Roughly a week ago the Turpin Case broke open and caused a cascade of effects. If your unfamiliar with the story essentially the Turpin’s were starving their children (ages 2-27 yrs), severely neglecting them and keeping them chained to their beds. I’ve read a few versions of this story and still tear up at the mere thought of what these children experienced.
Legally, the Turpins were homeschoolers yet nothing has really been proven that is indeed the case. The depravity of these parents (I use that word loosely) has shocked us all. What’s worse is many whom have no idea what homeschooling is about extend this revolting example to all those that homeschool, calling for stricter homeschool laws.
What Caused The National Focus Of The Turpin Case?
Many have written articles describing how homeschooling does not equate to child abuse, which I agree with and I will address. However, I think an important point was over looked… politics. The Turpin case is disturbing but so are the recurring school shootings and the all too frequent teacher-student sexual abuse. All of these are wicked and evil acts, but why has the Turpin case garnished so much national attention?
I follow politics closely, especially homeschool politics so when California senate bill 277 passed making vaccines mandatory for school age children, I wondered how many opposed to vaccines would flock to homeschooling. Nationally, home-school statistical growth is still on the rise at an estimated 2% to 8% increase per annum over the past few years (source: nheri.org). Between 2015-2016 there was estimated to be 193,582 homeschooling families in California (responsiblehomeschooling.org).”
According to the California Department of Finance, in the 2015-2016 school year, California experienced a decrease of 9,500 students in K-12 public schools. The finance department projects a further decline of 163,000 students over the next 10 years.” (source: mountainnews) I understand the decline in public school enrollment in California is currently attributed to fertility rates and migration.
I wonder though, how much of that is due to the noted increased number of homeschooling families. How much does the decline in public school enrollment and the continued growth of homeschooling effect the public school funding? The district has had problems coming up with the funds necessary to fund the schools and currently there is a $3.5 million deficit. What could the California government do to address this issues?
Then the Turpin Case happened.
I knew this was exactly what California’s governor needed. I figured I would give him the benefit of the doubt and trust he wouldn’t exploit this situation to serve an ulterior motive.(
insert sarcastic laugh) Instantly the media sensationalized this story associating homeschooling with child abuse and falsely creating this fear within the general public. Followed by California lawmakers calling for stricter homeschool regulation with several other states following suite.
Homeschooling Does NOT Equate To Child Abuse
This may all seem like speculation and maybe it is but if that were the case then call it what it is-Child Abuse- with no strings attached to any type of schooling. If we are going to relate child abuse to how one chooses to educate their children then legally homeschooled students are 40% less likely to die by child abuse or neglect than the average student nationally. (source: nheri.org) If we consider all of the bullying, childhood suicide because of bullying, teacher to student sexual abuse, student to student sexual abuse, and school shootings, then where is the call for stricter government oversight of conventional schools?
Here are some of the best articles that further support the points above:
Taking one deplorable example of abusive parents that were questionably homeschooling and using that to define homeschooling parents-that’s stereotyping. To then use this same unfounded stereotype as a way to create fear among the public in order to impose stricter homeschool laws-that’s discrimination.
Laws are an external motivator and if they are actually enforced they only provide a prewritten rule on what will happen if the law is broken. Laws don’t prevent tragedy, inhumanity, or any evil act-all of these problems are an internal issue-within our hearts and spirit. This sickness has no bounds and spreads across the world like the plague, it is not restricted to age, race, gender, nationality or even the way one chooses to educate their children.
But we can cure this sickness…
Not just in this country but across the world we need to change our perspective of what children are NOT for and what they are instead. Children are not commodities to be bought or sold for hard labor or sex trafficking. Children are not less than adults and are not to be physically, mentally, emotionally, or verbally abused in any way by any person. Children do not start out as just tissues or cells but as human tissues and human cells that grow into human babies- babies and children are whole persons. They are a gift from God and if the whole child is nourished in mind, body, and spirit diligently then the next generation is part of the cure.
Which brings me to my next point-we need to start at the grass roots level and train up our babies the way that they should go. Teach them the fruits of the spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, truthfulness, faithfulness, and self-control and not to work in the flesh-so they can grow up to spread the love of Christ and help cure this sickness that is devouring the heart and spirit of this world.
We need to pray fervently for our children’s heart and spirit. I think of our children as little sprouts in a pot that need nourished properly within a greenhouse, if they are transplanted too soon then they wither, grow frail and even die. As homeschooling parents we know the best way to grow up our children and its done from the warmth and comfort of our own homes without any government intrusion.
What We Can Do
Wisconsin state Rep Christine Sinicki is calling for a study committee to review Wisconsin’s homeschool law, call the chair and co-chair: Representative Brooks: (608)267-2369 and Senator Roth (608)266-0718 and let them know how well homeschooling is working in WI and that you do not support the creation of a study committee.
Hawaii is working on Senate bill 2274, 2323, and house bill 2244 which you can review by clicking the numbers but 2274 would require that your notice of intent to homeschool be approved by your child’s local public school principal, 2323 requires that notices be approved by the superintendent of your child’s school district, and 2244 requires that the superintendent obtain a background check (!?) for each child and adult named in the notice of intent within 7 days. You can contact the senators by following this link:https://capitol.hawaii.gov/contact.aspx
Cali-I don’t even know where to start with the government overreach in this state and the prejudice views of the governor: California presumes homeschooling parents are child abusers, seeks invasive new restrictions.
If I lived in California I think the kids and I would take a break from formal lessons for the day. Take a trip to the states capitol and give them a lesson on how the government works, the power of the voter, and how to virtuously stand up for our beliefs.
I’d also consider moving.
We can advocate for homeschooling (in a Christ like manner) anytime anyone shames it. We can bring awareness to how successful homeschooling is by sharing all of the positives of homeschooling. We can share our stories with our friends, our family, our neighbors by just making it a regular part of conversation. Above is an Instagram challenge homeschool freedom started, we can share on social media what real homeschooling looks like.
The Victims Of Child Abuse
We often talk about prayer for the victims in these horrifying cases and the power of prayer is miraculous. We should all continue to pray for them but also consider taking additional actions if you can. I considered setting up a you caring account but discovered a few scammers had already tried. I didn’t want my efforts to be mistaken for such and be wasted so I did a little more digging. You can make monetary donations for the Turpin children here: Donations for Turpin Children. This was set up by the Corona Chamber of Commerce. Their parents may not have been Homeschoolers but Christian Homeschoolers can still show the Turpin children the love of Christ through our ongoing prayers and financial support.
lets show the world what real homeschooling looks like. What are your thoughts on this case?