by Amy Tjaden News Editor


There is disturbing news out of the UK.  It seems that the UK government is starting an inquiry into homeschooling because of fear that it could hide child abuse.

It should come as no surprise that homeschooling families around the UK are angry over what they see as persecution. I don’t blame them, especially after reading what the education authorities believe are the main reasons families homeschool. It all boils down to their belief that families who homeschool do so, not out of a desire to act in their children’s best interest, but to hide something.

The inquiry stems from a case in which homeschooled children were abused for 19 years by their foster mother. So, apparently the logic is that if one homeschooling family hides abuse then all of them must be doing the same. Authorities think that if children are in school then people will notice bruises and behavioral problems and they’ll intervene on the child’s behalf. But how often does that really happen?

The more I think about it, the more outraged I feel about it. Whether you’re in the US or the UK this situation is relevant. Let’s look at the bigger picture. It was just a few years ago that the entire controversy came out about priests abusing young children. Only that abuse went hidden for years. Many of the victims that came forward were grown adults. I’m fairly certain the number of people attending church and Sunday school is higher than that of those who homeschool. Should we shut down churches and Sunday schools?

There are many cases of children who were abused for years. They were in public school and had extensive, diverse social lives. Yet, their abuse went unnoticed. Abuse can be hidden, whether a child is homeschooled or not.  Homeschooling is not the issue.

What about abuse that happens within the public school system? There was a headline just recently about an elementary school principal being accused of abuse. I can recall a very traumatic experience at the hands of a teacher who simply didn’t like me. I personally worked with a 2nd grade teacher who was verbally and emotionally abusive to the children in her class. She was one of the biggest reasons I decided I was going to homeschool. Trying to find any administrator who didn’t think she walked on water was impossible.

So, because there was a terrible case of abuse in a family that happened to homeschool, all homeschoolers are supposed prove they are not hiding something. If the freedom to homeschool is taken away, those same families are supposed to send their children into a system that has shown time and time again it can’t be trusted. When does that system have to be held accountable?

To read more on this issue go here.

Copyright 2009

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