are so fortunate in this country that no one who goes to public school never gets a GED, or takes tests without studying or is advanced in grade without learning what they should. And since many public schools kids have no textbooks at all or ones that are inaccurate, that’s soooo much better than texts that teach a religious curriculum. :rolleyes:

Sorry, I am really sorry to hear about your experience. But for every story like this that involves a homeschooler, there’s 100 sad stories that involve kids who attended public school. And for every kid who is forced to get a GED after completing a homeschool program, there are dozens who are National Merit scholars getting tons of scholarship money from the colleges of their choice.


#17

I was thinking something quite similar, i think that when kids get homeschooled they lost contact with other kids, and might develop some problems about socializing with others. but that is just my idea, and also i dont know the reasons for parents to homeschool their kids.


#18

I’m not currently homeschooling but we never found it hard to socialize the kids when they were homeschooling. Nor does it seem that the families in my parish have problems in this area.

In the latter case, the families are very involved with various community organizations and the kids volunteer. They are in 4-H and that’s a ton of socialization. They also take some classes with a homeschooling group run through one of the parishes in the area. They have more contact with a greater variety of people than my kids had when they were in “regular” school. Most school kids only socialize with kids in their class or grade which is not a particularly helpful type of socialization to learn.


#19

I’m sorry; what is 4-H? But I’m glad that they get to socialize. When I was homeschooled, I was just left to my own devices unless the family had something they wanted to do as a unit.


#20

If the school suspected abuse, then why didn’t they do anything about it? The blame for this kid’s death could just as easily be blamed on the school for not reporting the abuse.

This law sounds like it is an overreaction by the state. It assumes that parents are guilty of abusing their children by default. How many parents will be bullied into putting their children in substandard schools simply because they fear the state will take their children?

It’s not about protecting kids from abuse, this is about giving the state complete control over families.


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