WASHINGTON, November 18, 2003 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Home School Legal Defence Association (HSLDA) has warned of a “growing trend to link homeschooling with child abuse.” The group notes in a recent brief to members that during a government committee meeting earlier this month, representatives of a social workers union cited homeschooling as contributing to child abuse. HSLDA reported that on Thursday, November 6, 2003, the Human Resources Subcommittee of the United States House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee, held a hearing to examine “a recent failure to protect child safety”. The hearing was to investigate an alleged child abuse case in New Jersey involving the starvation of a family’s adopted children and the subsequent dismissal of social workers who had been investigating the family but missed the alleged abuse.
Prior to this hearing, HSLDA contacted the Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Wally Herger of California, to inform him that the family at issue was reported to be a homeschooling family, that certain legislators in New Jersey had cited this case as highlighting a need to pursue new regulations on homeschooling and why this call for new regulations was in error. HSLDA explained catching abuse is not the function of public schools, nor are states able to require public school attendance. Carla Katz, the president of the Communications Workers of America, a union representing social workers in New Jersey, testified at the hearing. In her remarks, Katz stated the following: “Home schooling creates gaps. Nearly 20% of all abuse cases are reported by schools. When children are outside the school system, extra protections are critical. There are no home schooling regulations that would require homeschooled children to see anyone from the public education system. There is no cross-referencing with the Department of Education to look for children who are in the ‘system’ but have not been seen by anyone.” HSLDA pointed out the recent CBS program which also attempted to smear homeschooling with a false association with child abuse. See related LifeSite coverage: CBS Attempts Smear Job Against Homeschoolers with “The Dark Side of Homeschooling” https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2003/oct/03101506.html