HARTFORD – A 16-member commission of educators, local and state officials and behavioral experts assembled by Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy after the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre is calling for more oversight of homeschooling.
Malloy “charged the panel with making recommendations to reduce the risk of future tragedies,” according to the New Haven Register.
Its chief recommendation is “tighter scrutiny of home-schoolers … to prevent an incident such as the December 2012 slaughter of 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown,” the Connecticut Post reports.
“Given the individuals involved in the tragedy that formed the basis of this commission, I think we have thought this issue out at some length and we believe it is very germane and that the actual facts leading up to this incident support the notion of the risk in not addressing social and emotional learning needs of children who may have significant needs in that area who are home-schooled,” said commissioner member Dr. Harold I. Schwartz, according to the Post.
Specifically, the panel is recommending school district bureaucrats have greater oversight and authority over a parent’s ability to home school their children.
It recommends home-schooled children “with problems” be required to submit an Individual Education Plan to their local school district for approval and provide regular “progress reports,” according to the Journal Inquirer.
The Post characterizes the “problems” as “behavioral and emotional disabilities.” There’s no indication who would make that judgement.
Targeting homeschooling stems from the revelation that the Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza, was taken out of Newtown Public School District by his mother, Nancy, when he was in 10th grade. She did so because “she was unhappy with the school district’s plans for her son,” according to ABC News.
“She mentioned she wound up home-schooling him because she battled with the school district,” Nancy’s sister-in-law Marsha told ABC in 2012.
“The purpose of this recommendation is to make sure that kids get what kids need. If they have needs that aren’t being addressed, just because the parent has chosen to remove them from the school setting… their needs are still going to be met,” Kathleen Flaherty, staff attorney for Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut, said of the recommendations, according to CTnewsjunkie.com.
Many parents make that decision for very valid reasons. Should that make them subject to additional governmental scrutiny, as the panel is suggesting?
Because if the act of homeschooling and the perceived lack of governmental oversight is to blame, how does Sandy Hook Advisory Panel explain way these public school students:
* On March 21, 2005, Red Lake Senior High School student Jeffrey Weise killed five students, one teacher, one security guard, and then committed suicide.
* On April 20, 1999, Columbine High School students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher, and wounded 21 others before committing suicide.
* On March 5, 2001, student Charles Andrew Williams killed two students and wounding 13 others at Santana High School in California.
* On February 27, 2012, TJ Lane walked into the Chardon High School cafeteria and fired into a group of students sitting at a lunch table. Three students died in the attack. His “emotional disability” was such that he wore a t-shirt with “Killer” scrawled on it to his sentencing.
The examples go on and they all point back to a failed government bureaucracy that apparently didn’t adequately address the “behavioral and emotional disabilities” of the students in its care.
But more restrictions on home schoolers will prevent another Newtown?
That’s what the government school employees, university professors “behavioral experts” believe.