Defending liberty: Exhibit A

I heard of this issue late Wednesday; it is heartening to see how concerned parents and homeschool advocates moved quickly to preserve the freedom to educate ones own child without being intrusively “vetted” first by the State, whose primary interest is always in maintaining and expanding its power and control:

On Wednesday I wrote about SB 248, an offensively intrusive bill introduced in the Ohio Senate by Senator Capri Cafaro. The bill, named Teddy’s Law for 14-year-old Teddy Tedesco who was brutally tortured and murdered by his mother’s boyfriend, would require all homeschooling families to submit to background checks and interviews with social workers before being permitted to homeschool or enroll in an online school in the state. Parents and children would be separated for interviews and any finding by a social worker that homeschooling was not “in the best interest of the child” would be grounds for denial of the right to homeschool or enroll in an online school…

Ohioans for Educational Freedom (OEF), a statewide PAC that supports homeschooling, began telling Ohio homeschoolers and other supporters of freedom in education about the bill at 10:35 p.m. on Monday night. By Thursday afternoon the bill was dead. The evolution of SB 248 from the time the Ohio education community first learned about it until the moment Cafaro announced she was abandoning it is an excellent example of what the grassroots can accomplish when they speak with one voice and work with laser-like focus on a single issue…

Note well the pattern: a bill is proposed in response to a tragedy (a child’s death) that has also called into question the responsiveness of public schools and the state’s child welfare agencies.   But because the child died after being withdrawn to supposedly homeschool, an overreach is proposed to essentially treat all parents as potential child-killers unless they can prove otherwise to the State.  See how freedom is often threatened in the name of protecting the children? 

But mark this as well: like a bully, many of these opponents of individual autonomy back down when confronted en masse by those who stand to lose from their meddling instincts. It’s telling that the sponsor of the bill has not only withdrawn it, but pledged not to introduce any legislation hereafter that involves homeschooling. THAT, my friends, is what “punching back twice as hard” looks like. Whether this legislator was consciously using a tragedy to go after homeschoolers, or whether she just “meant well” but thought little, she has learned that at least this group of citizens is paying attention and will not quietly acquiesce to being treated as potential criminals just because they see education as their primary duty, not the State’s.

It would mark a watershed moment if, in 2014 and 2016, a thoroughly disgusted America taught ALL of its political class a similar lesson by throwing out EVERY incumbent of the Congress that has done so much the past 4-6 years to ruin what’s left of this nation’s foundations.   All it takes is standing up, folks. NO INCUMBENTS, PLEASE!


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