I Don’t Get It. Why Hate On Home Schoolers?
It doesn’t make any sense.
I’ve tried to figure out why there is a deliberate persecution of home school families and I cannot figure it out. This persecution is taking place worldwide as governments crack down on home schooling globally. And for other countries it might make perfect sense. But it’s nothing short of baffling to figure out why the American government under Attorney General Eric Holder, presumably with consent from the president, would refuse to admit the right of parents to school their children.
At a time when the American education system is in turmoil; declining global competitiveness, overcrowded classrooms, high dropout rates, moral decline further facilitated by things like Common Core. One would think that our government and education system would welcome parents that want to teach their kids at home.
This is especially true in light of recent statistical analysis showing that home-schoolers fare better than their public school counterparts.
And yet we continue to see a national and global effort to minimize the efforts of dedicated parents schooling their children at home and even to punish them, threaten them, and prosecute them.
Internationally, the Wunderlich family has gained recognition in Germany for home schooling their children though it is illegal to do so. After the children were removed from the home in August, the family agreed to put their kids in public school in order to regain custody. While I don’t agree with German law I understand that it is their law and they have the right to enforce adherence to those laws. What I don’t understand is what took place next.
The Wunderlich’s requested permission to emigrate to another country where home schooling is legal in order to educate their children as they see fit. A German judge has denied their request! For what reason could a judge justify refusing to allow a family to leave in order to home school? This seems like far more than a clear-cut case.
Another German family receiving attention is the Romeike family. Two years ago this family came to the U.S. seeking political asylum in order to home school their kids. They were granted asylum by a federal judge. Then, amazingly, the Obama administration got involved and their asylum was revoked. Now the Obama administration is arguing that home schooling is not a fundamental right and is seeking to have the family deported back to Germany. A recent article on the case commented:
“It is important for you to know that in Romeike v. Holder, the administration argued that the freedom to determine the education of one’s children is not a fundamental right. This is scary! If that argument is allowed to stand, it means our government then could use the same argument to ban homeschooling here. What about private religious schools? Can they be far behind? Our government also agreed with the German court that it was necessary to ban homeschooling in order to teach ‘tolerance of diverse views.’ Does any of this sound the least bit familiar?”
Thankfully the Supreme Court has ordered the Obama administration to respond to a petition by the Home School Legal Defense Association concerning the case. This means that SCOTUS has taken an interest in the case and may be willing to take it up very soon. That is a positive sign for the Romeike’s and for home school families across the U.S. The reality is that if the Supreme Court upholds the Obama administration decision on this case it will have a chilling effect on private and home school options in our country. The government will then use the precedent and arguments used in the Romeike case to persecute and ultimately put an end to home schooling and private schooling in our country.
If you don’t think home schooling is under attack here in the United States already just consider a recent decision by a Florida judge based on the “gut feeling” of a court appointed guardian. In the divorce case the mother, who home schools her children, was lectured by the judge about socialization after which he ordered the kids into a public school. The father had no objections to the home schooling and the issue had never been brought up until the courts appointed guardian had a “gut feeling” about it.
In what free society does a judge with no information about a family or its children get to determine what is best for those kids? If both father and mother agree to home schooling a judge has no business even talking about it, much less ruling on it.
And for the record, the old socialization argument is nothing more than an ignorant stereotype created by people who have never home schooled and know nothing about it. Decades of research has consistently disproved the argument. And groups like HSLDA continue to discredit the argument as absurd.
(For a list of famous, accomplished home schoolers, click here.)
So why is there such an effort to demonize and persecute home school families? In light of current public school conditions it makes no sense. I certainly can’t think of a rational reason to prohibit educating kids at home.
It only makes sense if there is more than academics at stake. If academics were all we were talking about no one would object on the basis that home schoolers often outperform their public school counterparts at every level. So it’s not an academic issue. Rather, it is an ideological issue.
For those who believe government has ultimate authority and control in a person’s life it is important that children be “educated” (more akin to indoctrination) from an early age. The only way to ensure that all kids receive this education is to force them into public schools. As long as options such as religious, private, and home schools remain the government cannot impart its agenda, I mean, education to every child.
Ultimately this comes down to an effort to reduce and marginalize any religious training in a child’s life. First we removed God from our public schools. Now we just need to get every child into those schools where they can receive a proper, secular, education. As long as parents are educating their kids at home according to the tenets of their faith there will always be those pesky students who don’t go along with all the government talking points and rhetoric. You can see the problem this causes for our government.
This is yet another attack on religious liberty. Many families home school in order to train their kids according to their religious beliefs and impart a specific worldview. Traditional religious beliefs stand in opposition to the agenda being pushed in America and present a clear threat to the goals of that agenda. For this reason the effort is now under way to reign in alternative forms of schooling in order to further control what is being taught.
I take it back. I do understand why home schoolers are being persecuted. And it does make sense.