by Jim Brown and Pat Centner

(AgapePress) …The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is expressing concern over reports in an Ohio newspaper that takes aim at the home school movement.
The Akron Beacon Journal recently published two reports suggesting there is a need for more regulation because abusive parents may choose to home school their children in an effort to conceal the harmful treatment of their kids. They cited a serious case of child abuse committed by a woman who had filed paperwork to home school her children. The newspaper floated the assumption that if the children had been in a public school, and the state had tighter home school regulations, the abuse would not have happened.

HSLDA president Mike Smith says in a free society, you have to put up with a mistake or two. He further asserts that the paper is not being fair in its reporting.
"What [the Beacon Journal reported on] was an isolated situation and tried to make a mountain out of a mole hill. [The paper] failed to recognize that freedom is the issue for everybody, and they failed to recognize the good parents in Ohio."

Smith pointed out that the paper needs to do an article that is 'fair and balanced' -- that they need to interview some good families. "They need to go out and look at what is happening in Ohio," Smith says, "in relation to how children are testing, vis-Ă -vis, the public school and how well they are doing."

Smith says typically when there is media coverage of an abusive family situation -- if it involves a home school family -- that fact will be reported. But if it is not a home school family, readers are not told where the children attend school.

"The fact is that Chief Justice Berger -- in a case back in 1971, writing for the Supreme Court of the United States in a juvenile court case that reached the Supreme Court -- said [because] some parents do abuse their children does not mean that we throw away all the other history of our country. It shows that parents act, generally, in the best interest of their children."

Smith says most people would agree that parents are competent to feed, clothe and provide the basic necessities for their children. But when it comes to education, somehow we do not trust them.

July Home