by Amy Tjaden
Homeschool.com News Editor
A new ruling in the UK has homeschoolers there angered. Under a new law, local council authorities are now authorized to enter the homes of homeschooling families and interview children, without the parents present.
Under this new ruling, homeschool families are required to register with their local council. They must open their homes to council officials to assure children are receiving adequate education.
If it is deemed the children are not receiving an adequate education then it is under the rights of the officials to force the child back into public school.
Does this frighten anyone else? I realize I am not in the UK but this still upsets me. My first concern is who are these officials? What if your local council happens to employ someone who is biased against homeschooling? What if you just get someone who is in a crabby mood and decides your child doesn’t meet his or her standards?
One of the reasons for this measure is that it is believed that homeschooling is a cover for child abuse. There have been situations where it was revealed that children were being abused. Earlier this year I wrote about a homeschooling foster mom in the UK that hid abuse for 19 years. It does happen. However, does that mean every homeschooling family should be scrutinized?
In the past year, the schools in my city have turned out a drug dealing math teacher, an abusive principal and a teacher who collected child pornography. This was in the schools. Do things like this happen in the UK as well? I wonder, would they decide that since one math teacher deals drugs that they all do? Would every math teacher be subjected to having their home searched by officials? Would every principal be investigated for abuse? Would every teacher have to have his or her computer monitored for pornography?
Are we also to assume that any child attending public school is free of abuse? By this logic, it seems that is what we are to think.
The other issue is the entire idea of what determines an “adequate” education. What are the educational standards? Who sets these standards? Who says that all children need to meet those standards? Who decides that all children should be reading by age six, or proficient in multiplication by age nine? People learn in different ways at different rates.
The idea that some stranger could come into my home and tell me that my children are not meeting some cookie cutter idea of educational standards not only frightens but also greatly angers me. I am grateful that is not a reality I have to face…yet.
You can read more here.
Copyright 2009 Homeschool.com