Telling homeschooling parents to not allow inspectors in their homes:
Forest issued a statement Monday afternoon warning of a “1980s era practice of randomly inspecting home schools across our state” by the Department of Non-Public Education after North Carolinians For Home Education reported that the department was going to randomly select five home schools for inspection.
“This policy is intrusive, unnecessary, and has the potential to infringe on the constitutionally-protected privacy rights of tens of thousands of North Carolina homeschool families,” Forest said.
Forest, who has said that he and his wife home-schooled their children, said home schools should be required to follow the law, but should not be required to let state officials in their home.
Forest is right about one thing: the Legislature needs to revise laws governing homeschools, but not in the direction Lt. Dan wants them to:
April Duvall, 33, is a member of an online support group for women who grew up in fundamentalist homeschooling families. Before her parents stopped sending her to school, she says, her father, a far-right evangelical pastor, worried that he’d get in trouble if he left marks on her after a beating. “My parents were abusive as long as I can remember, but my dad was afraid they would get caught,” Duvall says. Then, in second grade, her mother started teaching her at home, and “my dad stopped being scared that he would get caught.”
Indeed, when kids are homeschooled, it’s easy for the world to forget that they exist. In August, Erica Lynn Parsons, a 15-year-old girl ostensibly being homeschooled in North Carolina by her adoptive parents, was reported missing by her stepbrother; it soon emerged that she hadn’t been seen since 2011. Her birth mother is now calling for an “Erica’s law” that would provide greater oversight of homeschooling.
Missing for two years, and finally reported by her stepbrother, not her homeschooling adoptive parents. An in-home inspection might not have saved her from whatever fate has befallen her (she still hasn't been found), but the alarm would have been sounded much sooner.