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February 4, 2013

Bill Threatens Homeschool Freedom

Senior Counsel Dee Black answers questions and assists members with legal issues in Connecticut. He and his wife homeschooled their children. Read more >>

Proposed Bill 374 filed in the Connecticut General Assembly would require all homeschooled children ages 12, 14, and 17 to undergo a behavioral health assessment. These assessments would be conducted by an unspecified health care provider and would be conducted even though there was no indication whatsoever that these children had a behavioral problem. The bill states that the results of the assessments are to be disclosed only to the child’s parent or guardian, but that the health care provider must submit a form to the State Board of Education verifying that the child has received the assessment.

According to the Connecticut Behavioral Health Partnership, a state organization made up of the Department of Children and Families, Department of Social Services, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and others, a behavioral health assessment is quite comprehensive and invasive. It includes “a review of physical and mental health, intelligence, school performance, employment, level of function in different domains including family situation, and behavior in the community.”

Proposed Bill 374 would essentially authorize the state to conduct regular social services investigations of homeschooling families without any basis to do so. This outrageous legislative proposal must be stopped in its tracks before it gains any momentum.

This legislation is sponsored by Sen. Toni Nathaniel Harp (10th Dist.) and Rep. Toni E. Walker (93rd Dist.). The bill is presently in the Public Health Committee. HSLDA is asking homeschoolers to immediately contact members of the committee and express their opposition to this unwarranted invasion of family privacy.

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