I saw the WorldNetDaily articleÂ concerning the supposed threat to homeschooling by the U. N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, but didn’t think much about it because it’s ‘old news.’Â
- Home Education Magazine, Tonasket, Washington, September-October 1997, Survey and Lobbyists Cause Problems for HomeschoolersÂ Â Â Â
A second, somewhat different problem arises from the fact that the NCHE wants to represent homeschooling organizations on family policy issues such as supporting parental rights and responsibilities legislation, tax credits for dependent children, and the use of birth certificates instead of mandatory “TIN” numbers for tax deductions, and opposing the U. N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. [emphasis added for ease of reading]
This past April (2006),Â the topic came up on the HEM-Networking listÂ when a list-member asked why the Convention on the Rights of the Child was “front-burner” again.Â Â The only thing I could relate it to was HSLDA’s “free membership” drive, a limited-time membership that isÂ valid only forÂ the summer, a time when school-attendance isn’t #1 on most people’s lists, and the likelihood of the need for homeschool legal servicesÂ is probably theÂ lowest,Â excludiing child custody issues, which know no season.Â Homeschool legal coverage usually doesn’t include representation in child custody disputes.
From the free-membership e-mail:Â
- “Anyone who joins as a result of your referral will be granted a free trial membership that’s good until August 15, 2006.”Â
Paddng the rolls with additional members might be one way of demonstrating larger numbers of people supportingÂ a proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States concerning parental rightsÂ (with respect to the parents’ children).Â As mentioned above, this is an issue with a long shadow.
- Gentle Spirit, Volume 7, Number 4, A Homeschoolers’ History of Homeschooling, Part VI, 1995 – 1997Â Â Â Â
Many homeschoolers did not agree that homeschooling families should comprise â€“ willingly or unwillingly, but especially without their express consent or knowledge â€“ a power base for launching or supporting causes unrelated to homeschooling, specifically, or which were of interest only to conservative Christians, Particularly at issue was some homeschooling organizationsâ€™ apparent reluctance to be candid about specific goals, agendas and actions which could impact all homeschooling families, and the failure of these organizations to invite comment and critique of their work from those outside their own closed ranks. Specific legislation was written and introduced and congressional support obtained without consultation with homeschoolers outside of conservative Christian circles, even though they might be affected by the legislation. In 1993, such conflicts had developed over how homeschoolers and homeschooling organizations and leaders should respond to H.R. 6 (1). In the years at issue here, efforts to see the passage of three bills authored in large part by Michael Farris of HSLDA â€” the Religious Freedoms Restoration Act (RFRA), the Parental Rights and Responsibilities Act (PRRA), and the Restoring Local Schools Act (RSLA) â€” caused similar conflicts and difficulties.
Just the other day, though,Â the ‘making homeschooling illegal’Â articleÂ appeared onÂ WorldNetDaily.Â The posting of the link on more than one homeschool e-mail listÂ reminded me that many new homeschoolers will not have seen the older discussions, and may think this is a new issue.
- WorldNetDaily, Medford, Oregon, 27 May 2006, U.N. making homeschooling illegal? Threat seen from U.S. judges who bow to child-rights treatyÂ Â Â Â
Farris also suggested Congress could pass a constitutional amendment stating explicitly that no provision of any international agreement can supersede the constitutional rights of an American citizen.
And that seems to be theÂ reason why this old pot is once again on the front burner:Â HSLDA’s Parental Rights amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and the need, by its authors,Â for increased numbers of apparent supporters.
The pot-stirring certainly has created a tempest in a teapot.