|Compilation of Current Event Articles on Matters of Parental Rights & Freedom|
|THOUGHTS FOLLOWING COMMITTEE VOTE ON HB5044|
By Attorney Deborah G. Stevenson
It’s time to re-assess, after a very disappointing day at the Capitol.
As you all know by now, HB5044 was passed out of the Public Health Committee and is now on its way to the floor of the House.
Yes, the Committee added an amendment to it. That amendment was a “grandfather” clause. In other words, it allows anyone who previously had a religious exemption from vaccination before passage of the bill to be able to keep that exemption for that child. As it currently stands, despite whatever other legislators supposedly might want to amend in the future, that is all the bill does at this time. For all others, the religious exemption is removed.
Naturally, there are a lot of families in turmoil, and very upset about this. They are contemplating how they will deal with this situation down the road if the bill becomes law.
There are those who are urging parents to homeschool. This is not the answer. There are those who say that “they” are coming after homeschooling next. That is just fear mongering at this point, and if “they” should come after homeschooling, we will stop them dead in their tracks.
Some are urging homeschool parents to enroll one child in the public school, now, for a year, and to file a religious exemption before the bill becomes law, in the hopes that that child, and possibly the other children in the family, will be “grandfathered” to retain the religious exemption if the homeschool family has a child in the future who wants to enroll in the public school. There are others who are thinking about all kinds of scenarios down the road if an unvaccinated child has to enroll in public school. It really doesn’t matter what the scenario is. All contain the same condition that a child will enroll in a public school. While it is understandable for people to be concerned, and even afraid, this is not the time to panic. This is a time to control emotions, as difficult as that may be, and to engage in rational thought, and logical planning, to completely defeat this bill.
Do not let these people win. Do not let anyone dupe you into thinking you have to change your life.
You are not the victim. Do not let them make you act like one. This is not over by a long shot.
Let me also say this: This bill is NOT about homeschooling, and the word “homeschooling” should NOT be part of the conversation.
This bill is about PUBLIC SCHOOL and a person’s choice to enroll in public school.
No one, not you, not the legislators, should be contemplating homeschooling at all.
If you allow the conversation to turn to homeschooling, if you allow the legislators to talk about homeschooling as a way out of this bill, then you are allowing them to push you out of your CHOICE to enroll, or remain in, public school, whenever that occurs.
DO NOT let them think they can push you out of your choice to enroll in public school without vaccinating your children.
If you do, then they win.
People have to truly understand that the legislators CANNOT argue with one simple fact: the State has an OBLIGATION under the Connecticut Constitution to provide a PUBLIC education to ALL children who want it, whether or not the child is vaccinated.
That means that even if the bill becomes law and unvaccinated children cannot attend the public school without a medical exemption, the State still MUST PROVIDE A PUBLIC EDUCATION TO THOSE CHILDREN.
If you DEMAND that public education, the State will have to provide it to you. They don’t know how to do that, and the cost, and logistics, of doing that will be overwhelming. That is precisely why you must DEMAND it.
The legislators will not have a solution to that problem. The only way they can get around that problem, because it is a Constitutional obligation on the part of the State, is to amend the Constitution. They won’t be able to do that. They won’t want to do that, and they cannot change the Constitution by adopting a bill.
You have got to understand that YOU have the upper hand here. YOU have the better argument. YOU can control the narrative.
Every time any legislator, or anyone else, talks about “homeschooling”, you MUST SHUT THEM DOWN.
Again, this is NOT about homeschooling. This is about your right to choose, and the State’s obligation to provide, PUBLIC SCHOOL education.
Don’t let them win by distracting you. Don’t let them win by forcing you to homeschool.
Demand your public education now, and let them know that you will demand your Constitutional right to a PUBLIC EDUCATION even if this bill becomes law.
|Contrary to What You May Have Heard, There is No Imminent Threat Looming Due to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child|
By: Attorney Deborah G. Stevenson
It has come to NHELD’s attention that, once again, there is a well known “homeschool” organization that has issued a “warning” of sorts that, because of a new proposal, the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child “Threatens U.S. Protection for Children”.
Don’t believe the hype, keep your emotions under control, and check out what, in reality, is happening.
Here are the facts:
- Contrary to what the “warning” distributed by that other organization says, there is no “Bill” that has been introduced about the treaty.
- That organization is simply wrong about that.
- There is no “Bill” that has been introduced.
- There is only a “Resolution” that has been introduced.
