Wednesday, November 01, 2006

State Rep. Candidate Vows to Restrict Homeschooling

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 meadowsforrep@sbcglobal.net.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

First of all, What did he mean by "parents who have abusive records"? Were there records on these people? Why and were they foster parents? Secondly why dosen't he know the laws in other states? He should research this before he starts a witch hunt against Foster Parents and Homeschoolers. If he wants to help "State workers, who never seem to have enough personnel or money" then he should address that problem. The process to become a Foster Parent is long and stressfull. Many good families Foster Parent for a lifetime and never make it into the news.Calling the problem Homeschoolers and Foster Parents is simply a Magic Trick of blame. Don't look behind the curtain you might see who's really at fault. Chrissy

Anonymous said...

The more-than-direct insuation that homeschoolers keep their kids at home so they can hide their abuse of them makes my blood pressure go sky-high.

Michelle said...

Mark Meadows reasoning makes no sense. The Hollands were thoroughly investigated as foster and adoptive parents by the State of MI. In fact, the state continued to place foster children in the Holland's home after child abuse allegations were lodged. Now tell me how having the State of MI investigate homeschoolers will save children's lives?

Spunky said...

Thanks for the link. I hadn't seen this statement by the rep. running for state house. I'll definitely pass the word along.

Anonymous said...

And what about preschoolers? Should infants and toddlers be forced into public schools so the state can make sure they're not abused? Or maybe everyone should be investigated by the state before they are allowed to become parents in the first place?

Alice said...

>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.

Unbelievable that they would try to pin this on homeschoolers! Talk about scape-goating and flawed logic! I am extremely disturbed to read this.

Doug Parris said...

Obviously, if Meadows reasoning is applied to the right set of facts, it would demand that tighter restrictions be placed on PUBLIC SCHOOLS, social workers, and parents who place their children in that abusive system.
But, of course, the facts have nothing to do with what Mark Meadows is doing. Fascism does. This is a despot, hungry for power and anxious, first, to stamp out any wellspring of FREEDOM he can overspread with his darkness. Homeshcooling represents the founding principles of America, freedom and justice. It is a bastion of real education, true history, and training for leaders who believe in those things. Everywhrere there are enemies of America, you see them instinctively reaching out to oppose it. I live in another State, but those of you who can, do everything possible to bring down the political career of this evil man.

Concerned Parent said...

Pastors are also required by law to report child abuse. How about if the state requires all "identified potential abusers" go to church?

Mrs. Melody said...

Hope your new Rep will listen.

Blessings
Melody

Maureen Wittmann said...

Thank you Melody, me too. He was winning with 78% of the vote when I went to bed on Tuesday. It was a slaughter.

Anonymous said...

Mark Meadows ended up getting elected.

Anonymous said...

Mark Meadows won the House seat. Time to keep an eye on him!

Anonymous said...

Talk about overreacting. Nobody said anything negative about homeschoolers in general. What was said is that there is less opportunity to detect abuse when a child is homeschooled. Which is entirely true. All that was suggested is that the State may want to look into establishing a way to detect such abuse.

With that said, I understand being annoyed with the potential inconvenience of having to accommodate visits from social workers. But if you don't have anything to hide, that's all it would be - an inconvenience.

Not exactly the kind of thing that constitutes "fascism," "despotism," and "evil" as Doug Parris says. Nobody is going to take those kind of histrionics seriously. I hope.

Mike said...

Overreacting?

4. Michigan: Social Worker 'Fishing Expedition' Case Dismissed

The Warner family was faithfully homeschooling their eight children in
Lenawee County, Michigan. Little did they know the trouble that was
around the corner--false allegations, threats, an attempted fishing
expedition, an improper court order--and a happy ending with the case
dismissed!

Read more about it at:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3548

Anonymous said...

That's a pretty creepy story, but has nothing to do with the subject of the comments above.