The College Fix.com By Daniel Payne Tues., April 21, 2020
A prominent Harvard professor argued recently that homeschooling, particularly the largely unregulated style of it that exists throughout much of the United States, constitutes a danger to the country and to schoolchildren, arguing that homeschooled children are ripe for abuse and that it poses a legitimate threat to the stability of American society.
Elizabeth Bartholet (pic above), the Morris Wasserstein Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, writes in The Arizona Law Review that American homeschool law, which generally grants parents broad latitude to control the education of their children, is “inconsistent with a proper understanding of the human rights” of those children.
Homeschooling has in recent decades exploded in popularity across the United States, thanks in no small part to the work of activist groups like the Home School Legal Defense Association, which has lobbied on behalf of homeschooling families since the early 1980s. Homeschooling is legal in every state in the country; around 3.5 percent of American students are homeschooled.
This regime, Bartholet argues, “means that parents can deny their children rights to education and to protection against maltreatment simply by not sending them to school.”
“Formal law, of course, does not affirmatively grant parents the right to deny education or to commit child maltreatment. But effectively it does just this by allowing homeschooling and failing to regulate it in meaningful ways,” she adds.
Bartholet argues that the potential for abuse and educational neglect within homeschooling necessitates a government system to more closely monitor and regulate homeschooling families.