- A Resolution is very different from a Bill.
- A Bill becomes a law, and everyone is compelled to abide by that law.
- A Resolution is only a statement about how one of the chambers of Congress “feels” about a topic.
- That organization did not tell you about that.
- In this instance, we are talking about a Resolution that only one member of the House of Representatives has introduced.
- On February 12, 2000, Rep. Ilhan Omar introduced in the House that Resolution.
- It is called HR 854.
- It is entitled, “Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States should become a state party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child”.
- The title of the Resolution should give you a clue about its purpose and weight, in and of itself.
You can find the text of the Resolution here:
In addition, this type of Resolution affects only the House of Representatives. It does not affect the Senate. It is not voted on by the Senate, and it does not have the full force of law.
It simply is a “sense” or “opinion” of the House, if the House votes on it and adopts it.
It is nothing more than that.
In addition, this Resolution, simply has been introduced. It has no other co-sponsors. It is sitting in a House Committee waiting for action. It could wait there for the entire session and die there. Right now, it has no other official support. It simply was introduced. We do know that there is no indication, at all, that there is any groundswell of support for it. If there were, others would be co-sponsoring it.
Even if there were a groundswell of support, and even if the committee voted it out to the floor of the House, and even if the full House adopted it, that’s where it would sit. At that point, the House would be saying, essentially, “Yes, we all agree, that U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child is a good thing and the United States should sign on and abide by it.”
That’s all that would happen in the House. It would have absolutely no effect in law.
That’s because there is a Constitutional provision that says that all treaties must be “ratified”, that is, voted on and approved, by the Senate. The House of Representatives has no vote, whatsoever, on treaties.
Don’t be duped into thinking this Resolution is some sort of imminent threat to your parental rights right now. It is not. The Resolution, at the moment, is a political ploy by one member of Congress. That’s it.
As for the U.N. Convention on the rights of the child, itself, yes, that is not a good treaty. It would affect parental rights. NHELD wrote about this topic years ago, presented the facts about it, and would become active in opposing it, were it to become necessary.
You must keep in mind, however, that the treaty has been around for years. The Senate has never adopted it. We hope it never does.
Even if the Senate were to take the treaty seriously and consider it for a vote, it must be ratified by a full two-thirds of the 100 Senators in order to be adopted.
Is that possible, at some point, yes. Is it about to happen now? Absolutely not. Again, at this point, only a simple Resolution, promoted politically by a single member of the House, has been proposed.
It is, however, one of many, many reasons why elections are important.
Be ever watchful that your freedom is not taken away, but, get the facts first about whether your rights actually are being threatened. Then, you can act accordingly, if, and when, necessary.
|Tax Credits for Homeschoolers: An Old Idea Wrapped In a New Package Still Can’t Take Away the Stink|
February 4, 2020
By: Attorney Deborah G. Stevenson
Some people are offended by that title, and they probably will be offended by the content of what’s below. Sometimes it takes harsh language to learn the harsh reality.
We at NHELD, (National Home Education Legal Defense, LLC), like many others, still believe in that concept, and cherish it. We do not take it lightly, and we will not give it away without a fight.
That’s why we take the time to look at everything, every new law that is proposed through that same lens. That’s because there are many people among us that don’t share our view. There are those who, for whatever reason, believe that we, the people, should not be free, that we should be controlled by “rulers”, by the government.
There is nothing new in this. It is a constant struggle. Sometimes those who want to rule us are very open about it, sometimes they are not. Sometimes, there are those who think they are “helping” us remain free, but what they propose, or are convinced to propose, actually makes us less free.
Such is the case with the “new” proposal to give parents tax credits for homeschoolers. That proposal is called, H.R. 1434, or the Education Freedom Scholarship and Opportunity Act. It is a bill to amend the IRS Code to to give tax credits to those who contribute to scholarships for students, including those who homeschool. Why, you say, “that sounds like a great idea”. Yes, it certainly does. Like anything, however, the devil is in the details.
You have to look at the language in the bill to find the details. You can find the language here: <https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hr1434/BILLS-116hr1434ih.pdf
>. Now, there is a section in the bill that says, “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to permit, allow, encourage or authorize any Federal control over any aspect of any private, religious, or home education provider, whether or not a home education provider is treated as a private school or home school under State law”, and “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to permit, allow, encourage, or authorize an entity submitting a list of eligible scholarship-granting organizations on behalf of a State to mandate, direct, or control any aspect of a private or home education provider, regardless of whether or not a home education provider is treated as a private school under State law”, and “No participating State or entity acting on behalf of a State shall exclude, discriminate against, or otherwise disadvantage any education provider with respect to programs or services under this Act based in whole or in part on the provider’s religious character or affiliation, including religiously or mission-based policies or practices.” Sounds good so far, right?
