Two recent bills proposed by state legislators in Illinois and Iowa reveal a disturbing perspective on parental rights that’s becoming more prevalent in our country: the belief that parents cannot be trusted to care for their children.
The Swiftly-Defeated Illinois Bill
In Illinois, a little over a week ago, Democratic state Rep. Monica Bristow introduced House Bill 3560. That bill sought to amend the school code to require the Child Protective Service unit of the Department of Children and Family Services to investigate the home of a child being homeschooled “to ensure there is no suspected child abuse or neglect in the home.” The proposed law would have applied to every child being homeschooled, even when there was no reason to suspect neglect or abuse.
The response of homeschooling families was swift. “We live in such a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ culture,” Amy Kwilinski, an Illinois homeschooling mom of six (including four with special needs) told The Federalist. “It seems like our culture is headed toward a mistrust of homeschooling, which might send us dangerously toward a German-like ban,” Kwilinski added, noting that she plans to contact all of her elected officials.
Other homeschooling parents apparently felt similarly, because within days of Bristow’s bill being referred to the Rules Committee, the sponsor filed a motion to table the bill. In less than a week, HB 3560 was dead.
“The notion that parents inherently know what school is best for their kids is an example of conservative magical thinking.”; “For whatever reason, parents as a group tend to undervalue the benefits of diversity in the public schools….”