Voluntary Submission

National Home Education Legal Defense (NHELD) offers valuable information about homeschooling legal and legislative issues, such as this bulletin from August 15, titled Voluntary Submission of Information to the Government:

The question arises from time to time in the homeschool community – If the government is asking for information from parents about the education of their child, why shouldn’t we voluntarily provide the information even though it is not required by law?

Here are some thoughts about why it really is not a good idea.

1. Does the government have any Constitutional authority, or statutory authority, to ask for the information or to retain the information?

All too often, government officials, who have an obligation to uphold and enforce the Constitution and the rule of law, completely ignore that obligation. When they make rules or adopt policies in the normal course of their day, how many of them stop before they act and ask whether the rule or policy they are about to establish has any basis in the Constitution or duly enacted statutory law? You could do your own survey, but I would suggest that the answer is this: not many. Without a further thought, these government officials write letters or establish policies whereby they “request” that you provide information, collect that information, analyze the information, and use it for their own purposes. These government officials may have absolutely no legal authority to do that. If they do not, then by providing that information to them, you unwittingly become an accomplice to their lawbreaking. Before you volunteer your information, it probably would be a good idea to do some research to see if the government official who is asking for it has any Constitutional or statutory authority to ask for it in the first place.

Continue reading at the NHELD site.

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