Then, again, there are other provisions to examine. For example, the bill provides that the “Secretary of the Treasury” shall prescribe such “regulations or other guidance” to ensure the bill’s provisions will be enforced. That means more federal regulations to come, perhaps?
The bill also creates a web portal and administration for the contributions and tax credits. It works this way: The Secretary of Education and the Secretary of the Treasury will “establish, host, and maintain a Web portal” that lists all scholarship-granting organizations that are eligible under the IRS Code. The Web portal they maintain will enable a taxpayer to make a “qualifying” contribution to one or more of these eligible scholarship-granting organizations and to immediately obtain a “pre-approval” of a tax credit for the contribution, and a receipt to use when filing tax returns. It also, and here’s a key provision to watch, “enables a State to submit and update information about its programs. and its eligible scholarship-granting organizations, for informational purposes only, including information on (A) student eligibility; (B) allowable educational expenses; (C) the types of allowable education providers; (D) the percent of funds an organization may use for program administration; and (E) the percentage of total contributions the organization awards in a calendar year.”
Translation: The head of two federal agencies will operate a website where “eligible” organizations will be listed so that taxpayers can contribute cash donations to them, and get “pre-approval” for a tax credit in return for that donation. That same website enables “the State” to “submit and update” information, on how a student is “eligible” for scholarships, on “allowable educational expenses”, and on “the types of allowable education providers”.
Hmm. The State submits and updates information to whom? To the Federal government, which “maintains” it. The information submitted is what? Information on student “eligibility”, “allowable educational expenses”, and the “types of allowable education providers”. “Allowable education providers” - that’s parents, if we are talking about those who homeschool. So, let’s think about this. If a homeschool parent wants a tax credit, or a scholarship for the child, the parent goes to the website where information will be provided to the federal government about the “eligibility” of the child, and on what “type” of “allowable education provider” the parent is. In return, you get a tax credit for your donation to a non-profit organization. So, for your generous contribution to a non-profit organization, your benefit is a piece of paper saying you have an immediate “pre-approval” for a tax credit that year, and the chance for a “scholarship” for your child. Isn’t it true that any parent, right now, can donate to any non-profit and get a tax credit for that donation? Isn’t that the benefit of any 501(c)(3) donation? Isn’t it true that your child could have a chance for a scholarship from any non-profit right now to which a parent may make a donation, if it offers scholarships? So, you get this “immediate pre-approval” of your tax credit in exchange for what again? Oh, you provide information to the two Federal agencies for them to “maintain”. I don’t know, but that sounds like a pretty good deal - for the federal data collectors, that is.
Reading on through the bill some more, however, it does say that you can make contributions without restoring to doing it through the web portal, but there are conditions to that, too. You can do so, “provided that the taxpayer, or the eligible scholarship-granting organization on behalf of the taxpayer, applies for, and receives pre-approval for a tax credit from the Secretary of Education in coordination with the Secretary of the Treasury.” So, you need to get “pre-approval” from the federal agencies before you can donate your cash and get the tax credit. You don’t need to get “pre-approval” from anyone right now to donate to a non-profit and get a tax credit, do you?
I see, this is a special tax credit for your educational expenses while you homeschool. You didn’t have that before, but you would under this bill. All you have to do to get that special tax credit is either get “pre-approval” from the federal agencies, if you qualify as the right “type” of “allowable” homeschool provider, and your educational expenses are “allowable”, and you provide information about your family to the federal agencies. Whether or not you, or your expenses, are “allowable” depends on what rules the Secretaries of those two agencies adopt, sometime, you know, down the road.
Of course, the State will like this bill, because the Federal agencies will “first reserve, for each State, an amount equal to the sum of the qualifying contributions made in the State in the previous year”, and allocate more in the following years proportionate to the number of children in the State. Here’s the hook, though: a State that does not provide the Secretary with the “information” the bill requires, is not eligible to receive the federal funds. What do you think your State will do?
This is why NHELD advocates for freedom, and against accepting any government benefit, no matter how good it seems on the surface.
