In the wake of shocking accusations leveled at California residents Louise and David Turpin that they tortured their thirteen children, some California and Maryland politicians are doing what they do best: proposing new egregious invasions of privacy and breaches of the U.S. Constitution as ways to fix what the state already neglected to police.
And the targets, of course, are homeschoolers.
In this tragic case, one of the abused children escaped from a second story window to inform police that her other siblings, ranging in age from two to 29, were still trapped, malnourished, and, in some cases, chained to their beds.
And since the Turpins were "teaching" their kids at home, collectivists seem to think that this warrants new legislation that would allow state agents to enter the abodes of homeschoolers without warrants -- something explicitly required by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
First, as a background, let’s look at the general record for homeschooled kids.
As The Washington Times reported, homeschooled children consistently outperform students attending taxpayer-funded, union-controlled, administration-heavy government schools. While skeptics might claim that such observations are merely correlative, and not causative, the fact that homeschool students outperform 80 percent of their public school peers, and do so over, and over, and over, year after year, tends to lend credence to the idea that there is something causative happening.
As Haley Potter wrote for USA Today in 2012, homeschooled children also perform better on average when taking the ACT and SAT exams for college admissions.
And many of us have seen the stellar performances of homeschooled kids in the national spelling bees. Despite the fact that fewer than four percent of American kids are homeschooled, they represent nearly 10 percent of the contestants in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and win far beyond their numerical populations would offer as predictors.
This is not a sales pitch for homeschooling, but merely prefatory to the observation that the cartelized, unionized, tax-trapping public school administrators, teachers, and unions, and the politicians to whom they hand oodles of money, seem to have despised homeschooling as an option.
And it’s no wonder, when parents working with their kids can outperform the government bureaucracy for thousands a year less than the cost of educating one public school student, the tax-funded employees might not like the competition, or its results, from getting public attention or attracting more converts.
So, as Joe Wolverton II reports for The New American, in California, their new legislative “solution” looks like this:
(I)nvoluntary home visits, involuntary interviews of the parents, involuntary interviews of homeschool children, and complete oversight of the homeschool community by state agents of several departments, including Child Protective Services (CPS).
And in Maryland, as Pulpit And Pen notes, the state will claim the power to invade the home as well:
Unannounced, uninvited visits will be given to homes to inspect their educative progress and make sure their homeschooling is being done according to state standards.
Can you imagine the outcry if public school teachers were subjected to these kinds of home inspections to check on their lives?
Can you imagine if the British government had stipulated such classic invasions of privacy during the American Colonial Era?
Oh, wait. The Crown did precisely that, as ways to enforce the Stamp Act, and it led to the American Revolution.
And to the adoption of the Fourth Amendment over a decade later.
And all this has been slipped into legislative calendars as a result of a terrible case of child abuse, abuse being used as a lever to attack non-violent homeschoolers who might have different educational agendas than the politicians taking their tax cash. Meanwhile, those very same politicians seem glibly disinterested in the fact that their own system failed. As The Guardian notes, the state of California already claimed a legal power to have fire marshals visit the Turpin home, but state, local, and county officials are strangely mum when asked why they can’t produce any record of them doing so.
Look, most folks seem to want the best for their own children and for the offspring of others. But, how far can the state can go to “protect” kids, and how strong are parental rights to teach? As a free market anarchist, I would prefer no polis at all, and opt for voluntary arrangements to which members of voluntary societies truly consent. There have been historical precedents for this in ancient Ireland and Iceland under Brehon law and the Godar system. Even the ancient Israelites who escaped Egypt employed a relatively voluntary, decentralized system of governance, small spheres of control where the people making the decisions were near their situations. If they made mistakes, fewer people would be harmed. And many of the US Founders understood that the larger the area of control, the more bureaucratic and faceless it became, and the more people would be hurt by bad decisions.
Collectivism does not allow for small spheres of control or for individual decision making. It doesn’t allow for market-based decisions and competition to show people what works best. It always trends towards centralized control. It fears and distrusts privacy and supplants that with commands, and when it screws up, it rarely changes for the better. As a result, homeschoolers represent a true adversary to the collective, and leftists will use virtually any excuse to crush the moment.
Any excuse, it seems, including lumping honest and caring parents together with two people who appear to have been deranged and evil – people that, so far, the state laws already failed to stop.