January 18, 2018
Dear CHEA Members and Friends,
We at CHEA are shocked by the recent news from Perris, California (Riverside County) where two parents were arrested and charged with the abuse and neglect of their 13 children. It is beyond imagining that anyone could treat their children in such a horrific manner and is completely unconscionable. We condemn the mistreatment of children in any context. We urge you to be in prayer for the victims affected by this abuse and for their recovery and restoration.
It’s important to remember that this current situation is about the abuse of 13 people; children and adults alike. This is not a homeschool issue.
The family in question is not a CHEA Member. We have no record of doing business with them. However, because the parents filed a private school affidavit with the California Department of Education, calls for homeschool regulation have been brought into the equation. There are those who would say private homeschoolers should be regulated by the state/public schools. Child abuse still goes unnoticed by/happens in one of the of the most highly regulated agencies in the state (public schools) where children are in contact with mandated reporters regularly.
It bears repeating that this horrific situation is about child abuse, not homeschooling.
One suggested change that has arisen due to this case is to require homeschooling families to submit themselves to a mandatory child abuse reporter (such as a doctor) at least once a year, to ensure that neglect and/or abuse is not taking place in their home. Why is this a problem? Because it treats every homeschooling family as if they are suspected child abusers.
It makes no sense to assume that someone who makes a lawful choice—in this case, to homeschool—is more likely to act illegally. The principle that individuals are innocent until proven guilty has always been at the heart of the American tradition of liberty.
Homeschooling parents around the country have demonstrated a high degree of success in raising and nurturing their children–giving them the tools to grow and flourish. And we believe that children thrive when their parents are able to tailor their education and upbringing to each child’s specific needs. It would be inappropriate and unjust to regulate homeschool freedom because of this aberrant case.
In order to help you understand and be better able to respond to this situation, we have some resources and information for you.
- Basics of homeschool law in California.
- Basic information on child abuse that may prove to be helpful, especially if you are leading a homeschool group, including how to report suspected child abuse. Child Abuse Info
We will continue to monitor this situation as it develops. Please be assured that CHEA is working in partnership with Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and Family Protection Ministries (FPM) to protect our current homeschool freedom against further regulation.
The CHEA Board of Directors
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