Harvard Prof: Homeschooling is authoritarian and should be banned

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By Jeff Thompson —

In this month’s May/June issue of Harvard Magazine, we are informed of “The Risks of Homeschooling” by Erin O’Donnell.  She reports on a recent paper by Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Bartholet and an upcoming, private “invitation only” conference she is hosting on the dangers of homeschooling.

Elizabeth Bartholet states in her 80-page legal opinion paper for the Arizona Law Review that some of these (homeschooling) parents are “extreme religious ideologues” who question science and promote female subservience and white supremacy.  Children should “grow up exposed to…democratic values, ideas about nondiscrimination, and tolerance of other people’s viewpoints.”

She views the absence of regulations ensuring that homeschooled children receive a meaningful education equivalent to that required in public schools as a threat to U.S. democracy:

“do we think parents should have 24/7, essentially authoritarian control over their children from ages zero to 18? I think that’s dangerous,” she contends.

“I think it’s always dangerous to put powerful people in charge of the powerless and to give the powerful ones total authority.”

The State Needs To Be the Ultimate Protector of Children

William and Mary School of Law Professor James Dwyer, has stated:

The state needs to be the ultimate guarantor of a child’s well-being … The reason parent-child relationships exist is that the state confers legal parenthood. The author believes that parents can be dangerous and they have too much power. 

Harvard Alum and mother of 4, Kerry McDonald, wrote an excellent letter to the editor of Harvard Magazine.  She lists 5 scientifically researched reasons why professor Bartholet’s information is biased and wrong. You may find her article here, by Kerry McDonald.  

Law professors Bartholet and Dwyer fundamentally believe in the right of the State, over the rights of parents or individuals, to properly educate, protect, and raise your children.  CNN however, recently reported on the unexpected positive results of children being home with their parents during the coronavirus lockdown.  Their recent story can be found here: “Why some kids are happier right now and other unexpected effects of quarantine”

The Bible gives us as parents the responsibility to teach and train our children.  Let’s not abdicate that to the government.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7: And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. — ASSIST News

To learn more about the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), go here