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Ohio Lawmakers Want Social Workers to Have Veto Power Over Decision to Homeschool

Sen. Cafaro said her bill would protect children like Teddy. "The objective there is to make sure the child services agency has all the information on that family that is looking to home school that child and then they refer that 'Yay' or 'Nay' should this child be educated at home, and they pass that along to the superintendent of schools and the process goes from there," said Cafaro.

The proposed law would require parents desiring to homeschool or enroll their children in an online school (public or private) to pass a background check. [For the sake of simplicity I will use the term "homeschooling" to refer to both homeschooling and e-schooling as they both have the same requirements under this bill.] A finding that a parent or anyone else in the home had "a record or report of any investigation at any time" could result in denial of the right to homeschool. Note that the standard is not guilt, merely a "record or report of an investigation." This could be from a vindictive ex-wife, a busybody neighbor who is concerned about seeing children in the yard during school hours, or simply someone at the grocery store who doesn't approve of the way you scolded your irritable child.

In addition to the background check, the parent requesting "permission" to homeschool must submit to an interrogation interview by a "public children services agency." The law would require children to be interviewed separately from their parents. Based upon the interview, the request for permission to homeschool could be denied if the social worker decides that home education would not be "in the best interest of the child." According to ParentalRights.org, the "best interest" standard is a severe departure from American law. "[E]xcept in cases where a parent has been proven to be "unfit," American law presumes that the parent is acting in the best interests of the child, and defers to that parent's decision."

If parents (and children) manage to pass the background check and the initial interrogation, they will still need to pass two additional "interviews" during the school year until they can go four straight years without arousing the suspicions of social workers before they are free from the intrusive investigations.

In addition to the interrogations and the background checks, anyone in the home who pings the statewide automated child welfare information system must submit to an intervention program. The intervention would include behavioral counseling sessions and classes on "parenting, decision-making, personal or household finance, and homeschooling." Oh, and also, "any other services the department and the state board determine to be necessary for the success of the program." Participants will be assessed to "determine successful completion of the program." That should effectively counteract most of that right-wing brainwashing.