You have probably heard about the Harvard Magazine article that recites the opinion that homeschooling is not only a health and safety risk for children but also a threat to society—and that homeschooled kids could become enemies of the state.
If this is the first time you have heard about it, let me assure you that it likely will not be the last. The article discusses a now-postponed invitation-only event: “Homeschooling Summit: Problems, Politics and Prospects for Reform," (originally scheduled for June 18-19, 2020). This “Summit” is dedicated to increasing oversight of, and even instituting an outright ban on, homeschooling.
Notably absent from the invitation list are any scholars, researchers, or organizations who support homeschooling.
The Harvard Magazine article profiles Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Bartholet and her law review article, “Homeschooling: Parent Rights Autonomy vs. Child Rights to Education & Protection.” Professor Bartholet says homeschooling “not only violates children’s right to a ‘meaningful education’ and their right to be protected from potential abuse, but may keep them from contributing positively to a democratic society.”
This is an affront to generations of homeschoolers who have consistently proven otherwise.
Her solution, grounded in ideology rather than fact, is to ban homeschooling.
Advocating for Freedom
The statist ideology of Professor Bartholet is not new, but it is growing in influence. At HSLDA, we believe that fighting bad ideas is best done by presenting good ideas. That is why we are gearing up to advocate for homeschool freedom in the court of public opinion just as vigorously as we have in the courts and in the legislatures.
Professor Bartholet’s law review article is 80 pages long and is far ranging.
Beginning today, we will be releasing responses to several of the various topics she raises—from the straw men she builds, to the factual errors she makes, to the ideological underpinnings of her article. This series will be called HSLDA Responds: Harvard Professor Bartholet’s Law Review Article.
The first article in this series is a speech given earlier this year by James Mason, HSLDA vice president for litigation, in Sacramento during the Capitol Day sponsored by Christian Home Educators Association of California. The speech is called “A look back at the Great California Homeschool Case of 2008 (and what it means for today).”