We received word last night that there is some dangerous new legislation about to be pushed in Michigan. Sure enough, an email from the Home School Legal Defense Association said the same thing. HSLDA wrote:
We are asking all our members and friends to take prompt action to send a powerful message opposing Rep. Matt Koleszar’s push to require that homeschoolers register their children. He said this on “X” (previously called Twitter) and followed up in a similar vein in a recent interview with CBS News Detroit.
Here is a quick video response I just made. I hope you can take a moment to watch!
I really appreciated the response of Israel Wayne, Christian author and speaker who also serves on the board of directors for the Michigan Christian Homeschool Network (MiCHN). During a video interview with CBS Detroit yesterday evening, he spoke clearly and concisely in defense of homeschooling families. (His interview starts at 3:20 in the video.)
There is a huge misinformation campaign underway. Corrupt politicians who personally live wicked lives are telling the world that homeschoolers harbor child abusers. This is not true. There are already laws on the books to protect children. We are in a year before an election, and they want to take away your rights as a parent.
Just like they did before 2020. Remember, Michigan? Will you be silent again? Apathetic?
Why is this such a bad idea?
First of all, this is misinformation. In other words, it’s not true. It’s a lie.
According to data from the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Education, and other sources, homeschoolers have both a lower fatality rate and a lower fatality count than children in public school. In fact, research says that legally homeschooled students have 40% fewer fatalities than the national average.
Any proposal to address child abuse fatalities that SOLELY focuses on homeschoolers — without ALSO proportionately addressing the greater problems in the other groups — is clearly not about preventing fatalities or abuse in children.
Such proposals are discriminating against homeschoolers themselves.
In addition, blanket mandated home visits raise Fourth Amendment issues. As a homeschooling family, have you taught your children about the Constitution of the United States? As a reminder, the Constitution, through the Fourth Amendment, protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government.
Across-the-board visits imply there is probable cause to believe that every homeschooling home is likely an abusive home. What? Uh… no.
Innocent until proven guilty, eh???
Here is more information from the Home School Legal Defense Association:
Research: The Narrative is False.
The Barna Group anonymously surveyed 1,200 adults recently. This included adults who had been homeschooled and adults who had been educated in public and private schools. When the responses were analyzed, the number of abuse events (pro-rated) was the same for all three groups. The full study can be accessed here.
The Barna Group survey shows that the narrative Koleszar is promoting is false. If homeschoolers were hiding their abuse of their kids, those kids—having become adults, and being allowed to respond anonymously—would have no motive to sugar coat their abuse experience.
Registering Homeschool Students Would Have No Impact on Abuse.
More than 20 states require homeschoolers to register (i.e., file a document annually). If abuse were lower in those states, researchers would have figured it out by now. Instead, a study that sought to determine whether higher levels of homeschool regulation lead to fewer cases of abuse showed there was no connection at all.
Here are more helpful links for you. Get educated on this important issue!
What should we do?
What to do? I would tell you to call your state rep right away — but most of them are out of the office for the holidays.
So what can you do?
- PRAY! Follow the example of Queen Esther. Not just a prayer you say before a meal. Spend earnest time in prayer.
- Be bold! Share with everyone you know who is homeschooling or supports homeschooling. Make a list of all of them and get on the phone and tell them what’s happening.
- Financially support — or at least join — Michigan Christian Homeschool Network – MICHN and HSLDA. Hopefully you’ve already done this. If not, don’t spend your money on silly things that don’t matter. Think of eternity with your dollars. These people are working HARD to help us all. They will get tired. They have families and children, too. Support them! Sign up for their email lists. Encourage them.
- Commit Time. In January, be ready to set aside days to take action. It is best to call your state representative. Regarding form letters, phone calls are better. Letters tend to get a form letter in response, if it doesn’t just go in the recycle bin. Letters and phone calls need to come from people who live IN their district. Barraging their phone lines would be better closer to a vote in committee, or an actual vote, though. Prior to that, in-person meetings would probably be better. Put a face on this and help them understand our passion and our resolve. And most reps have coffee hours on Mondays, so look ahead at your January calendar. There is no one in office now though. Be ready around the 2nd week of January.
- Memorize this verse: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). Go read it! Then check out the verses right before it! This verse seems to be directly written to families like ours, who want to base our children’s education on the Word of God. BE STRONG! Have courage. Fear NOT! Yehovah, the Creator of the universe, is on our side! We will put our trust in Him alone.
I’ll touch back if I hear any updates!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture in this blog post taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.