Increasing Demands for Oversight of Homeschooling in Connecticut

“How is it that, in this state of sometimes stultifying bureaucracy, parents can withdraw their children from school with a one-page form and no questions asked?” is how the editorial for the Hartford Courant begins.

In fairness, it does seem odd. After all, a friend of mine is trying to build a home and has had one bureaucratic nightmare after another, all while trying to build something on land she and her husband own. It seems odd that parents can pull their child out of public school with a simple form.

But it’s true.

However, the Hartford Courant isn’t using that as an example of how bureaucracy is a problem. No, it seems the problem is that there isn’t enough, especially when it comes to homeschooling. You see, because some abusive parents use homeschooling as a way to protect themselves from the authorities, we need far more government oversight.

“Yet that’s the state of affairs, according to testimony from the state child advocate, who on Thursday told a legislative committee that more than a third of home-schooled youths in a six-district sample lived in homes where the Department of Children and Families had a history — and that the majority of those cases involved allegations of abuse or neglect,” the editorial argues.

However, that leaves an awful lot left unsaid. For example, how many total districts are there? How were these six districts chosen? What were the outcomes of those investigations?

These are all important questions to ask, in part so we can understand what exactly the state child advocate is trying to get at.

But we don’t need to work hard to understand what the Courant is trying to get at. “To put it more simply: School districts routinely allow parents to take their children out of school and into potentially abusive situations. That has to stop,” they write.

In other words, because of the actions of a handful–and we still don’t know just how widespread this really is because of those unanswered questions mentioned earlier–all parents who decide not to relegate their child to the state for indoctrination masquerading as education should be punished.

However, here’s something that needs to be understood: That state child advocate was able to report that one-third of the homeschooling families in six districts were homes where DCF responded at some point. It seems to me that the system is still finding ways to see if parents are potentially abusive or not, even without the schools keeping an eye on them.

In other words, the system is already generating reports, though they may be bogus. Why do we need government to interject still more regulations into the lives of people who want nothing to do with it?

The answer is simple. It’s all about control. A homeschooled child isn’t being taught what progressive educators want them to be taught. They’re learning about the Second Amendment or about how the New Deal may well have prolonged the Great Depression. They’re getting their physical education through Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes or at a gun range. They’re visiting museums and battlegrounds rather than sitting at a desk for hours on end.

In other words, they’re learning how to think, not what to think.

And that’s what this is all really about, no matter what the Courant may try to argue.

The fact that we don’t know how many of those DCF calls panned out to mean anything is telling. It’s because they most likely meant nothing. Someone thought a homeschooled kid was being abused because they’ve been told homeschool kids get abused.