This is nothing new. This proposal, in one packaging or another, has been around for years. In fact, NHELD wrote about it, for example, when this idea, in different packaging, was being proposed in 2011. You can find that article in the NHELD archives, here: <http://www.nheld.com/Editorialtaxbreaks.htm
>. Note, also, that some of the same people who proposed the idea back then, are the same people who are behind proposing the idea now. (Can we say HSLDA, Ted Cruz, etc.?) Nothing has changed, except the packaging. It’s always the same: people who want, or don’t mind, government control - regulation, information sharing, approval, call it what you will - dangle benefits, in exchange for strings attached. Once attached, the strings are extremely difficult to cut. Yes, some people will want, or need, the benefit they see. Just don’t be fooled. The packaging may cover the stink of loss of freedom, but the stink still remains. NHELD doesn’t want it. We want freedom.
by Attorney Deborah G. Stevenson
The National Home Education Legal Defense, (NHELD) stands ready to assist you, as that is our primary goal, as well – to protect the right of parents to educate in freedom. The question is: how do we do that? Whenever we want an answer to questions, today, the first thing we normally do is to search the internet. It is a wonderful resource. It’s also quick and easy. Oftentimes, we get great results – lots of articles with lots of helpful information. A word of caution is necessary, here, however. Be careful in what you read, and what you believe.
Sometimes what you find out there is not everything that it portends to be. Sometimes, it sounds good, but, in reality, is not. Sometimes, what seems to be a great way to protect your freedom, actually will take more of it away. Sometimes, what seems like a good idea to do now, in the long run, will be a very bad idea. In other words, when you find information from anyone, it always is best to do some critical thinking about what you find, and investigate as many facts as you can, before making a reasoned decision as to whether or not to believe it, or act upon it.
Many people are cautious, these days, when it comes to accepting information or advice provided by the government, but perhaps not so many are equally cautious when it comes to accepting information or advice from private individuals or organizations. It’s always a good idea to be cautious, no matter what; but it is of particular importance when those people or organizations say they are there to help you. Knowing all of the facts before simply accepting the word of anyone is always best. Better to know, than to be unaware of potential harms ahead. Let’s look at an example.
If you have done any internet searches about how to protect the rights of parents, you may have come across a seemingly really good website, that has an entire Board of people who believe the solution to protecting parental rights is to adopt, what they call, a “Parental Rights Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution. At first glance, that sounds like an awesome idea – to change the Constitution so that the rights of parents are protected in it. What could be better than that? What’s wrong with that as a solution to government intrusion of parental rights across the country? Sounds good, right?
But wait. Let’s take a closer look. Let’s do some investigation of the facts, and use some critical thinking. What does it do? How would it amend the Constitution? Among other things, it would:
– declare that the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of a child is a fundamental right;
– the right includes the right to choose alternatives to public education; and
– neither the United States nor any State shall infringe these rights without demonstrating that its governmental interest is of the highest order.
(The full text can be found here: https://parentalrights.org/amendment/)
That sounds good, right?
But let’s think this through, from the original meaning of the existing Constitution, to who proposed the amendment and why, and to the logical conclusion of its ramifications following adoption of the amendment. First, the original meaning of the Constitution was to specifically enumerate, and limit, exactly which powers the people were granting to the federal government. The powers that were specifically granted to Congress to adopt laws are found in Article I, Section 8. of the existing Constitution The federal government, through Congress, is limited to using only those powers delegated in that section. There is no grant of any direct power, in that section, to the federal government to regulate parents or children. Congress does have the power to tax and spend, and to effectively bribe States into accepting tax money in exchange for the States doing what the federal government wants. Again, there is no direct grant of power to Congress, however, to make laws regarding parents and children. That is a power left to the States.
Next, who originally proposed the Parental Rights Amendment? Michael Farris did. He is the founder of HSLDA, the Home School Legal Defense Association. That seems logical given that HSLDA defends the rights of parents.
But, look what the Amendment he proposed does – it grants to the federal government authority over parents and children, when they never before had that authority. It says the United States nor any State shall infringe the rights of parents, WITHOUT DEMONSTRATING that the government’s interest in infringing those rights is of the “highest order”. In other words, the Constitution, itself, now would specifically say that the federal government CAN INFRINGE the rights of parents, as long as their interest in doing so is of “the highest order”. What does the “highest order” mean? Presumably, it refers to the standard used by the courts called “strict scrutiny.” Whether you call it the “highest order” or “strict scrutiny”, neither term is specific. The court can say what that term means in each individual case. It could mean almost anything.
