Another Day, Another Conceded Premise

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Michelle Malkin observes that the public education establishment isn't wasting any time trying to gain political advantage from the Turpin family abuse and imprisonment case:

Image via Pexels.
[T]he vultures of political opportunism are using the plight of the Turpin children to impose expanded control over all home-schoolers in the Golden State. California Assemblymember Jose Medina, D-Riverside, plans to introduce a bill requiring that "mandated reporters" designated by the state Department of Education conduct annual assessments in all home schools.

Echoing Medina's concern for "the lack of oversight the state of California currently has in monitoring private and home schools," liberal New Republic writer Sarah Jones decried how "lax homeschooling laws protect child abusers." She pivoted quickly from the Turpin tragedy to an attack on the home-school movement's academic achievements and opposition to mandatory kindergarten.

Fundamentally, the home-school crackdown caucus views the very freedom to educate one's own children as a threat to government authority. In the name of liberating the Turpin children, they seek to keep the rest of us home-schooling families in regulatory chains.
Earlier in the piece, Malkin notes gaping holes in the assumption that government oversight is some sort of panacea. These exist in the forms of both the well-known, general deficiency of government schools at providing a decent education and numerous instances of sexual abuse there. She also argues that the rationale for the increased state oversight is flawed by indicating the many lost opportunities in this case to have raised an alarm about possible abuse.

Unfortunately, quibbling over how much state supervision of home schooling there should be represents a missed opportunity because it concedes the premise that the state ought to run or regulate education. Rather, this long chain of missed opportunities to stop the abuse highlights the following crucial fact: Child abuse, false imprisonment, and torture are already illegal. The parents are being investigated. They will be tried. And they will probably die in jail. As tragic as this case is, to demand that the state closely scrutinize whatever activities a parent takes when not entrusting his child to the care of the state would be analogous to having a cop shadow everyone while they shop -- because some people steal, or having random raids in private residences at night -- because sometimes domestic disputes or murders occur in such places. In order to have a free society, human beings must be free to act, so long as they do not violate the rights of others, and integral to that condition is a presumption of innocence before the law and the absence of prescriptive law. That crimes sometimes occur does not merit the state treating everyone like a criminal or, worse, like the Turpins treated their own children.

-- CAV

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