Posts Tagged ‘Republican’


Homeschool: HSLDA Does No Favors

DOJ seeks deportation of family persecuted in Germany for homeschooling

From William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection, we learn about the case of Uwe and Hannelore Romeike and their children:

A Map of the Legality of Home schooling around...

A Map of the Legality of Home schooling around the world.

The Romeikes are devout Christians from Germany who wanted to homeschool their children because of what they perceived as the secularist agenda in German public schools. In the United States, the right to homeschool ones’ own children is accepted, although frequently mocked by the left. The homeschoool movement is thriving in the United States, but in Germany it is illegal, a holdover from Nazi-era law.

The Romeikes fled to the United States in 2008 after they faced mounting fines and the potential of imprisonment. The Romeikes sought asylum, and were granted that asylum by Immigration Judge Lawrence O. Burman in a January 26, 2010 decision after a hearing which included not only the Romeikes but also expert witnesses on homeschooling in Germany.

While this case is loosely connected to foreign homeschooling, American homeschoolers need to be cautious in being viewed as linked to a particular ideology. We have seen for decades and across the country that the inaccurate but highly promoted perception–of homeschoolers as being “fringe” and “extreme” and “isolationists,” etc.–has damaged our ability to work with state legislature and local school divisions to improve homeschool laws and regulations. In fact, some would say that he and his money-making machine even stole homeschooling.

In the Romeike case, the Department of Justice argues against granting asylum because the country’s law is neither “selectively enforced” nor “metes out disproportionate punishment” against people of a particular religion. You can find an interesting view on this case here. Be aware that, when Farris and HSLDA became involved in German homeschooling a few years ago, the result was disastrous for the family and for homeschooling.

Mike Farris and his parental rights arguments have been one of homschoolings’ worst enemies. His so-called national “homeschool” organization (which mixes causes) even wrote the two worst state laws in the country–New York and PA–touted them as “model legislation” and since then have made money “protecting” homeschoolers against the very laws they wrote. This insistence on promoting their own agenda, while refusing to work with state and local homeschoolers, is a well set pattern with Farris and HSLDA.

I know this firsthand, as HSLDA chose to interfere in a county regulation change that local homeschoolers had worked on for months. The national organization came in and tried to take us backward, reinstating the onerous “approval before removal” clause that was causing extreme distress to parents who were desperate to pull their child out of a bad school situation in order to homeschool.

HSLDA had the temerity to chastise me for working to change the regulation without their permission, and they refused to work with me, choosing instead to ignore my request and going about things in their hamfisted way, without regard to what this regulation was doing to the affected families.

Farris and his organizations have purported to speak for all homeschoolers and his extremist views and modes of operation have often made us all look like Ruby Ridgers and worse. He is now saying that he is afraid that President Obama will (somehow) “ban homeschooling.” This, from a man who turns a pretty penny by frightening homeschoolers and others with what I call Chicken Little marketing (“They sky is falling! The sky is falling!”).

Homeschoolers would do well to put as much distance as possible between homeschooling and  Mike Farris and his extremist and mixed causes. It is imprudent and dangerous to continue to let him use homeschooling and homeschoolers as the hammer of his cause, and his non-homeschooling issues as a wedge to divide and disempower the homeschool community.

~Shay Seaborne

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The NEA Boogyman

In a recent conversation I had with another home-schooing parent, the NEA (National Education Association) was trotted out as a reason to “vote Republican.” Given the fact that “The NEA Boogyman” is used quite often to scare Homeschoolers into voting in a certain manner, I decided to to a bit of digging. What I have learned may be of interest to others.

The NEA and various educational unions have endorsed Republicans for office as well as Democrats. For example: Read From Capitol To Campus

In fact the NEA boasted ~ “In a number of states, – NEA members made critical differences. NEA-endorsed Republican candidates Olympia Snowe in Maine and James Jeffords in Vermont won by wide margins.”

Also interesting to note that approximately one third of NEA members are Republican. [Read Post-Election]

I must say, I have a bit of discomfort “defending” the NEA as I think they talk out of both sides of their proverbial mouths when it comes to homeschooling. On the one hand they claim that homeschooling instruction should only be done by a “certified teacher.” On the other hand they claim that the school atmosphere is essential to prepare children for life.

