Monday, September 29, 2014

Sandy Hook Commission Blames Homeschooling

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None of us have forgotten the tragic slaughter of 20 first graders and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.

Adam Lanza, 20, described as being "dark and disturbed" before his death, was responsible for the killing of the children and the adults, and the killing of his mother at her home near the Sandy Hook school.

Reports released following the tragedy said Lanza suffered from "Asperger's syndrome" or "a personality disorder."

And the reports said, "He had a tortured mind."

Connecticut Governor Malloy, following the tragedy, appointed a state commission to provide answers and actions that can be taken to "prevent future occurrences like this."

The commission has completed their study and its "chief recommendation" is to tighten scrutiny on homeschoolers."

But why?

Targeting homeschool stems from the revelation that the Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza, had been taken out of Newtown Public School District by his mother Nancy when he was in the 10th grade.

ABC News reported at the time she did so because "she was unhappy with the school district's plans for her son."

The 18-member commission created by Governor Malloy "is made up of experts in education, mental health, law enforcement and emergency response," according to the New Haven Register.

Although the report will be formally released to the public within a week or two, the completed draft shows the commission is strongly advocating for more restrictions and stricter oversight on homeschooling.

Kyle Olson, founder of Education Action Group, takes considerable issue with the commission's response. His voice is among a growing chorus of concern---mine included.

He says, "Many parents make that decision [to homeschool] for very valid reasons. Should that make them subject to additional governmental scrutiny, as the panel is suggesting?

Olson says, "If the act of homeschooling and the perceived lack of governmental oversight is to blame, how does Sandy Hook Advisory Panel explain away most all the other shootings by students" who were not homeschooled?

He lists a number of such incidents; Student Jeffery Wise at Red Lake Senior High killed 5 students, 1 teacher and 1 security guard, then committed suicide; Columbine High School, Santana High School in California and Chardon High School all committed by students.

He says all these examples and others like them "point to a failed government bureaucracy that apparently didn't adequately address the 'behavioral and emotional disabilities' of the students in its care."

Some other experts are pointing out that Lanza was a product of public schools, not homeschooling. He was homeschooled, at most, 1 and one half years while spending 10-plus years in the public class room.

Few believe this Commission's conclusions will prevent another Newtown.

The Commission is not only recommending that homeschooling may have caused the tragedy, but specific steps that should be taken to address the problem.

They are recommending "risk assessment teams" be created who would be able and authorized to "intervene" when a student "appears to be at risk."

Most, not all, but most homeschool families choose to homeschool because they believe their child can receive a better education in that environment than the public school environment. Many also believe public education in America is at war with traditional and biblical values and principles.

They believe public schools "indoctrinate" rather than "educate "---particularly regarding morality and values.

Since the content of the draft became public a few days ago, many, myself included, see this as another effort to further undermine the authority of the family and parental authority.

It is also well known that public educators and secular progressive politicians are not big fans of homeschooling. Washington State is living proof of that.

Homeschooling does not fit the vision nor the worldview of the secular progressive.

This is one school district and one tragedy, but these recommendations are consistent with a trend that is now deeply embedded in America's government run education.

Above all---parents, grandparents, Christians, conservatives, and responsible citizens, Be Aware.

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Pro-Active. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.