Thursday, April 10, 2008

All Your Children Are Belong To Us

A stupid law is being proposed in Michigan to require all homeschoolers to register with the public schools and provide information about their families. Why? Don't worry:
Ron Koehler, who is the assistant superintendent for organizational and community initiatives at the Kent Intermediate School District (KISD), said he thinks having the information would enable the intermediate school district to inform parents about programs and classes that may be available to home school students.
Yeah, and I have a bridge in New York I'd like to sell you. Why does a public school rep think he has the right to demand that families not using the public schools identify themselves and hand over their private information?
"They're still our students and families," he said.
Uh, no. They're not.

I'm past being amazed through this last decade at the eagerness with which both lefties and righties are willing to hand over our freedoms and privacies to the state, in the name of making sure that Something Bad doesn't happen. From warrantless phone tapping of citizens (because they might be discussing a plot to blow up something!) to the endless mantra of "How can we know those homeschooled kids are being educated and not abused?", we're all agog to know what our neighbor might be up to that might be Bad.

I'm not a libertarian--quite the reverse--but I have a hopeless nostalgia for the principle of probable cause. It's not worth the cost of allowing the state warrantless, at-will access into people's homes and lives, just to make sure terrorist plots are foiled, or children aren't being beaten. It's sure not worth that cost to make sure kids are passing geometry.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you want to call yourself a libertarian? You sure sound like one.

Joel

10:52 AM  
Blogger The Opinionated Homeschooler said...

I don't want to get too political on this blog, but I'm more of a civil libertarian than a proper libertarian. I believe that the state, the church, the family, and the individual all have certain natural rights and duties with respect to each other, and that in this case the state is attempting to usurp the rights of the family, under the pretense that its obligation to protect its citizenry from real harm allows it to trample on the Bill of Rights and the natural right of the family to provide for the education of its children as it best sees fit.

But I don't have any problem being a bleeding heart, tax-and-spend liberal--the state has certain duties towards its citizenry, with a concomitant right to tax its citizens in order to enable the performance of those duties--which sets me far apart from every libertarian I've ever met.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fair enough.

Joel

6:49 AM  

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