However, it’s not surprising that an association promoting “Great Public Schools For Every Child” would be supportive of Public Education.



Partisan Politics

In our American system of government each individual gets to choose whom they vote for. In a dictatorship the ruling elite tell the people who to vote for.


On October 12, 2006, J. Michael Smith of Home School Legal Defense Association sent out an e-lert urging recipients to vote for Republican Party candidates because, “I can assure you that the Republican majorities in Congress are friends of homeschooling” and that “[t]his strong, positive stance on homeschooling is not shared by many Democrats.”

Mr. Smith continued on with vague threats about George Miller, the Democrats in general and the NEA. He also took the opportunity to commend Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave for introducing HSLDA’s HoNDA legislation. He also mentioned “The lines are clearly drawn for us on the homeschool, life, and marriage issues.” When last I checked, neither marriage nor life were homeschool issues. He further added, “I am convinced that we must do all that we can to ensure that Republicans maintain control of Congress on November 7.”

Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) is vulnerable because of her ties to the GOP, particularly Tom DeLay, Jack Abramoff (voting twice to stop a House ethics investigation of his influence), and Duke Cunningham. Ms. Musgrave is also the sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment as well as HoNDA, the HSLDA legislation that would require the Department of Defense to obtain homeschool records of our children for the purposes of “recruitment and enlistment” in the armed forces. I can assure HSLDA not everyone thought that was a good thing for homeschoolers.

Learn More About HoNDA

To learn more about HoNDA and HSLDA’s attempts to federalize homeschooling please visit HR 3753/ S 1691 – Homeschool NonDiscrimination Act 2005.

George Miller (D-CA) has served in the House of Representatives since 1975. He’s had 31 years to push what HSLDA says is his agenda of limiting homeschooling to certified teachers. One of his recent legislative accomplishments is President George Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act. Miller was one of the four congressional authors of NCLB. NCLB contains provisions exempting homeschoolers from its educational mandates, including standardized testing and – presumably – teacher certification.

(To learn more about HR 6 and HSLDA’s continuing attempts to federalize homeschooling, please see:

Perhaps Mr. Smith’s real concern is that having identified homeschooling so completely with the Republican Party he is genuinely afraid that should Democrats take control of the Congress, there will be a backlash against homeschoolers. It is conceivable that would boil over the long-simmering homeschool backlash against HSLDA, for it is HSLDA that has spent the last 25-years working to create the image that all homeschoolers are Republican Party loyalists.

HSLDA Youth March

Mr. Smith further explains how homeschool youth are working on elections. It is a great thing to see so many young people interested in our political process. However, I do not vote based on whose yard sign is the biggest, or what some nice young person stuck on my door. I vote based on the candidate’s record and political viewpoint. I am – after all – voting for someone to represent me, not Mr. Smith or HSLDA.

I am troubled that someone is using threats in an attempt to influence my vote. The only thing worse would be someone who assumes I am too stupid or too lazy to learn about the candidates and make my own choice and therefore must tell me how to vote. Mr. Smith will have the opportunity to vote in his local Virginia district. I will too, and hope you will also.

I went to the HSLDA PAC’s website and learned the names of the candidates they are supporting and soliciting money for. The candidates listed at HSLDA’s PAC website as sponsoring Generation Joshua teams include Rick O’Donnell (R-CO), Peter Roskam (R-IL), Chris Chocola (R-IN), Mike Sodrel (R-IN), Mike Whalen (R-IA), Geoff Davis (R-KY), Michael Steele R-MD), Mark Kennedy (R-MN), Michele Bachman R-MN), several unnamed candidates in Ohio, Rick Santorum (R-PA), and John Gard (R-WI).

You can research these candidates or those running for election in your district. There you will also find a link to the candidate’s official campaign website where you can learn more about their positions.

I hope you will make your very important decision based on your own research, not the thin threats made by Republican Party lobbyists. I hope you are all smarter than to let any individual, group or organization usurp your right to free choice. Remember that whomever you vote for, you are voting for someone to represent you, not HSLDA, not Michael Smith and certainly not the Republican Party. It would be a sad day in America if the Constitutional right to vote was taken away from individual citizens and handed over to professional lobbyists.

Mary McCarthy


Legal Mumbo Jumbo

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