In a story published on Patch.com, writer Beth Dalbey slandered the Home School Legal Defense Association in an apparent attempt to prompt a groundswell of opposition to the group dedicated to protecting the rights of homeschooling families.
Dalbey opens her article with the heart-wrenching tale of the murder of Adrian Jones. Abused and suffering from extreme malnutrition, Adrian died at the age of seven. After his death, his father fed the little boy’s body to pigs.
Horrified by the story, the Kansas legislature is preparing to vote this spring on a bill called Adrian’s Act. In brief, House Bill No. 2425 seeks to hold adults who live in the homes of abused children criminally responsible for the abuse if they fail to report it.
Frankly, while reading through the bill, I wondered how this wasn’t already a law in Kansas. This is why I was shocked and dismayed to read on Patch that the HSLDA opposes Adrians Act and is actively lobbying against it.
According to Dalbey’s article, “The formidable homeschool lobby … is lobbying against a child-welfare bill that is related only to the extent that it sprang from Adrian’s tragic circumstances.”
That claim comes directly on the heels of several paragraphs detailing the history of the HSLDA and a quote from Rachel Coleman, co-founder of the Coalition for Responsible Home Education, that, “It is not 1983 anymore. Parents don’t need to buy legal memberships, but it’s in [the HSLDA’s] interest to keep people scared and convinced they’re about to have their rights removed.”
Except, it’s not true. The Home School Legal Defense Association does not oppose Adrians Act.
Speaking with PJ Media over the phone, HSLDA spokesman Ethan Weitz unequivocally stated that the Home School Legal Defense Association “does not oppose [Adrians Act] as introduced.”
Much of the work of the HSLDA is dedicated to fighting back against government intrusion into the homes and lives of honest Americans who desire to educate their children in a manner that doesn’t contradict their beliefs and values. Their mission statement expresses the desire “To preserve and advance the fundamental, God-given, constitutional right of parents and others legally responsible for their children to direct their education.”
For example, the HSLDA frequently works in opposition to bills that would mandate homeschool families open their homes to intrusive visits by the state. In response to a proposed Iowa bill, the HSLDA wrote:
More shockingly, it also requires officials to enter the home of every homeschool family and question the children four times per year. If a family refuses to submit to the official’s demands, SF 138 empowers the school to go to court to seek an order forcing them to submit.
Kansas’ Adrian’s Act will not require the state to make home visits to homeschooling families. The HSLDA does not oppose the bill because the Kansas legislature has not given them a reason to oppose it.
If leftists can discredit the HSLDA, that will help clear the path to more government intrusion into the lives of Christian families, not just homeschool families. Beth Dalbey’s blatant slander of the Home School Legal Defense Association on Patch.com needs to be exposed for the fake news that it is. And conservatives need to be willing to stand up and shout down the lies about the HSLDA being spread by the liberal media. If we don’t, we may wake up one day to discover that no organizations like the HSLDA exist to stand up for our rights.