Badman in England

Imagine not being able to exercise your parental rights to bring up your children the way you want to and educate them if you so desire.

Imagine an education officer knocking on your door and legally gaining entry to your house, no warrant needed.

Now imagine that same person insisting on interviewing your children, one by one, to find out what they think about you as a parent.  Do they agree with homeschooling or would they rather go to public school?

Questions about what they are learning, how they are being taught, how much school work they do?

Questions about how they are treated and generally what’s going on behind the closed doors of a private residence.

Questions that will be able to, according to law, balance the rights of a child with your rights as a parent.

Imagine children being able to change laws because the laws infringe on their views.

Children should not be trusted with basic decisions until they have proved themselves to be responsible, rational young adults.  Lest we forget amid all these imaginings, our parental authority extends until our child reaches 18 years of age.  We are held responsible, by law, for our child’s behaviour whether we want to be or not.  The law designates a child as a child at least until he is 18.

Well, let the truth be known, whether we like to or not these imaginings I just outlined, are becoming a reality.

According to a June 16th, 2009, HSLDA article, homeschooler’s rights could be jeopardized by a U.N. Treaty.  Twenty years ago the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and opened it to nations across the world for ratification.  This treaty, which could aid opponents of homechooling to ban or seriously hinder parents’ rights to educate their children, was signed by Madeline Albright in 1995 thus a major step was taken towards ratification.  A two thirds vote in the Senate supporting the UNCRC will automatically make the United Nations Treaty the supreme law of the land effectively superceding all state laws   (Article VI .S. Constitution)

Family and Education laws are state based but if ratification occurs the jurisdiction for making family and education law would go to the U.S. Congress.  Congress in turn would have to follow the mandates in the treaty.  Oops, farewell the constitution of our founding fathers, hello modified constitution of the U.N.  Looks to me as though slowly but surely we may be in clear and present danger of invasion of our parental rights.  Wake up America and take this treaty to heart.  It affects all parents not only homeschoolers.

There are supporters of the treaty and perhaps opponents of homeschooling, who say we have nothing to fear from UNCRC, I quote,

“There is no language in the Convention on the Rights of the Child that dictates the manner in which parents are to raise and instruct their children.  Ratification of the convention would not prevent parents from homeschooling their children.”

HSLDA takes a look at this statement in light of the Badman Report, June 11th, 2009, on home education in England.  This report was accepted in full by the British Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families and it is only a question of time before the legislation is introduced and a vote occurs in the British Parliament.

The Badman Report calls for rigid regulation of homeschoolers including compulsory reports about their home education.  It also makes reference to balancing the rights of parents with the rights of children as directly expressed in the UNCRC.

The Badman Report says,

“I am not persuaded that under the current regulatory regime that there is a correct balance between the rights of parents and the rights of the child either to an appropriate education or to be safe from harm.”

Many a homeschooler I know certainly looks to their child for educational direction and balance, I’ve had snakes in my bathtubs, raccoons in my pool and squirrels on strict bottle feeding schedules, so I speak from experience!   In my homeschool there was much more time for creative expression and play than at any public school I know; administrators keep noses to the grindstone with their bottom lines and search for excellence, their mandatory progress reports and imposed results.

The report continues with:

“The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child gives children…substantive rights which include the right to express their views freely, the right to be heard in any legal or administrative matters that affect them and the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas.”

Badman picks up on this wording and poses a problem,

“Yet under current legislation and guidance, local authorities have no right of access to the child to determine or ascertain such views.

And he has an intrusive solution in order to fulfill the provisions of the UNCRC,

“…designated local authority officers should:

“Have the right of access to the home;

“Have the right to speak to each child alone,” and “…secure the monitoring of the effectiveness of elective home education.”

Justifiably homeschoolers in Britain are outraged.  For America this is a stark reminder of how the UNCRC is being interpreted by government officials in an English speaking democracy.  There is no doubt that there will be a negative impact in America  if the U.S. Senate ever ratifies this treaty.

HSLDA is working to amend the constitution, which will permanently protect the rights of parents and homeschoolers from International Law seeking to undermine the parental role. It will ensure that the courts of our nation protect the fundamental right of parents to raise their children.  Currently the state is only allowed to intervene in family matters where there is credible evidence of abuse or neglect.  Parents in America are free to raise their children, including the right to homeschool them.  It’s a right we cannot surrender to any U.S. Government or to the United Nations, present or future.

For more information go to and join the fight against ratification.

Listen to Mike Donnelly of HSLDA talk about Governments in our Homeschools.

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