What likely is the natural result of granting that authority to the federal government?
When the federal government has the authority to infringe the rights of parents and children, even if the interest was only of the “highest order,” how would the federal government do so?
What would the government think is of the highest order?
Might the federal government think that it is of the highest order to protect children from abusive or neglectful parents?
Could the federal government then adopt laws to infringe on the rights of parents to protect the children from such allegations of abuse and neglect?
How would the federal government enforce such laws?
Could it be that the federal government would do so by creating a federal agency, perhaps a federal agency such as a federal Child Protective Services agency, or a federal Department of Children and Families?
Is that a realistic possibility? Is it likely to occur?
Would the Parental Rights Amendment proposed by Mr. Farris make it easier for the federal government to claim a newfound authority to establish such a CPS agency?
What do you think?
Before you decide, you need to know one more fact. In doing the research on the Parental Rights Amendment, one very important fact stands out. You can find this fact in an article that Michael Farris, himself, wrote, and posted on his own website, in explaining the need for the Parental Rights Amendment. In that article, he says, effectively, that he believes the government should be able to regulate the rights of parents. He does not believe that parents should be free from government regulation, at all.
The exact quote from Mr. Farris is this: “ I think it is now evident that:
▪ The Founders did not believe that inalienable rights are absolute.
▪ Parental rights should not be absolute.
In light of the fact that parental rights cannot and should not be considered an absolute right, the question remains: Have we chosen the correct method of limitation on this right? We certainly do not want to return to the language of the Massachusetts Bill of Rights of 1780: ‘Parents should have the right to make all decisions for their children provided that they are ‘demeaning themselves peaceably and [are] good subjects of the commonwealth’.”
(That quote can be found here: https://parentalrights.org/amendment/why-do-we-need-section-three-if-parental-rights-are-already-considered-inalienable/)
Read that part again: Mr. Farris does NOT believe that parental rights should be absolute. Mr. Farris does NOT want to return to the rights, and freedom, that parents enjoyed under the Massachusetts Bill of Rights of 1780. Mr. Farris does NOT believe that parents should have the right to make ALL decision for their children.
That appears to be the real reason that Mr. Farris, and his supporters, are in favor of changing the Constitution. Mr. Farris, and his supporters, seemingly WANT to give power to the federal government, precisely so that the federal government CAN directly regulate the rights of parents and children, albeit if the government’s reason is of “the highest order”. They seemingly WANT the federal government to be able to RESTRICT parents from making all decisions for their children, as long as the government’s reason is of “the highest order”.
The question is: Do you want that also?
Before you answer that question, please do your own research. Look up the facts. Read them for yourself. Question everything. Learn about everything. And then make up your mind. NHELD has done so, and we do not agree with Mr. Farris. NHELD does believe that a return to the rights and freedom of 1780 is a good thing. NHELD does believe that parents should have the right to make ALL decisions for their children. It’s time for you to do the research and reach your own conclusions.
This is only one example of the kind of investigation of facts, and critical thinking, that NHELD urges everyone to undertake, about every issue or proposal. In many cases, after you have done the research and considered the long term consequences of a particular issue or proposal, you will find that it is a worthy idea to support and defend. You won’t know that, however, until you do that research and that contemplation. NHELD will be exploring many more issues affecting the rights of parents as time progresses. Stay tuned.”
|AMENDING FEDERAL LAW TO INCLUDE MEMBERSHIP OF HOMESCHOOLERS IN JUNIOR ROTC PROGRAMS - ANY PROBLEMS WITH THAT?|
January 20, 2020
By Attorney Deborah G. Stevenson
In a word, yes, quite possibly.
It is reported in the Military Times that in the newly approved National Defense Authorization Act a provision was added allowing homeschoolers membership in Junior ROTC programs.
You can find the article here:
While, on its face, this appears to be a very good thing, but, sometimes good things come with unintended consequences.
First, it is always better to go directly to the actual source to read the entire bill, rather than relying on any internet source for a synopsis.
Federal bills tend to be very lengthy, and this one is extremely so. The provision about homeschool membership in Junior ROTC is one small part of it. It is Section 513 of Part B of the bill. You can find it here:
Of course, that Section is to be added to the existing law, which is 10 U.S.C. §2031. That law can be found under the United States Code, which can be found here:
Section 513 of the National Defense Authorization Act, when signed by the President, will be added onto the end of 10 U.S.C. §2031 as Section (g).
