‘From Birth to Adulthood:’ Christian Group Decries Proposal to Monitor Connecticut Homeschoolers

Homeschool 4HARTFORD, Conn. – A national homeschooling advocacy group is decrying a measure proposed by a Connecticut government task force that would allegedly require homeschoolers to undergo screenings to identify those considered to be “troubled.”

As previously reported, lawmakers in Connecticut proposed a bill last year that would have mandated mental health assessments for both public school and homeschooled children. The bill, which was likely in response to the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, faced opposition from homeschool supporters and ultimately died in committee.

Now, homeschool advocates are raising red flags over a new proposal that calls for tighter scrutiny of Connecticut homeschoolers. The proposal, released by the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, recommends that homeschool students with emotional or behavioral problems be forced to follow individualized education plans approved by state officials. Under the proposed standards, parents whose students fail to abide by the education plans could be stripped of their right to homeschool their children.

Supporters of this latest proposal say the new regulations would effectively address the emotional needs of homeschooled children.

“We have thought this issue out at some length and we believe it is very germane and that the actual facts leading up to this incident support the notion of the risk in not addressing social and emotional learning needs of children who may have significant needs in that area who are homeschooled,” said Dr. Harold I. Schwartz, a member of the advisory commission, according to the Connecticut Post.

One of the proposal’s authors, Susan Shmeiser, says the new regulations would allow the government to monitor students’ education “from birth to adulthood.”

“We need a holistic approach that will follow children from birth to adulthood,” Schmeiser stated, according to reports. “[Homeschooling] may not adequately address those children’s needs or help them develop the skills they will need to function in society.”

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Dee Black of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) wholeheartedly disagrees, opining that the proposal is both alarming and inappropriate.

“The initial identification of troubled students could only be accomplished by mandatory mental health screenings performed on all homeschool students,” Black stated in a recent press release.

“There is simply no basis for the assertion that there is a connection between homeschooling and violence in public schools,” he contended. “The proposal by the commission appears to be a knee-jerk reaction to this tragedy without an examination of the educational history of the perpetrator, Adam Lanza.”

“To assert that there is any connection between homeschooling and violence in public schools is simply ludicrous,” Black also told WORLD Magazine. “There is no evidence to support this.”

In the release, HSLDA vowed to “vigorously oppose” the Connecticut task force’s proposal, which—if finalized—would be sent to the Connecticut legislature. According to the group, the task force’s recommendations are altogether uncalled for and would severely limit the freedoms of Connecticut homeschoolers.

“Home School Legal Defense Association will vigorously oppose any effort to subject homeschool students to mental health screenings and any attempt to deny parents the constitutional right to choose homeschooling as an educational option for their children,” Black wrote.

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  • James Grimes

    This is dangerous legislation. The less that the government knows about the children, the better off they will be.

  • …because of course, the gov’t always knows what’s best for our children. Just look at the successful lunch program. *yes, I’m being cheeky here.

  • WorldGoneCrazy

    Thank God for HSLDA. They are no strangers to fighting this type of liberal fascism.

  • KenS

    This is their pathetic attempt to get the homeschooled back to the public schools and their false teachings of evolution

  • bowie1

    Big Brother…here we come!

  • Dan Summers

    Got to make sure they are at least meeting the minimum targets set by the state for education standards. If there weren’t some home schooled kids were falling behind those targets as much as they are….this would not have been needed. There were enough home school families not meeting the targets they needed. If they let that continue these kids will be left behind and won’t even be able to apply for any university or college.

  • C.P. Steinmetz

    Of course, you don’t want the government involved – they might find out about the child neglect and abuse.
    That’s not to mention the abuse that comes from not teaching them science.

    • Steven Smith

      PUBLIC schools can’t detect child neglect and abuse, so what’s the difference? There are therapists out there that say that at least 70% of children are victims of abuse, neglect, and abandonment, do you see schools contacting 70% of households? (Here’s a reference to prove I didn’t pull that out of nowhere http://youtu.be/ehk1Wy5Sh0I?t=9m40s, you will have to look at his other videos to see that “significant family dysfunction” refers to abuse, neglect, and abandonment) Home schooled kids still learn science, ask them about chemical reactions, ask them about the functions of organs. I guarantee they will be able to answer those questions as well as (or better than) public schooled kids. The whole purpose is control, the government doesn’t want open minded people wandering around this world, they want controlled closed minded ones.