January 28, 2018 – WPA Response to Abuse and Regulation

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Child abuse is never acceptable in any situation.  Laws are currently in place that make the abuse of children illegal and legally punishable, and that allow authorities to remove children from unsafe environments, no matter where those children are being educated.

Many public statements recently suggest that there should be additional regulation of homeschooling to prevent child abuse.  Anecdotes used to illustrate the need for increased regulation of homeschooling are overwhelmingly stories of families who were already in contact with Child Protective Services. These cases do not represent a failure of homeschooling—they represent a failure on the part of a system already in place to do what is necessary to protect children who are known to be at risk.

There is no statistical evidence that children who are homeschooled are at greater risk of abuse. There is no evidence that tighter regulation of homeschooling would in any way affect child abuse statistics. There are laws in place to prevent child abuse and deal with abuse when it is found.  Flaws in this system are not the result of homeschooling and would not be remedied by creating additional homeschooling regulation.

Talking points for this issue:

  • There is no evidence to suggest that homeschooling is a risk factor for child abuse.
  • There is no evidence to suggest that increased regulation of homeschooling results in lower rates of child abuse.
  • Child Protective Services are equipped to intervene in any situation where they feel a child is being harmed.
  • Homeschoolers who follow their states’ homeschooling laws should not face additional scrutiny because of the educational choice they have made for their children.
  • It is not logical to assume that if abusive parents aren’t following the laws that are already in place, they would follow additional laws.

Wisconsin Parents Association cares deeply for the well-being of children.  We all have our own reasons for homeschooling, and we must all stand together to support homeschooling families who choose to take responsibility for the education of their children.

It is up to all of us to be informed about these issues and to use our voices to let people know that these horrific situations do not reflect the homeschooling community.

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