Putting all of that together for your ease of reference, you can see it below in the comments section.
Read it for yourself and draw your own conclusions.
Consider the highlighted portions in particular.
Two things are important to remember: (1) anytime the term, “homeschooler”, appears in a federal statute, unintended consequences could follow; and (2) the language in the statute, itself, could lead to unintended consequences.
“Homeschooling” is a term coined recently to describe the unalienable right of parents to the upbringing and education of their own children. Right now, each State determines whether, or not, to “regulate” that right.
The Constitution provides for the military, and Congress, can adopt laws affecting the military. Anyone enrolled in a military program, undoubtedly, must follow those laws.
Placing the term, “homeschooling” into a federal law of any kind, however, can have unintended consequences because, now, rather than the State, and the people in that State, having control over whether “homeschooling” is “regulated”, the federal government has interposed itself into that arena, even if intending to “help” homeschoolers.
As we all know, it is far easier to influence local legislators, than it is to influence legislators in Washington, D.C.
Will there come a time when legislators in Washington, D.C. will adopt more laws affecting homeschoolers? It is possible.
Will those additional laws all be for the benefit of homeschoolers to remain free to homeschool as they and their children need? It is possible, but how many laws does Congress adopt each year that are all for the benefit of anyone to remain free to do as they need?
Even though this law may benefit many children, look at the language in the law again.
In plain English, the new amendment says that public schools shall permit membership of homeschoolers into the Junior ROTC program at that public school.
The original federal statute says the Secretary of each military department shall establish Junior ROTC units at public schools, and the public school agrees to limit the membership in the unit to students “whom attain acceptable standards of academic achievement and conduct, as prescribed by the Secretary of the military department…” In other words, the public school will still limit the membership to students who “attain acceptable standards of academic achievement” developed by the federal government.
That raises several questions.
What are those “acceptable standards of academic achievement” for homeschoolers? We don’t know yet.
We do know that the Secretary of each military department will establish those “acceptable standards of academic achievement”. The Secretary is in Washington, D.C.
Do you have a lot of influence on what those acceptable standards for homeschoolers will be?
How will those standards for homeschoolers be deemed “acceptable”?
Who will deem them “acceptable”?
Will the public school hosting the program be in charge of that?
Will whoever is in charge need to review your homeschool program and approve it?
How will that be done? In your home? At the public school?
Will they review what the homeschooling program that you did before the child entered the program and determine the child is not eligible for the program, unless you do as they say?
Will you have to re-do your child’s homeschool program in order to enter Junior ROTC?
Did the legislators, or other supporters, of this new law ask those questions before adopting the law?
If they did, what are the answers to those questions?
If either the military, or the public school, is now allowed to review your homeschool program and “approve” it, how will that affect homeschoolers long term?
Certainly, those involved in the program will be entering the program voluntarily and agree to these terms. If that is something that an individual family wants, that is their choice. Understand, however, that homeschooling for that family will no longer be under the control of the parent. That means loss of freedom. Understand that full well, before making your choice.
Understand, also, that the unintended consequences may be that freedom for other homeschoolers, who do not join the program, may be affected long term, as well.
It is possible that this could be a first step to making it easier for public schools, or any government officials, to have a say in how they homeschool. One thing is for sure: the more laws that are put in place, the harder it is to roll them back. After all, remember, also, that historically, incrementalism has worked to chip away at other freedoms.
Is it possible this will make it easier for government officials to do the same with homeschooling freedoms? Maybe.
Time will tell.
This is only one example. There are many well-meaning people in government trying to help people with all kinds of issues. One thing that they must consider, however, regarding any law they propose to adopt, each time they propose to adopt it, is whether the law will have unintended consequences in the long term that will make it easier to lose our freedom.
We must all be vigilant against losing our freedom, every day. Just ask Thomas Jefferson. He warned us to do just that.
If you value your freedom, regardless of whether you are a lawmaker, or an individual, always think before you support what seems to be a good idea.
Think of the long term unintended consequences, and choose wisely.
|ANOTHER GOVERNMENT FAILURE LEAVES YET ANOTHER CHILD DEAD|
January 11, 2020
By: Attorney Deborah G. Stevenson
There is an article about the very tragic case of a child’s death at the hands of an abusive father in the news.
