On March 24, 2020, HSLDA published an article revealing a Harvard Summit to Discuss Regulating Homeschooling. Billed as an event to discuss “Politics, Problems and Prospects for Reform”, the proposed schedule lists speakers who have for years promoted strict regulation of homeschooling. Among them is Harvard Law Professor, Elizabeth Bartholet.
Ms Bartholet has written an 80 page article proposing a presumptive ban on homeschooling. It is scheduled for publication in the Arizona Law Review this June. TEACH CT has already published two posts on our blog addressing some of Ms Bartholet’s inflammatory rhetoric.
In our first post, “Who Should Be Minding the Children?”, we address how the statist idea that government knows best contradicts our history and our common sense. Next, we refute with real data Ms. Bartholet’s claims of homeschool abuse in: “Safer at Home: A Look at the Evidence on Abuse in the Homeschooling Community.”
Homeschoolers and parental rights advocates have expressed dismay at the proposals of these academic elites.
“What can we do?” they ask.
TEACH CT has some recommendations that are simple but effective:
1. Join us and support our work! TEACH CT operates as the “boots on the ground” regarding bills that may threaten your parental or religious freedoms as homeschoolers. We are an all-volunteer organization. Our low membership fee of $20/year supports our nonprofit efforts to keep you informed. It also entitles you to a discount with HSLDA, a national organization that works to protect your rights legislatively and represents homeschoolers in court.
2. Learn the facts that the elites won’t tell you. Check out the articles at the National Institute for Home Education Research at www.nheri.org. Read the articles and data collected at www.homeschoolingbackgrounder.com. Be ready to give an answer for why homeschooling is a safe and superior form of education… and why parents are best situated to make decisions for their children.
3. Meet your legislator. In person (or over the phone in this time of COVID). Now. We often hear reluctance when we bring this up. “But that’s what you do, isn’t it?” “Can’t we just sign a petition?” The short answer is No. Legislators care about meeting their constituents because you hold the power of the vote. No nonprofit organization has that kind of power. You do. And the most effective use of your power during a legislative session is already having a relationship with that legislator.
Think of it this way: You are standing in your yard on a bright sunny day. The birds are singing and you’ve just stood up from smelling the flowers. You can’t see it, but there is a flood heading your way.
A dam burst and a tremendous wave will be on you in about 5 minutes. Nothing like that has ever happened before. In fact, it is hard to believe. You can save yourself only if someone warns you. But remember, this has never happened before, and it seems incredible.
Suddenly, a stranger comes running up to you, and tells you that you’re in imminent danger and you must act. Is this person deranged? You eye him suspiciously but decide to check online because he is so upset. You pull out your phone to investigate while the stranger yells at you to run. You’re not sure if this guy is crazy or telling a practical joke. He’s making you nervous.
Then, your old friend runs down the street. He tells you he has just escaped the wave. There is only time enough to jump in the car and flee. You put the phone down and drive away in the nick of time.
See the difference? When a stranger comes running up in a moment of crisis to tell us bad news, we slow down and are suspicious. When a trusted friend alerts us, we listen and are more likely to act on his advice. Legislators are like this, too. That’s why it’s important that you be that trusted friend.
There is a wave coming down our street. Let’s build relationships so that when we talk about the dangers, they will heed us.