According to this news report from New Jersey: “Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle will introduce legislation to regulate the home schooling of children. This comes on the heels of a recent investigation by the State Department Of Children And Families into the tragic may death of eight-year old Christiana Glenn of Irvington.
“Christiana died of malnutrition and an untreated broken leg. She was also supposedly home schooled. Vanieri Huttle’s bill would require medical exams and submission of student work portfolios for home-schooled children. It would also prohibit children under the supervision of DYFS from being home-schooled.”
Discussion of this potential leglislation is under discussion at the HEM Networking group, a free forum for homeschoolers prodvided by Home Education Magazine: “This bill is bad. Public school students are not required to undergo medical exams. Furthermore, there has been no evidence that homeschoolers in NJ are not doing a good job and that they suddenly need supervision by the public schools.”
In a contribution to the HEM-Networking group discussion, former HEM News & Commentary editor Valerie Moon shared a link to author Milton Gaither’s review of Timothy B. Waddell’s “Bringing it all Back Home: Establishing a Coherent Constitutional Framework for the Re-Regulation of Homeschooling” in Vanderbilt Law Review. Waddell, a recent graduate from Vanderbilt Law School and now a clerk for the U.S. District Court of Alabama, here presents a constitutional argument for increased regulation of homeschooling and much else besides.
Valerie shared this excerpt from Gaither’s review:
“As my summary indicates, I really liked this piece. It is the last of a long list of legal articles I’ve reviewed over the past few weeks, and it is the best of the lot in my view. John Holt wouldn’t like it because in his view it was always better to have things unclear than clear, for then you could get away with more. But I for one appreciated not only Waddell’s summary of the issues but his proposal as well. I know some of my readers will react strongly against what I’m about to say, but Waddell’s proposal to me does a good job of maintaining the freedom to homeschool while at the same time providing a mechanism for catching children whose parents are being abusive or neglectful. A homeschooling family that is doing its job should have no fear of outside evaluation–should welcome it in fact, as it will demonstrate to the public at large how effective homeschooling can be.”
This underscores a longstanding concern we’ve had with Gaither’s position on homeschooling, as he deliberately frames John Holt’s pioneering work for homeschooling freedoms in an unfavorable light, while dangerously welcoming government oversight of families.