Recent comments by a law professor on an episode of “Michelle Malkin Investigates” have caused considerable alarm in the homeschool community.
Jim Dwyer, a law professor at the College of William and Mary, expresses why he believes homeschoolers need more regulations. “The state needs to be the ultimate guarantor of a child’s wellbeing,” he says in the video. “There’s just no alternative to that.”
Dwyer expresses his belief that the parent-child relationship is a result of the state bestowing legal status to parents in the United States. “That’s the state that is empowering parents to do anything with children; to take them home, to have custody, and to make any kind of decisions about that,” he said. Dwyer’s upcoming book entitled The History and Philosophy of Homeschooling will further his argument as to why he believes the state is the ultimate decision-maker in the life of a child.
These disturbing and radical ideas have been touted by a handful of researchers, journalists, and legislators who believe stricter regulations on homeschoolers will keep children from “slipping through the cracks.” However, states that have tried to restrict homeschool freedom only see their resources wasted, parents unnecessarily burdened, and no difference in test scores compared to those in less restrictive states. More states are starting to realize the negative effects of restricting homeschooling freedom as evidenced by the removal of outdated, arduous homeschooling regulations.
The homeschool community and HSLDA fought hard in the ‘80s and ‘90s to ensure that homeschooling was legal throughout the U. S. And while the challenge then was the legality of homeschooling, opponents have switched tactics call for more restrictions on parents’ rights to educate their children in a way that clearly benefits them.
While many parents are religiously motivated to homeschool their children, the growth of the movement has also added a diversity of reasons why parents choose to homeschool. Parents of special needs children have seen how a safe, nurturing environment have allowed their child to thrive. African-American parents have grown frustrated with the systemic biases against their children and have opted out to teach their children in ways that specifically focus on black history and culture. Children who were bullied by teachers or fellow students are allowed a safe environment to focus on their studies. Additional regulation on homeschooling would do more harm than good—limiting the options for and tying the hands of those who are seeking what is best for their child.
What can you do to push back against these regulations?
First, if you are not a member of HSLDA, you can join today to help us protect the liberties that we enjoy as homeschoolers. HSLDA continually monitors state and federal legislation, lobbies at the state and federal level, and sends out email updates to our subscribers to give them the legislative tools to take action.
Second, you can make a tax-deductible gift to the Homeschool Freedom Fund. Your donation will help us fight against precedent-setting court decisions that could harm homeschool freedom and educate our neighbors and our world about how freedom works—and how to keep it thriving for every child.
Most importantly, HSLDA encourages homeschoolers to seek out and engage with members of their local community and to be positive ambassadors to people who otherwise have had no experience with homeschoolers.
Article after article has been written by college professors whose negative view of homeschoolers was changed as soon as they had a homeschool student in their classroom. We hope that Jim Dwyer has the same experience!
Photo Credit: Courtesy of CRTV.