Chuck Muth: A law that should make every parent’s blood boil …
For the Nevada Appeal
According to a Jan. 4 report out of Albany, N.Y., Richard and Margie Cressy were “arrested on child endangerment charges” after authorities received an anonymous tip. And just what heinous abuse were the Cressys inflicting on their four children, ages 8 to 14?
You’re not going to believe it.
These dastardly, diabolical monsters … dared to home-school their children for seven years without getting the permission of government authorities!
Richard Hoffman, the local school district superintendent, said the Cressys “didn’t fulfill their legal responsibility to file with the school district to be home-schooled” even while admitting that the Cressys were, in fact, teaching their kids at home. That’s right. Richard and Margie were busted, not for failing to educate their children, but for “failing to register their children with the school district.”
By the way, Nevada requires the same kind of “registration.”
According to the news story, “Hoffman said the Cressys have since submitted a home-schooling curriculum, which he has approved.”
He has approved? Something is seriously, seriously wrong here, folks. Why do these parents need “approval” from this government bureaucrat to educate their own children in their own home? I mean, whose kids are they? Richard Cressy’s….or Richard Hoffman’s?
Think of it another way.
Let’s say Margie Cressy had opted to terminate all four of her pregnancies rather than bring those children into the world. Talk about “child endangerment”!
Yet in no way, shape, form or fashion would Margie Cressy be required to “register” with the government to abort those children, let alone seek the government’s permission. And yet she was thrown behind bars for failing to fill out some government form seeking permission to teach her own kids how to read, write and do arithmetic?
For its part, the local sheriff’s office explained “that the Cressys knowingly did not file the required paperwork with the local school district for seven years” and that’s why they were arrested like some drug dealer or street hooker.
This is an outrage. These parents did nothing wrong – other than fail to comply with a government registration requirement they never should have been required to comply with in the first place.
Thomas Jefferson wrote that “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive.” And in that spirit I’ve also been home-schooling my own kids for six years without “registering” with the government or seeking its permission. And if defending my parental rights means joining the Cressys behind bars, so be it.
Some things are worth fighting for, especially against the government. That’s a lesson all of our children should be taught, rather than teaching them to blindly submit to government “authority” without question. Viva la
• Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public policy grassroots advocacy organization. He may be reached at chuck@citizen