…and using the United Nations as the club.

British homeschoolers may no longer be able to teach independently. Children’s Secretary of Britain accepted a report in full last week that could change the face of homeschooling in Britain indefinitely. In the report, the author, Graham Badman, Chair of the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA), argues for an end to homeschool freedom.

"While it’s disgraceful that the British government would even entertain this report it’s particularly troubling for American parents because the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was used as the justification for this action," said Michael Farris, Chairman of HSLDA and President of ParentalRights.org.

The Badman report uses Articles 12 and 29 of the UNCRC to justify registering the estimated 80,000 homeschooling families in Britain, forcing them to provide annual reports regarding their homeschool, granting government officials the right to enter the home and interview the children alone as well as reserving the choice of curriculum to the state.

HSLDA has been warning that the UNCRC could bring an end to homeschool freedom in the U.S., if the treaty was ever ratified by the U.S. Senate because Article VI of the U.S. Constitution says that treaties become the supreme law of the land.

OK, first I have to admit that I snickered a bit when I read the phrase "The Badman report".  But getting beyond that…

I’m wondering if the UNCRC says or implies that children can be used as witnesses against their parents without a lawyer present.  I mean, why would any government official be granted exclusive access to a homeschool child other than to find out what’s really going on?  Somehow, without all this invasiveness, homeschool children are, on the whole, doing better academically than their public-schooled peers.  Part of the reason people homeschool is precisely to avoid the problem with government-chosen one-size-fits-all curriculum.

Do people misuse the opportunity?  Indeed they do, but it is such a small minority that this is akin to burning down the forest to kill the mosquitoes.  Parents, on the whole, are doing just fine thankyouverymuch educating their own children.  (One wonders how we learned anything prior to the 19th century.)

Filed under: EducationGovernmentHomeschooling

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