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Sandy Hook Schools Parents on Education

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By Tony Perkins

The Sandy Hook school shooting was the stuff of nightmares. Now, almost two years after that horrific tragedy, state officials are blaming another culprit: homeschooling. After the December massacre that took 26 innocent lives, Connecticut’s leaders are still trying to make sense of the crime — and focus their efforts on preventing a similar one. In the aftermath, Governor Dannel Malloy (D) convened a special Sandy Hook Advisory Commission to study the shooting and offer recommendations for upgrading security and protocols. But so far, the Commission’s only contribution has been more controversy.

In a proposal just released by the 16-member panel, the Commission makes the outrageous suggestion that Connecticut needs to crack down on homeschooling, especially in homes with emotionally or mentally challenged kids. In a nod to the killer, Adam Lanza, whose mom pulled him out of school briefly as a teenager, the Commission has somehow concluded that homeschooling was partly to blame for his violence. That shocked the homeschooling community, and rightfully so.

Obviously, this is just an excuse to discredit — or, worse — destroy the fundamental right of parents to educate their children. “We believe this is very germane,” said Harold Schuwatz, one of the panel’s members. “The facts leading up to this incident support the notion that there is a risk in not addressing the social and emotional learning needs of homeschooled children.”

To people familiar with the Lanzas, the idea that homeschooling played any role in the shooting is ridiculous. In fact, it was Adam’s own psychologist who recommended teaching him at home where his parents could keep closer tabs on him. Now, the state of Connecticut is suggesting that it’s the government who needs to keep closer tabs — on moms and dads who should be the ultimate authority on their children’s education.

Matthew Hennessey, who is helping to highlight the Commission’s ulterior motives, points out that that this goes much deeper than the Sandy Hook shooting into the foundational questions of who has the final say on how or where a child learns. “Of course, no one wants another Newtown… But Governor Malloy’s handpicked commissioners have indulged a dangerous impulse, common on the Left, to reorder society at the expense of the family. In the process, they have trampled on the rights of homeschoolers to raise their children as they see fit,” he writes.

Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.

(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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