Monday, February 21, 2011

HB 301: the State's "compelling interest" vs. the Parent's Natural Right

Here's what happens when parents can be considered criminals for exercising their natural right to instruct their children. Parents were arrested in New York state in January of 2011 for instructing their children under the "child endangerment" laws.

This situation can happen in New Hampshire too. If HB 301 passes parents can be charged under the same criminal laws for "child endangerment."

HB 301 was drafted by HSLDA just like the Home Instruction regulations in New York were drafted by HSLDA. So just how good are HSLDA laws for protecting the natural rights of parents?

New York statute requires for attendance upon instruction "at a public school or elsewhere." Since the Packer decision of 1948, New York has operated without mandatory registration for private schools. What happened to "equal treatment" for homeschooling parents in New York? Why were these parent arrested for failure to register their home instruction?

In 1988 Attorney Michael Farris, president of HSLDA helped draft Home Instruction regulations for New York. Prior to 1988, parents operated under the Equivalency law, "elsewhere than at a public school." Equivalency laws place the burden of proof upon the state. Home instruction regulations place the burden of proof upon the parent.

Why shift the burden? HSLDA supports the theory that the state has a "compelling interest" in education which they believe supersede the natural rights of parents. HSLDA also opposes rights of conscience and intellectual freedom. For more information on New York homeschooling go to Otherwise Providing Education iN New York

Keep in mind that New York state only has regulations, without any statutory authority, imposed by HSLDA in 1988. This is unconstitutional. This is exactly the same problem parents in NH faced last year with DoE rules exceeding statutory authority. Fortunately, NH parents screamed in opposition!

Why would anyone in New Hampshire want mandatory registration? It's dangerous in New York. Illinois parents just killed a bill to introduce mandatory registration.

Parents should fight mandatory notification in New Hampshire. They should be delighted to support Rep. Jones' bill, HB 595, and do absolutely everything in their power to get it passed.