You can read the article here:
NHELD (National Home Education Legal Defense, LLC), hopes you take the time to read the article, and also to think critically about it.
So many things are wrong with this article, that I hardly know where to begin.
First of all, this has nothing to do with homeschooling.
How do I know that?
If we can take the “facts” reported in the article at face value, the article says two things:
“Collins died on Dec. 13, 2019, a year and a half after relatives pulled him out of Dayton Public Schools to for home-schooling.”
“Police say Collins suffered from years of extreme abuse by his father, and that the boy showed signs of being severely beaten.”
If both “facts” are true, obviously this is not about homeschooling.
The child was “pulled” from public school for homeschooling only “a year and a half” ago.
But “police say” the child “suffered from years of extreme abuse by his father”.
Logic dictates, then, that the abuse was occurring well before any homeschooling.
In fact, it was occurring while the child was enrolled in the public school.
Apparently, enrollment in the public school, under the so-called watchful eyes of all the folks in that school, including possibly the school social worker and guidance counselor, did not prevent the child from undergoing “years” of abuse.
How do I know that? I know that because the article says,
“Teachers at Collins’ school had repeatedly called authorities about the matter in 2018, but authorities closed the investigation after their house calls went unanswered.”
Assuming those “facts” are accurate, the teachers in the public school knew about the abuse, apparently for years. They, rightfully, reported the abuse to the proper “authorities”. Nonetheless, the child continued to be abused.
The public school teachers could not prevent it.
This is a story about abuse. It is not a story about the type of education the child was receiving while he was being abused.
Obviously, the type of education the child was receiving had absolutely nothing to do with the child being abused.
What the heading of this story should be is this:
Despite having sufficient laws on the books to prevent abuse of children, and despite having established a plethora of “authorities” to investigate reports of child abuse and to ensure the safety of a child alleged to be abused, the “authorities” failed to do their job again, and another child is dead because of it.
Each state has laws against child abuse. Each state has “authorities” dedicated to investigating child abuse and preventing harm to the child. Those laws are designed to investigate child abuse wherever it occurs, regardless of the type of education a child receives.
The problem lies not with the laws. In addition, of course to the abuser, the problem lies with those charged with enforcing and implementing those laws.
Read the most crucial phrase in the story again. It is this: “but authorities closed the investigation after their house calls went unanswered”.
If that “fact” is accurate, the “authorities” seemed to have knocked on the door of the house where the child lived, and when no one opened the door, they went away.
They “closed” the case.
That’s dereliction of duty.
Those “authorities” who just went away and “closed” the case when the abuser failed to open the door should be fired.
As an attorney, I know that there are many things those “authorities” could have, and should have, done to prevent that child’s further harm.
One very simple thing that they could have done is this: Assuming they had more than enough probable cause to believe the child was being abused, since the public school teachers “repeatedly” called them and told them he was being abused because “the boy showed signs of being severely beaten”, the “authorities” could have gone to a judge and asked for a court order to enter the home to view the child, or to take temporary custody of the child for a physical examination. At the very least, at any point, those “authorities” had sufficient probable cause to ask the police to do a “welfare check” on the child.
If the “facts” in the article are accurate, apparently the “authorities” did not even do that.
Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and time will tell whether the father was the abuser. If he was, then he should be punished to the full extent of the law.
However, the abuser is not the only one to be blamed here.
The “authorities” also share the blame. They knew about the abuse. They failed to take the steps they could have. A child is dead as a result.
This is not about homeschooling. It’s not about public school. This is about the evil of child abuse. But it’s also about properly implementing the laws against child abuse that already exist.
We trust our “authorities” to do their job. Once again, they have failed to do so. A child is dead because of it. His name was Takoda Collins. Never forget that name. He didn’t deserve to die.
Unfortunately, this same thing happened in Connecticut not long ago. That child’s name was Matthew Tirado. Never forget his name either. He also didn’t deserve to die.
His abuser was punished.
The “authorities” in Connecticut, who also failed to do a “welfare check” on the child, and walked away when the abuser did not open the door, have not been punished.
They have not even been fired.
Will those “authorities” in Ohio be punished for not doing their job?
Will they even be fired?
Will the people of Ohio stand up and demand the “authorities” come to terms with their failures?
Or, will they be duped by headlines highlighting the type of education the child received, and allow the “authorities”, once again, to go unpunished for their failures and their part in the death of yet another child?
Time will tell.
(Note: Matthew Tirado was never homeschooled)