A Harvard Law School professor wants the government to put a ban on homeschooling as she claims it produces racism, sexism, and isolationism.
Prof. Elizabeth Bartholet, who serves as the director of Harvard Law School’s child advocacy legal clinic, argued in a post for the Harvard Magazine that “many” homeschool programs taught lessons antithetical to American democracy.
From the Daily Wire:
In a shocking essay for Harvard Magazine, a professor of law and director of Harvard Law School’s child advocacy legal clinic, claims homeschooling is a threat to children’s rights, a method of promoting white supremacy, and a drain on democratic society — and even goes so far as to suggest a national “presumptive ban” on the practice.
Harvard is playing host to a “homeschooling summit,” slated to take place (at least digitally) June 18-19, according to the Daily Caller News Foundation. But Harvard’s concern isn’t so much whether homeschooling is a viable, cost-effective, and comfortable method of education for many Americans, but rather whether homeschooling is (and homeschooled children are) a ticking time bomb.
Bartholet argued that teachers in homeschool programs are uneducated themselves and keep children “from contributing positively to a democratic society.”
“Many [people] homeschool precisely because they want to isolate their children from ideas and values central to public education and to our democracy,” she wrote, via the Daily Wire. “Many promote racial segregation and female subservience. Many question science. Many are determined to keep their children from exposure to views that might enable autonomous choice about their future lives.”
Bartholet also argued that there were not enough regulations on those who homeschool.
“We have an essentially unregulated regime in the area of homeschooling,” she claimed, adding “if you look at the legal regime governing homeschooling, there are very few requirements that parents do anything.”
“That means, effectively, that people can homeschool who’ve never gone to school themselves, who don’t read or write themselves,” the professor continued.
The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti countered the Harvard professor, saying public schools have many of their own disadvantages:
Public schools, which can be breeding grounds of inefficiency, and often struggle to educate children on an individual level, Bartholet says, are places of miracles. Children who attend public school “grow up exposed to community values, social values, democratic values, ideas about nondiscrimination and tolerance of other people’s viewpoints.”
The central argument seems to be that children should be wards of the state, and that the state — not individual parents — should be charged with deciding what is best.
There is likely reason for concern, at least as far as the liberal educational establishment is concerned. The coronavirus lockdowns have exposed millions of parents not just to the concept of homeschooling, but to the curriculum of public schools — and perhaps in ways that might make them think twice about returning their children to a government-run educational system.