What does the government dislike the most about home schooling? Well, home schooling is not conducive to the photo opps that the government loves, such as children beaming with big smiles when a new public education program is launched or a government official visits a school.
But the biggest problem the government has with home schooling is the lack of control. Home-schooled kids can’t be indoctrinated into the government’s agenda the way public school kids can. They’re taught in the manner that their parents see fit, rather than in the way that teachers have been trained to do.
The last thing the government wants is a group of kids – even a group as small as the one that makes up U.S. home schoolers – growing up with beliefs that the government doesn’t share on a wide variety of issues, possibly including controversial topics such as abortion, same-sex marriage, immigration, gun control and many others.
I found out recently that Connecticut is trying to pass a bill that would require home-schooled kids ages 12, 14 and 17, as well as public school children in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 to undergo behavioral health assessments. You can read about it here.
Let’s see a show of hands from everyone who actually believes that the results of these “confidential” behavioral health assessments would actually be kept confidential, especially the ones conducted on home school kids. Why would the government spend its time and money on child assessments, if not to learn what’s going on in that child’s home?
What if the person conducting the assessment is biased against home schooling and/or does not share the same religious or social beliefs of the parents? What if the assessor determines that a child is “at risk” because he or she does not share the assessor’s political viewpoints?
An official of the Home School Legal Defense Association sums it up well when he says, “This assessment would constitute an unwarranted, gross invasion of family privacy. This bill should be opposed.”
If this bill were to pass in Connecticut – or even if it doesn’t – similar bills are sure to crop up in other states, including yours. Do you think this bill is really designed to protect children from unhealthy home environments, or is its goal to pull children away from parents whose views differ from those of the government? I’d really like to hear your thoughts about it.