Bill in West Virginia would BAN homeschooling, treating it as child abuse

Image: Bill in West Virginia would BAN homeschooling, treating it as child abuse
Source: NaturalNews.com
Thomas Dishaw
March 27, 2017

A new bill proposed in West Virginia could make the act of homeschooling equal to that of child abuse. Lawmakers feel that parents are denying their children an appropriate education. If passed into law, Bill SB 528 would prohibit homeschooling and order CPS investigations for children who had ten or more absences without an acceptable excuse.

The Bill is a bipartisan effort proposed by West Virginia Senate Education Chair Kenneth Mann (R-Monroe, 10) and Democratic senators Michael Romano and Ron Stollings. SB 528’s summary says, “The purpose of this bill is to establish a process for providing that a student is not eligible for either home instruction exemption once certain truancy related legal proceedings begin or after a conviction.” The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is vehemently opposing this bill and is urging its members, as well as citizens in the homeschooling community, to contact their state senators, including Kenneth Mann, and tell them not to vote in favor of this legislation.

The HSLDA explains that the bill is unnecessary because there are already laws in place providing procedures for school authorities to step in if there are legitimate concerns for the welfare of the child. They also state that schools often make mistakes when it comes to recording so-called unexcused absences. The fact that a child has accumulated ten days of alleged unexcused absences is not a viable reason to interpret parental abuse or neglect. (RELATED: Get more new like this at LivingFree.news.)

An increasing number of parents have decided to homeschool their kids or place them in homeschool communities for various reasons, including health concerns for the child, bullying, religion, and objections to the common core curriculum taught in public schools. For the schools, the real concerns over the child boil down to dollar signs. As reported by One News Now, in 2014 it was estimated that West Virginia public schools were losing nearly $12,000 of funding per student. Not willing to take such a substantial loss, that same year Ritchie County Superintendent of Schools Ed Toman forced his staff to contact the residences and places of employment of homeschool parents in an attempt to bully them into putting their children back in public schools. During the calls, parents were questioned about their ability to teach their children and asked a series of questions including, “What can we do to get your kids back in school?” Some families were also guilt-tripped when they decided to meet with school counselors at the beginning of the school year and told that their choice to homeschool could result in teachers losing their jobs.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed a bill that went into effect May of 2016 that significantly reduced the rules imposed on homeschooled students and parents in West Virginia. As reported by the Charleston Gazette, the bill, HB 4175, no longer required annual assessment reporting for homeschool students and lowered the threshold that homeschoolers must pass on tests to achieve “acceptable progress.” Sen. Romano was opposed to that Bill and SB 528 feels a lot like a retaliation tactic against Tomblin and the homeschooling families.

The right to decide how to educate children best has been a hot button issue. The HSLDA further states that this bill would lead to laws that presume public education is what is best for children, and that parents are not reliable when deciding whether or not to homeschool. This is classic nanny-state behavior, and it would be an alarming overreach of the State government if passed.

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

Sources:

Hslda.org

Wvgazettemail.com

Legiscan.com

Onenewsnow.com

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Public School System Exposed For Reporting Parents To CPS For Homeschooling


Source: TheFreeThoughtProject.com
via: ActivistPost.com
Claire Bernish
February 8, 2017

New York City, NY — Homeschooling your child in New York City could earn a visit from Child Protective Services for neglect — even if you’ve followed all procedures required by the public school system to withdraw from its programs.

Tanya Acevedo, as The Federalist reports, experienced firsthand the punitive bureaucracy in place, essentially deeming all homeschooling parents child abusers.

Acevedo withdrew her child from school this winter, filing all necessary paperwork required by the government. But that wasn’t enough to stave off a visit from CPS, who showed up at her residence unannounced to investigate allegations of “educational neglect.”

“After Tanya let them in,” the Federalist explains, “a CPS investigator insisted that they interview her child in private, and inspected their apartment, including a look inside Tanya’s refrigerator — standard practice for a home under investigation for ‘neglect.’ The officer left Tanya with stern instructions to produce documents and her child the next day at the CPS office.”

Acevedo wasted no time in contacting the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) for assistance with her case, and parsing out the New York Public School District’s mountain of red tape to see where she might have erred.

In an interview, Acevedo told HSLDA she had indeed filed all the necessary paperwork — even sending two required forms by certified mail, among other meticulous measures.

“She had followed all the applicable laws to withdraw her son from public schools and begin homeschooling,” the Federalist continues, but the “school district had not recorded the paperwork she’d filed, so her son began accruing ‘absences’ that eventually triggered the CPS investigation.”

Administrative ‘errors’ similar to Acevedo’s turned out to be strikingly common.

HSLDA vice president of litigation, Jim Mason, dove into records after being astonished by Acevedo’s case, and, as he puts it,

“What I found appalled me.

“Family after family have found themselves in legal limbo because the central office simply cannot or will not follow the timelines in the regulation. More than one homeschooling family told me they had been turned over to CPS because of the office’s delayed handling of the homeschooling paperwork.

“The injustice against homeschooling families in New York City can no longer be tolerated. On December 5, HSLDA filed a civil rights lawsuit against New York City public schools over their systematic mistreatment of homeschooling families. We are asking for money damages and for a court to order the New York City bureaucracy to simply follow New York’s homeschooling regulation.”

Mason found homeschooling families aren’t dealing with their own school districts, as regulations dictate, because New York City consolidated all five boroughs’ homeschool information into one office — an underfunded, understaffed office where lost paperwork is a routine occurrence.

Worse, the central office controls the attendance database, relating to homeschooling, for the entire city.

While Acevedo had informed both the central office and the school before withdrawing her child, administrative and bureaucratic obstacles veritably guaranteed the boy would remain technically enrolled and accruing absences with each passing day. A certain number of absences, whether legitimate or not, trigger a report to CPS, alerting to possible ‘educational neglect.’

The fact so many homeschooling families find themselves in Acevedo’s situation — a bloated and self-important government deems itself fitter to educate your kids than you — evinces the New York City system could be set up to derail as many people as possible.

Of course, by creating an onerous process to withdraw children from the government-approved education system adheres to long-held beliefs children taught in the home mature into anti-social, insecure, average achievers — stereotypes proven untrue, if not opposite, in recent years.

Whatever your opinion on homeschooling versus public education, the freedom to choose the method your child is taught should not be left to a government already so clearly biased and intent on taking you out of the equation.

Claire Bernish writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared.