The first bill former East Lansing Mayor Mark MEADOWS would introduce if he wins the 69th District House seat would be to revamp and put restrictions on the way home schools operate.
This is the lead-in paragraph to an article from the MIRS Capitol Capsule, THE paper read by all the Michigan politicos.
The article goes on to say:
Although he doesn't believe the Gov. Jennifer GRANHOLM administration could have done anything else to save Ricky HOLLAND's life, he does think tightening up home schools would prevent further deaths.
For those of you who do not reside in Michigan, Ricky Holland was a seven-year-old boy who died at the hands of his parents. His mother was convicted of first-degree murder this week and his father pleaded to second degree murder. It was a child murder case that couldn't help but break your heart. Little Ricky was failed every step of the way.
It had nothing to do with homeschooling. Ricky was a foster child given up by his biological parents at two-years old. When the state severed their parental rights all together, the Hollands adopted Ricky. Because Ricky was considered a hard-to-place child, i.e. not a baby, the Hollands received financial incentives by the state.
There were problems from the beginning. Ricky told his social worker of being tied to bed and handcuffed. Neighbors and teachers reported child abuse incidents to the state. Toward the end of his life, the little boy was pulled by his parents from psychological visits and from school.
This is where Candidate Meadows gets it all wrong. He says the state couldn't "have done anything else to save Ricky Holland's life." What??? The state was called in, again and again, and did nothing.
The article goes on:
It's not uncommon for parents who have abusive records, like the Hollands, to home school their kids to hide the abuse, Meadows said. There's no restriction on who can home school their kids, so it makes it much easier for families who are abusive to keep the child at home, Meadows said. If the kids aren't in school, it's harder for others, specifically teachers to see the abuse.
But wait a minute, Ricky was in school. Remember, he wasn't pulled out until later. His teachers reported abuse to the state. The state did nothing.
Also important to note is the fact that neighbors reported the Holland's abuse. Also testifying at the murder trial was Ricky's doctor. Little Ricky was a normally developing boy until he entered the care of the Hollands. At that point he began to fail to thrive. They were starving him.
The article still goes on:
By law, teachers are required to file a report when they suspect that a child is being abused. Tightening up home schooling laws would keep kids in the public eye, which might result in more cases of child abuse being reported before it's too late, Meadows said. Meadows said he doesn't know if other states have similar laws, but he wants to give it a try. This might help state workers, who never seem to have enough personnel or money, to stay on top of every case, Meadows argued. "I think a Democratic Legislature would place a higher priority on this," Meadows said about increasing human service funding and passing his home schooling legislation.
Even after Ricky was pulled out of school, he was still in the public eye. He still had social workers assigned to him, he had the family doctor, he had neighbors, and he had extended family.
It is completely absurd that Candidate Meadows seeks to make this a case about homeschooling, while giving the State of Michigan and Governor Granholm a Get Out of Jail Free card.
It just doesn't fly.
To express your concerns to Mark Meadows, visit his website .
Please note that Mark Meadows is predicted to win this election. His opponent, John Knowles is rock solid pro-life, pro-family, and, yes, pro-homeschooling. To donate to Mr. Knowles' campaign and help him get out the vote, visit his website. I already made a donation myself. He takes Paypal and credit cards.
The election is only six days away. A win by Mark Meadows could translate into the loss of freedoms by homeschoolers. Michigan used to be THE most difficult state in which to homeschool. A lot of people worked hard and sacrificed so that people like me could educate my children in the way that I, as their parent, know is best for them. Let's not turn back the clock.
ADDENDUM: The contact page at Mark Meadow's webpage isn't functioning at this time. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.