Ohio Bill Would Subject Homeschoolers to Investigation

In a bald-faced move to take away parents’ rights to shape their children’s education, Ohio Democratic Sen. Capri Cafaro earlier this month introduced a bill that would require parents to undergo an investigation before they could homeschool.

Senate Bill 248 would require parents to submit to a social services investigation before getting approval to homeschool their children. The investigation would include social workers interviewing parents and children separately, background checks and a determination whether homeschool is even recommended.

If homeschool is not recommended, parents would have to undergo an “intervention” before they can appeal denial of their request. According to the bill text, intervention would include counseling and mandatory parenting  and “decision-making” classes.

Cafaro was inspired to create the bill after a 14-year-old boy, Teddy Foltz-Tedesco, was killed at home by his mother’s boyfriend. That mother had removed the boy from public school after officials noticed repeated signs of abuse.

Interestingly, the boy’s teachers had reported the abuses, but nothing was done before the boy died. The mother apparently took the teen out of school to hide him from any further intervention.

So the bill takes the occasion of the boy’s death — which state officials could have prevented — and uses it to stigmatize and control an educational model that bureaucrats tend to hate.

Like  many an effort to control guns or otherwise advance the liberal agenda, the Ohio bill cites an “emergency” to try to remove parents’ rights by replacing them with faceless bureaucrats who are supposed to know better how children should be educated.

The Home School Legal Defense Association is one group fighting the bill. According to their website, “Regardless of where he went to school, Teddy was left by authorities in a home where they knew abuse was occurring. Clearly, SB 248 would not have saved Teddy. SB 248 turns fundamental American values upside down. …

“Rather than target tens of thousands of decent Ohioans who homeschool, policymakers like Cafaro should try to discover what prevented police and social workers who knew what was going on from taking action and faithfully enforcing Ohio’s already adequate child protection laws.”

This bill is a frontal assault on parents’ rights and one more brick in the Left’s plan for transforming America into a socialist state.