By Legislative Liaison Carolyn Martin
Legislative Update: A Response to the Upcoming Summit at Harvard
Recently, there has been a lot of buzz swirling around the homeschooling community about a summit happening this summer at Harvard Law School. It’s entitled Homeschooling Summit: Problems, Politics, and Prospects for Reform. It features speakers that are well known in academia for their negative attitudes about homeschooling.
One of the organizers, James Dwyer from the College of William and Mary, famously said in a video that “the reason parent-child relationships exist is because the State confers legal parenthood.” He believes stricter regulations are needed for homeschooling.
Professor Dwyer is not alone. In February of this year, Colorado saw one of the featured speakers testifying against two parental rights bills — HB20-1144 Parent’s Bill of Rights and HB20-1063 Fundamental Family Rights in Colorado. During her testimony, she said, “children do not belong to anyone but themselves … God did not give children to their parents … He gave them to themselves” (see footnote for link). These ideas are being promulgated throughout society and threaten the stability of the family.
It is concerning that there is enough interest for them to host a summit to speak about topics ranging from Concerns About Homeschooling (socialization!) to Political Action and Litigation Strategies for Reform. Take particular note of the fact that no one supporting homeschooling was invited to attend this invitation-only event. Not even HSLDA – the premiere nationwide organization who has defended homeschool freedoms since 1983.
As homeschooling has grown and become more mainstream, this timeless form of education has received more attention from a wider group of people. Over the years, there has been opposition, but it has been mostly from the teachers’ unions. Today, our opposition is becoming more diverse, more organized, and more aggressive.
At CHEC, we envision families honoring Jesus Christ by embracing home discipleship that is Christ centered, parent directed, and free from government control. More regulation is not in the best interest of the family. Numerous studies have shown that increased regulation on homeschooling does not produce higher academic achievement nor provide a safeguard against abuse (click here for more information).
Families that step out in faith to educate their children at home should not fear the plans of those who oppose us. God has been faithful to protect our freedoms in the past and we must continue to trust in Him. But we must also make sure we remember the battles that were fought in the past and understand the arguments of those who oppose us today. At the core, this is a clash of worldviews.
Yes, first we fight our battles on our knees. Then we must rise with one voice to protect our freedoms! Benjamin Franklin said, “No man’s life, liberty or fortune is safe while our legislature is in session.” Know your legislators. Keenly watch their actions and call them to account. Elect wise men and women to represent you. Support organizations, like CHEC, that stand up for your freedoms. Remember that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
To stay informed about upcoming legislative threats, join the Colorado Homeschool Freedom Team.
- HSLDA response to the summit
- Who SHOULD Be Minding the Children?
- Harvard Homeschool Regulation Summit
- A Response from Indiana Association of Home Educators
- Homeschooling Backgrounder
Information on worldviews:
Trusting in the mighty power and grace of Jesus,
Carolyn Martin, CHEC Legislative Liaison
Footnote: Field, Samantha. (2020, February 13). Testimony against HB20-1063 and HB20-1144. House State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee. Denver, CO.
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