Federal Relations


National Update
March 13, 2002

In this issue:


Home Schooling Unfairly Linked To Abuse Story

House Financial Services Committee Pass Anti-Gambling Bills

Home School Presence At State Youth Conference


Home Schooling Unfairly Linked To Abuse Story

Under the headline, "Flaws in Home Schooling Exposed" a recent Marin (California) Independent Journal article portrayed an especially awful situation of child abuse, polygamy and murder, and then cited freedom to home educate as a contributing factor in the sad saga.

After a brief description of the abuse, the rest of the article makes the argument that home schooling needs to be regulated more to assure such cases will not occur.

While the willingness to use such a tragedy to advance a political agenda is alarming enough, the article never once stops to question whether any school system is meant to monitor the activities of families in a state (and across the country for that matter). At no point is it explained how, considering all the time, money and personnel devoted to social services and law enforcement in the state, restricting the freedom of law-abiding citizens to home educate their children is seen as the way to stop child abuse. The people mentioned in the story broke scores of already-existing laws having nothing to do with home education. More regulation of home schooling is not the answer.

It should be noted that some public school officials at least acknowledged that most home schooling situations are positive, but the theme of the article is implicit - "Because there are some bad people out there, we need to regulate everybody's home school." This argument is cropping up in a number of states and media stories across the country and must be guarded against. The home schooling movement cannot allow its opponents to portray these sick, disgusting cases of abuse as having anything to do with parents' right to home educate.


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House Financial Services Committee Pass Anti-Gambling Bills

The House Financial Services Committee recently passed a bill introduced by Rep. Jim Leach (R-Iowa) to prevent bank instruments from being used for unlawful Internet gambling purposes. The link below is to the committee's press release about the action.

http://www.house.gov/financialservices/103101pr.htm

For a summary of the bill, click the below link, look under "107th Congress" and find H.R. 556.

http://www.house.gov/financialservices/billsref.htm


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Home School Presence At State Youth Conference
On Tuesday, March 19th, the Virginia Department of Health and the Institute for Youth Development will host the Right Choices for Youth Conference at the Capital Expo Center in Chantilly, VA. The theme for this conference is Building Futures Today. Go to http://www.rightchoicesforyouth.org for more information and to register.


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