February 2-4, 2018
Sheraton Garden Grove - Anaheim South Hotel
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August 9-12 2018
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel San Jose
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Statement from the HSC
Board of Directors
We know that many homeschooling families are feeling nervous due to the recent abuse case which has been in the news. Many people are writing to us asking, "What can we do?" Let us explain what we are doing at HSC.
First, we are responding to media requests to inform the public how to legally homeschool, what homeschooling is really like, and how dedicated and engaged homeschooling parents are. Positive representation is important!
Second, our legal team and board of directors are in contact with the legal teams of other state and national organizations. We are sharing information and discussing concerns and possible responses.
We do suspect legislation may be forthcoming that might try to regulate private homeschoolers. We do not know what form that proposed legislation will take and it is a complicated endeavor that is likely to take some time. We assure you that HSC will have a hand in fighting or helping to define any bills that are proposed.
Third, we want to emphasize that homeschooling is a grassroots effort and you need to know what can you do to prevent potentially onerous regulations. For now, the most important thing we can all do is to help create positive opinions and correct misunderstandings about homeschooling. So, talk to your neighbors, get out in your community, and educate people about the wonders of homeschooling.
Also, please help us help you by supporting HSC. Join our membership -- numbers speak volumes to legislators (and reporters) when they ask how many homeschoolers we represent. The more members we represent, the louder our voice.
And, finally, if you have a skill or profession that can be of service to HSC (legal, research, lobbying, public relations, media) please reach out to us by emailing HSC Board.
| |HSC Legal Team Statement
Debbie Schwarzer, Esq.
HSC Legal Team Co-Chair
As many of you will know, police recently took two parents into custody in Perris, California after a malnourished child escaped and called for help. Their many children have been taken to the hospital. The parents are accused of horrific neglect.
It's a sad and all too common story. We could wish the children the best, hope that the parents receive the punishment they are due, and move on with our lives, but it won't be that simple. Unfortunately for all homeschoolers, the parents had filed a private school affidavit, and the media are latching onto that one fact and claiming that somehow that allowed the abuse to happen. Calls are rising for increased oversight of families that operate private schools in their homes, and a number of legislators have expressed interest in doing something.
Many leaders of the homeschool community from different sectors, both Christian and secular, have given interviews explaining that this case has nothing to do with education and everything to do with criminal intent. We all know that sending children to public school doesn't prevent harm. Parents of children enrolled in public schools abuse their children terribly in ways that escape notice. But that doesn't prevent calls for the type of regulation that has no place in a free society. I've seen articles that suggest that private homeschoolers should be required to present their children for an annual inspection by teachers and a doctor. It's an outrageous suggestion, one that amounts to suspecting all homeschooling parents of being unfit, of being capable of crimes against their children.
Obviously the overwhelming majority of parents who choose to homeschool their children do so with the best interests of their children as their top priority. They should not be subjected to suspicion by the state and gross invasion of their privacy through unwarranted intrusion into their lives. The state and society should give them the same benefit of the doubt that all parents are given, of acting in their children's best interests until specific facts or circumstances suggest otherwise.
The legal and legislative teams of HSC are in contact with the leaders of other statewide and national homeschooling groups. We will be looking for any indication that legislation will be introduced, and, with the support of the Board and our membership, will work to prevent the passage of laws that restrict the many without any proof that they will have the desired effect of preventing the tiny few from harming their children. We can't prevent evil, and trying to prevent it by taking away the freedom of law-abiding people is not a price our society should pay.
You will undoubtedly see all types of misinformation as this story runs its course. Many are writing from ignorance, including making claims that private schools are ordinarily required to be licensed and to be inspected every year by local fire and safety officials. Most private homeschools, of course, are not businesses and so are not subject to these requirements. If you see statements in the press that you think misrepresent the truth, whether of laws or other facts, and other commenters have not called out the error, please feel free to write to the legal team using the contact page at the HSC website, and give us the link to the piece. We'll consider whether we should try to say something.
We hope this blows over with no further drama, but we can't guarantee it. We may well need all of you to pitch in, by writing letters, making lobbying trips, calling legislators and the like. Our strength is in the passion of our members.
HSC Diversity and Inclusivity Statement
First, we wish to make it very clear that HSC is firmly committed to being a truly inclusive homeschooling organization: we strongly oppose ANY oppression or marginalization of people on the basis of their gender expression, sexual orientation, race or ethnicity, ability, age, or religious belief. In our Mission Statement, we state that HSC “honors the diversity of homeschoolers” and also “empowers families to make choices that respect the rights, needs, and aspirations of their children.”
- HSC values ideas that may look unique or different to some, yet would enhance the whole of the community.
- HSC has a strict policy prohibiting the use of hate speech, harassment, or any other form of bullying at HSC events or activities, and all allegations will be reviewed and taken seriously.
- HSC does not endorse or support any positions or organizations that oppress or denigrate any marginalized group.
- HSC does not necessarily agree, implicitly or explicitly, with the views expressed by any of its speakers (past, present, or future). However, we do take very seriously any actions or speech that would be considered any form of discrimination.
- In order to ensure the safety and comfort of all families within our organization, we are currently arranging workshops and gathering speakers on a diverse set of topics and interests.
HSC is committed to fostering a welcoming atmosphere that is inclusive of all of our families. We are working on a number of initiatives, including, but not limited to: developing volunteers, a Board of Directors, speakers and writers, event participants, and a membership that reflects the wide diversity of California homeschoolers; organizational evaluation; ally training; and transparency.
We invite you to reach out with comments, suggestions, or questions by emailing us here.
Grow Our Voice for Educational Choice
FREE from HSC
The Homeschooler Post
The Homeschooler Post is published online by HSC and is free to all. It includes photos and feature articles on specific topics; homeschooling Q & A; learning trends and homeschooling methods; family dynamics; young homeschoolers; teens and beyond; projects, hobbies, travel, and other special interest articles. There are new articles every week.
Looking to understand what it takes to homeschool, or what homeschooling actually looks like? There's a movie for that. Class Dismissed follows a family in L.A. that pulls their two kids out of school and takes their education into their own hands. HSC highly recommends both new and long-time homeschoolers check it out.