Bernie Diaz, January 30, 2018
You’ve familiar with the tragic story by now, of an allegedly Pentecostal Christian couple who were arrested recently, after police had to rescue their 13 severely malnourished children from their home in Perris, California. The home was registered as a homeschool.
What does that event mean to the secular, ‘progressive’ leaning, social engineering left? Regulate homeschooling to extinction perhaps? The idea may not be as farfetched as that questions sounds. Indeed, homeschooling advocates nationwide are concerned about additional regulations after the news of this abuse from these homeschooling parents in California.
The Massachusetts-based Coalition for Responsible Home Education, a group actively advocating for homeschooling reform, says a lack of oversight for homeschools allows abuse, such at the case in Perris, to go unchecked and is now calling for increased regulation of homeschools, such as proposed, unannounced home visits and curriculum reviews by state education regulators.
“The lack of oversight of home schools is what allows people to hide abuse,” said a policy analyst for that coalition. “We believe that the various states should introduce legislation to have annual contact with mandated reporters.”
Those of you holding to a biblical worldview and thoughts captive to Christ, likely understand what that chilling comment means: well-intended motives notwithstanding, the antichristian education movement in this nation may unfortunately politicize the crime committed in California and seize it, as an opportunity to further an agenda which seeks to marginalize if not eliminate faith-based homeschooling and further restrict Christian private-schooling.
California has been moving legislatively in that direction for the past several years now, as lawmakers there see Christian and biblically based education in or out of the home, to be an anathema (curse) to government school elites, in the battle for the hearts and minds of young school children and this nation’s future.
Many religious homeschoolers and private institutions are thought of as indoctrinating forces of societal evil, due to their moral stands they take in both personnel decisions for the latter, and content, which oppose today’s sexual revolution.
Therefore, it stands to reason upon the precedent of other highly publicized cultural issues, that one isolated event can be used by one side to justify legislation which may oppress the civil rights of others, in much the same way school shooting incidents are used by gun-control law-makers and advocates to seek to abolish in piece-meal fashion, the constitutional right to bear arms.
The issue at hand then with respect to education is simply, “Who will get the best opportunity to ‘indoctrinate’ the minds of school children as some observers would note? Parents or a secular government run monopoly?”
What is ironic is that were pro-government education experts to logically extend their argument of news-related events leading to legislation, they would have to legislate the public-school system out of existence.
Although I’m no research expert, I did a little Google online search for this post of all the K-12 school shooting incidents in America that have occurred chronologically since 1950, and I found that there were 202 incidents in which a public or religiously identifiable school were explicitly or implicitly mentioned.
Out of those 202 school shootings, 189 or 94% of them happened on public school campuses. Thirteen school related shootings occurred at private, religious schools. While acknowledging that most schools are public or government run, the fact remains that a school-shooting is nearly 15 times more likely to occur at a public school as opposed to a religious school.
Based upon that simple math and the reasoning behind the “homeschool” abuse incident in California, the public-school system should be virtually shut down, as being rendered relatively unsafe, and full-blown school choice policies enacted to encourage parents to enroll their children in the safest environment possible- correct? But no one seems to be calling for those kinds of regulations.
Yet, despite the horrific crime committed by these “parents” in Perris, homeschool enrollment continues to grow, while public school enrollment in many communities throughout this country continues to flatten or decrease.
Safety and security concerns alone, would be reason enough I would think for non-religious families to expedite the exodus of their children from public into private and homeschools.
As for Biblically minded Christians, the California case must be condemned for the torturous and heinous crime of abuse that it was on the one hand, but should not on the other hand, serve as an anecdotal rationale to usurp the religious freedom of families to educate their children where and how they see fit
Therefore, Christians who yearn to see their religious convictions and liberty preserved in their educational choices for their families and communities, should speak clearly as to why they support school choice.
Parental Authority and Choice
Disciples of Christ should remember that the home is the primary garden in which our kids grow and learn, built upon the foundation of the gospel (Pro.1:7).
Even if a family is actively involved in a local church, the pastors and volunteers only have about 100 hours a year with the kids at most. Parents, on the other hand, have over 8,700 waking hours with them. No matter how amazing a church’s kids or youth ministry can be, (which is a major question in itself), what the church does on the weekend pales in comparison to what happens in the home or the school where parents send their children to be educated.
A plant only withers and dies if it is not properly fed. This is the simple, foundational reason why parents are directed by God to be the primary disciplers and educational directors of their children (Deut. 6:6-9; Psa. 78:1-7; Eph. 6:1-4).
In the wake of the California tragedy and the issues of freedom and parental responsibility that will flow out of it, parents must remind themselves that while they can find lots of people to replace them at work, their kids get only one mom and dad.
So, maybe we should think about arranging our schedules if at all possible, to ensure that we’re prioritizing relationships in the home. And for those of you who think, “Well, I’m not sure I’ve got that much to offer,” remember: what your kids need most from you is not another coach, teacher, youth minister or college prep specialist – another hired, influential hand as helpful as they may be.
They don’t need you to be a perfect role model either. They just need moms and dads, broken parents who will teach them to love the Savior who loved them first. May we continue to have enjoy the freedom to do so in our nation in the generation to come.