Regulate “That Type” of Home School?

Last week the San Angelo Standard-Times ran an editorial on their opinion of the need for more “government response to crimes.” This is in relation to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) group in that area and the prosecution and conviction of their leader Warren Jeffs.

The paper laments the fact that CPS has not been on the property of FLDS “despite the removal of more than 400 children from the ranch in 2008 in perhaps the largest child custody case in U.S. history.” There is a reason for that. As I wrote regarding this pre-planned violation of the law by CPS and the horrible abuse of the innocent children at their hands, DFPS violated the law in removing the vast majority of these children and the Texas Courts confirmed that.

During the last session of the Texas Legislature, the State Representative representing this area offered legislation designed to address the “needs” that the editorial calls for, and the result was HB 253, which would have radically undermined not only parental rights for all parents in Texas, but home schooling as well. This is what happens when the government seeks to target a specific group because of its beliefs.

The newspaper says “that type of home schooling warrants some sort of state oversight to ensure that basic instruction standards are being met.” So what is that type of home schooling? Does the Standard-Times mean that certain religious parents would be required to get permission to homeschool and have to meet the state regulations required of public schools? If so, the state would obviously define what theological positions will make that requirement go into effect. The paper is promoting what is obviously a violation of the exercise of our religious freedom. Perhaps, what they mean is that those who live in rural areas on farms or ranches should be required to have government oversight of their home school, which is equally ridiculous.

Maybe what they are suggesting is state regulation of anyone who home schools “to ensure that basic instruction standards are being met.” The state can’t even ensure that basic instruction standards are being met in public schools! As numerous studies have shown, state regulation does not lead to better education. Home schooling is not broke…don’t try to fix it.


  1. Sherry says

    Amen, Tim. I saw this slippery slope when the FLDS were being targeted, and it's going to be an ongoing task to watch and make sure that the government doesn't target unpopular religious groups in regard to their homeschooling. "First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Socialist." (Not to say that we are headed for the Holocaust, but homeschooling in general is a target for some people.)

  2. Mindy says

    This is a real concern. I left a comment on the SA paper's editorial, but it hasn't been posted. Thank you for sharing!

  3. James Pennington says

    Great post, Tim. The article shows a clear bias against those who are religious or different than the norm: "Under NORMAL circumstances, children could be observed in public school settings." CPS and some in the media are clearly uncomfortable with those whose children are not under "some sort of state oversight." This is very troubling. Thanks for keeping us informed.

  4. Marjorie Westmoreland says

    Tim, thanks for making this specific issue re: the FLDS case better understood. We worried about the implications for homeschooling at the time, but did not see much follow-up about it in the media. Did NOT know the homeschooling aspect had come before Austin again related to this case. As always, THANK YOU for keeping us alert, awake, and aware.

  5. timthsc says


    The legislator denied that the purpose of his legislation was targeted at this group, but it was pretty obvious. He was forced to withdraw the most egregious aspects because they could clearly impact home schoolers in general.

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