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This story was originally published by the WND News Center
(WND News Center) – Interest in homeschooling has surged over the last year, as lockdowns, face mask mandates and social distancing – combined with teachers’ unions efforts to keep school closed – have damaged the public school offerings.
And it’s not just in America. In the United Kingdom, more than 40,000 students were formally removed from public schools from September 2020 to April 2021, almost double the average from previous years.
And that has alarmed lawmakers there, to the point members of Parliament now are demanding a “national registry” of all students who school outside the system.
The BBC reports a committee of lawmakers is demanding that national list of children to remove an “unacceptable level of opaqueness.”
The report said the Commons Education Committee claims it is important to “get a grip” on the number of students being educated outside of government control.
Home educators, the report noted, are warning such a move will only increase the distrust many parents already have in the “system.”
It was a report called “Strengthening Home Education” by lawmakers that charges the government fails to collect and compile enough details about children in homeschooling programs.
MP [Member of Parliament] Robert Halfon claimed it was “frankly astonishing” that the government was only able to make a “best guess” over the standard of education children schooled at home were receiving, the report said.
The lawmakers have claimed their goal is to make sure those who are schooled at home are “getting the same opportunities as their school-educated peers,” the report said.
On Halloween 2020, Jane Bernardel, a homeschooling mom of 11, was arrested by police for praying in an empty church after she and her children attended Vespers and recited the Litany of the Saints -- to sanctify a day they see as having been secularized.
After a time of prayer, the pastor of the church, Fr. Gary Ziuraitis, C.Ss.R, approached Mrs. Bernardel and told her that she would have to wear a mask to remain in the church.
But, when Mrs. Bernardel refused, Fr. Ziuraitis called the police and she was arrested. And thereafter, the city of Kansas City, Missouri, brought trespassing charges against Mrs. Bernardel.
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition asking the bishop and the parish priest to petition the city to drop trespassing charges against Mrs. Jane Bernardel for praying in an empty church without a mask.
Mrs. Bernardel fully maintains her innocence and her attorneys are prepared to prove it in court.
But, because of this heavy-handed approach, Mrs. Bernardel now faces charges of trespass which could mean a $300 fine and time spent in a "re-education" class.
This is an excessive and disproportionate response to praying without a mask in an empty church.
And, taking into account the church's and diocese's own guidelines, this is also just plain wrong.
Therefore, the only explanation can be that there is some misunderstanding by the bishop and the pastor of the church as to their own guidelines.
But, their misunderstanding should not legally impinge on this homeschooling Mom, who obviously loves the Church and is seeking to do good.
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition asking the bishop of the diocese, Bishop James Johnston, and the pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Fr. Gary Ziuraitis, to admit to a big misunderstanding, show clemency, and ask the city to drop the trespassing charges.
After signing and sharing, please take a moment to contact the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph to politely express your hope and desire that Bishop Johnston and Fr. Ziuraitis would urgently petition the city to drop the charges against Mrs. Bernardel.
The contact number for the diocese is: 816-756-1850
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'Maskless priest has homeschooling mom of 11 arrested for not masking in church' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/maskless-priest-has-homeschooling-mom-of-11-arrested-for-not-masking-in-church
“Some parents are providing their children with a high-quality educational experience, but those against greater oversight must realize that it does not follow that all home-educated children are in the same boat,” Halfon charged. “Getting a grip on the number of young people not being taught in school with a national register for children outside of school must just be the first step in shaking up the status quo.”
Pro-homeschooling officials at Education Otherwise accused the lawmakers of “yet again” demanding policy based on “rhetoric and rumor.”
“Parents are deeply aggrieved that the huge majority of their submissions – which make clear that there is no basis, nor benefit, in registration of home-educated children – have been ignored, in what was manifestly a predetermined outcome of a deeply prejudiced inquiry,” said Wendy Charles-Warner, head of the group.
The Christian Institute noted that education specialist Harriet Pattison just this month raised concerns about the idea of a registry for homeschooled students.
“Putting people’s names on a list” essentially would criminalize parents who don’t volunteer their children’s information, Pattison, a senior lecturer in Early Childhood Studies at Liverpool Hope University, told the Daily Mail.
“What parents are doing is a legitimate option that sits next to school education in the eyes of the law,” he said.
She also charged that some of those who “carry out home education assessments by councils were under-qualified and inadequately trained,” the report said.
“Sadly, this register will not build those bridges but drive more wedges between families and authorities,” she said.
Reprinted with permission from WND News Center