Thursday, November 02, 2006

Mark Meadows Responds

I emailed Mark Meadows yesterday regarding the interview with MIRS. I haven't heard back from him, but a homeschool dad did:
Sent: Wednesday, November 1, 2006 6:28:18 PM
Subject: Re: Home School

Actually, when I talked to MIRS I did not propose any new regulation of homeschooling. I suggested that a person who has been already identified in the public school system as an abuser or neglecter of his or her child should not be able to escape or reduce scrutiny by homeschooling his or her child. Homeschooling came up only because the Hollands decided to homeschool Ricky after they had been identified as potential abusers. I think the decision by the Hollands should have been a red flag. I agree with you (and apparently you agree with me) that underfunding and understaffing makes it difficult for FIA to perform the responsibilities placed upon it by state government. I want to require additional home visits under the Holland family circumstances and properly fund that function. My objective has nothing to do with homeschooling; it has everything to do with protecting children.

Thanks for writing.

Mark

I don't know where to begin. Mr. Meadows states that homeschooling should've been a red flag. Shouldn't the rope burns on Ricky's wrists, showed to his social worker, been a red flag? Shouldn't the fact that Ricky snuck into a neighbor's house looking for food been a red flag, or the fact that he stole food at school? What about his disclosure that he was handcuffed? Shouldn't his failure to thrive after being placed into the care of the Hollands been a red flag? There were red flags everywhere. They were tossed aside.

Mr. Meadows also states that abusers should not escape state scrutiny by homeschooling. The Hollands did not escape state scrutiny. There were multiple incidents of child abuse reported to the state. The Hollands were scrutinized. And nothing came of it.

Mr. Meadows also states in his email that he did not propose any new homeschooling regulation. Untrue. He wants to put "restrictions on who can homeschool." How is this not homeschooling regulation?

Someone, please enlighten me. How does adding more bureacracy and taking away homeschoolers' freedoms save children's lives?

What it all comes down to is this: A politician using the tragic death of a sweet little boy to further his own political agenda. A tactic that his own state party leader has decried in televised political ads.

If Mr. Meadows position really "has everything to do with protecting children" then he should be calling for a full investigation into why the state not only left Ricky in the Holland home, but why they continued to place children with the Hollands after they had been identified as "potential abusers." Instead, he wants "to revamp and put restrictions on the way home schools operate."

I hope John Knowles gets lots of homeschoolers volunteering to get the vote out this weekend.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

O.K. I have one question, Where is the data to back up his allegations? When social workers respond to reports of abuse, my guess is they are starting at the child's school, talking to thier teachers and checking with the nieghbors. If this is the case, they are not Homeschooled. Where are these statistics? Chrissy

Maureen Wittmann said...

Ricky Holland was in school in Jackson County. When his parents moved to Ingham County, they homeschooled.

Because Ricky was originally a foster child (place with the Hollands and adopted later), there were social workers involved from the beginning.

I believe that the original child abuse claim was made by Ricky himself to a social worker and later to a health care provider.

There were complaints also made by the school in Jackson and the neighbor.

Ricky also received state provided psychological care. The Hollands pulled him from the psychological care at the same time they pulled him from school. (Another red flag?)

Anonymous said...

Your logic is faulty. Here's what you're saying Mark said:

Decision to homeschool = red flag

Here's what he actually said, as evidenced by the email you quoted:

Person identified as potential abuser, pulling their child out of public school = red flag

There's a big difference. Also, he only proposed restricting the ability to homeschool for persons identified as potential abusers.

Bottom line: are you arguing that people identified as potential abusers should be allowed to homeschool their children? If so, what is your justification for that?