Article Title: The right to home school: Lawmaker proposes bill to simplify process of removing child from district
By: Dirk Perrefort Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 03/16/2008 04:13:07 AM EDT
Published in: The News-Times (newspaper, of Danbury, Connecticut)
This article features an interview with a family from the town of Newtown, Connecticut, who was reported to DCF on charges of abuse after disenrolling their child from public school.
I’ll let the quote explain the Newtown family’s story:
Hughes said the Newtown district claimed she was negligent because of unexcused absences and for failing to give the district permission to speak to her daughter's doctor.The case was deemed ‘unsubstantiated’ in the end.
"As far as I know (not giving that permission is) not against the law," the mother said. "My daughter's medical records are private."
Hughes said she received a letter from DCF late last month saying the claims made by the district were unsubstantiated and that there were in fact no unexcused absences on her daughter's record.
I have something to say about this quote from Newtown Superintendent Janet Robinson:
Newtown Superintendent Janet Robinson said while privacy laws prohibit her from discussing the Hughes' case, in general school officials are required to serve as advocates for the students.
"We have to make sure that everything is educationally in the best interests of the students," she said.
Robinson said school officials are also mandated reporters and must report
any situation where abuse is suspected. It is then DCF's responsibility to
The superintendent said before she came to Newtown, she saw cases in which
parents who were abusing their children removed them from school to avoid
suspicion and being exposed.
"We have to look out for the child," Robinson said. "We would never report a
parent to DCF just because a child is being home schooled. That's not the
If the child was in the Newtown publlic school and was suspected as being abused
should not the mandatory reporting have been done immediately when something
suspicious was suspected, back when the child was still IN the school? Why
would the school only report the family to DCF for abuse after the family
disenrolled them to begin homeschooling? This makes no sense, there is no logic there
and in fact if they suspected abuse but didn't report it earlier can't the
school get into trouble?
I recall once Attorney Deborah Stevenson saying, I believe it was in her testimony in the public hearing about SB162 on 2/19/08, that in and of itself the act of disenrolling
from public school and the desire to homeschool is not a reason to suspect
child abuse and to open a child abuse investigation. I agree.
I am so aggravated by the obvious misuse of power by some school staff. I'll just leave it at that: this is an abuse of power issue plain and simple.
For more information about SB162 read Judy Aron's blog: Consent of the Governed's posts about Withdrawal From School.
Technorati Tags: parental rights, Connecticut Senate Bill 162, withdrawal from school, problems with public school, homeschooling Connecticut.