Mary McCarthy posted the following on HEM-Networking in response to a request from another list member that homeschoolers of all persuasions make themselves known, as homeschoolers, to their elected representatives.
HOMESCHOOLING DIVERSITY PROJECT 2007
For too many years, the homeschooling community has stood by and allowed the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) to politicize how families choose to educate their children and represent us as a personal constituency to our elected representatives.
Over the years, HSLDA has championed many non-homeschooling issues. Those issues, instead of representing homeschooling families, have represented the extreme right wing of the Republican Party and a theocratic, conservative agenda.
HSLDA has crafted an image of homeschoolers as HSLDA’s Republican Party loyalists, and portrayed homeschoolers as a large fundamentalist Christian voting block. Perhaps only ten to twenty percent of the homeschooling community joins HSLDA, so obviously, their manufactured image is false and misleading in order to serve a personal political agenda. It follows that eighty to ninety percent of our community who are independent have no organized lobby.
But more importantly, HSLDA has taken a fundamental right away from all homeschooling Americans they have supplanted our right to represent ourselves as individual citizens and usurped our right to represent ourselves. We have willingly given up our self- representation and handed it over to a political lobbying organization. We have given up our rights as Americans. Shame on us!
Now homeschoolers are faced with a Democratic majority who believe that carefully crafted image of homeschoolers and will be looking at a way to strike out at the Republicans and their lobbyists with punitive legislation. Homeschooling families will be the ones to suffer the results of that legislation as democratic legislators attempt to impose regulation on what they perceive as a far-right wing group in need of regulation. Sadly, homeschoolers will be solicited to join HSLDA to protect their `rights’ against the very backlash HSLDA created.
It is time for HSLDA to choose which master they will serve: homeschool families or the Republican Party? It does not take a Bible scholar to know that no one can serve two masters (Matthew
6:24; Luke 16:13).
Please join me in supporting the HOMESCHOOLING DIVERSITY PROJECT 2007 by contacting your elected representatives, both state and federal, and telling them that HSLDA does not represent you and that you are a capable citizen fully able to represent yourself.* Tell them that as a family you have chosen to accept full responsibility for the education of your children, and that your choice does not mean you are also a Republican Party loyalist or HSLDA supporter. It’s time to take back our rights as citizens from overly aggressive, inappropriate and misleading lobbying by HSLDA.
* Not sure who your elected representatives are? All you need is to go here: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/ and type in your zip code.
posted by Valerie