Should All Homeschooled Children be Required to Report to “Child Protection Services” to Check for Abuse?
Marie Cohen’s latest column in The Chronicle calls for requiring that every parent who homeschools a child bring that child before a mandated reporter of child abuse for periodic inspection. As with every other well-intentioned proposal to intrude on families, the problem with this one is the harm it would do to children. The singling out of homeschoolers is odd for several reasons. The children most at risk of abuse or neglect are the youngest. So the same logic behind this proposal requires that every child from birth to at least kindergarten age also be presented for periodic inspection. Cohen even is selective in the lessons she chooses to draw from horror stories; and once again, horror stories are Cohen’s entire argument. In the two Iowa cases she cites, the children were homeschooled. They also were adopted from foster care. In one case, relatives desperate to take in the child were turned down. Yet Cohen offers no sweeping conclusions about regulating foster care or adoption.