This is awful. One crazy lady goes off and kills her children. She withdrew some children from public school and allowed another to be truant under the law before the killing. She told an officer that she was homeschooling. Now that the children are dead, we don't need to get upset at the woman's actions or wonder about her mental state at all. Nope. We need to police the homeschoolers so this tragedy will not happen again!
It's a funny thing, because this is what public school administrators and big-government people have been wanting to do all along. A dream come true, and now this story is the means to make it happen! All homeschoolers and children who transfer schools in Washington will now be monitored. This is the first step: make sure the children are in good health and have a book. Next, we'll want to be sure the children are learning all the right things. We don't want them to have a BAD education. We're here to help. Oh, here's your science curriculum... we need your children to be taught to state standards, you know, so they're not behind or anything. That creation science is just bad science. Don't teach it.
Soon it will be downright impossible to homeschool. There will be too many hoops to jump through, with lots of required tests and paperwork. It's already happening in Massachusetts and Vermont. We don't want these children slipping through the cracks. How are we going to be sure they see a doctor every year, unless they're in public school and providing records? How are we going to get money for the public schools if they're not participating? How are we going to build our empire without every child participating? We want NO child left behind in our great state system! We want to be sure your child learns the proper tolerance for all lifestyle choices and that no parallel societies start cropping up. It's for the children's health and well-being, you know, because we want them to be prepared to participate fully in our society upon graduation.
In all seriousness, that's already the case in Germany. I am very distressed that there is NO MENTION OF THIS Washington news story on the HSLDA website. They need to get up off their butts and get involved if they aren't already. One crazy nut who uses homeschooling as a shield should not be the pretext for snatching away the constitutional rights of every parent in the nation.
That's right: every parent. You have the choice to homeschool, even if you never use it. You have the choice to send your child to private school. And honestly, I think you should have the choice not to educate your child at all. It's your kid, not mine.
I'm furious that homeschoolers are defending themselves in their blogs, or worse: defending the laws that are already in place!! No. Defend the constitution! It's YOUR CHILD, not the state's! So what if this crazy lady who murdered her children didn't follow the law in the first place? JUST because she murdered her kids, DOESN'T mean the law isn't stupid and shouldn't be repealed. Why should we have to give notice to anyone about our homeschooling? These are OUR children. I think our arguments should not be what great parents we are or how we follow the law, but the fact that the Constitution should be construed as to defend our rights to be mediocre or even poor parents.
Yes, there are heinous cases of abuse out there. But they need to be prosecuted according to due process of law. That means some spiteful neighbour or angry grandma in a custody case shouldn't be able to whisper false accusations anonymously and put you through hell. All calls should have a name and address, and be public record. You read that right. If 911 calls are public record, so should these calls be. You're accessing a publicly-funded agency and using my tax dollars to occupy the staff member on the other end of the line. I want some accountability and prosecution of all obviously false reports. And no more shields for educators, administrators, nurses and the like. They should be held personally liable, because God knows the families are when the police and social worker shows up at their door.
On to another thought...
Next time there is a murder by a parent whose children are in public school, can we talk about how the public school failed? Can we talk about how the school should be disbanded immediately, or be monitored by the federal government? Can we hold the principal and the student's teachers personally liable in civil court for damages to bereaved families? I mean, if we're going to be crazy and ridiculous about homeschooling parents and set intrusive standards for them to uphold, let's go ahead and act irrationally and un-Constitutionally across the board, shall we? Let's not even think that that parent might be crazy, or murdered for some reason that has nothing whatsoever to do with that school. Let's not go off and think that sometimes, just sometimes, people are stupid or crazy or selfish and you can't do much about it as a government without violating the rights of a LOT of decent people.
PS. This link was provided by http://www.principleddiscovery.com/. There is a good discussion of this news story over at her blog as well. Go check it out!