Saturday, September 13, 2014

Of Course Freakazoid Homeschoolers Are Abusing Their Kids

And not just intellectually.

Because that's what freakazoid homeschoolers do.

Think Progress:

This June, a seven-year-old Pennsylvania boy was found by child welfare workers, nearly starved to death and weighing less than 25 pounds. According to police, the child was being denied food, beaten with a belt, and not allowed outside by his mother and grandparents — who are now charged with attempted murder and other offenses. Because the child was homeschooled and enrolled at online charter school, he was largely out of the public view, making detection of the apparent abuse difficult.

While his case was by no means the typical experience of a homeschooler, he is an example of what the Coalition for Responsible Home Education (CRHE) calls “Homeschooling’s Invisible Children,” — dozens of abused and neglected kids the group has documented across the country whose parents or guardians have hidden from detection by taking them out of public schools and keeping them at home. According to Rachel Coleman, a homeschool alum and the CRHE’s executive director, more than 90 of those “invisible children” have died since 2000.

(You will be stunned to discover that efforts by CRHE to establish proper oversight of homeschooling in order to prevent these tragedies is ferociously opposed by - surprise! - freakazoids protecting those abusers.)

Since 1983, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has provided advocacy and legal representation for parents who chose to educate their children at home. Co-founded and chaired by conservative Christian activist Michael Farris, HSLDA helped make homeschooling legal in all 50 states and became, in the words of homeschooling historian and Messiah College associate professor of education Milton Gaither, “pretty much the face of homeschooling.” The organization, based in Purcellville, VA, reported in 2013 that its annual budget is more than $10 million.

In addition to leading the legislative and judicial charge to protect the rights of parents to homeschool, HSLDA has directed a great deal of its attention to keeping the government out of their homes. Reflecting the organization’s conservative views, it prefers letting parents make decisions without interference from federal, state, or local officials.

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