Based on the language in SB32 it is quite obvious that the legislators have very little knowledge of Home Education in Pennsylvania and its associated law.
Home educators oppose child abuse to the depth of our souls. We have given up our lives and our hearts for our children. We understand that many people put a great deal of effort into the Task Force on Child Protection, however, the opinions in the report, the subsequent proposed legislation, and some legislators public statements demonstrate the complete lack of knowledge of the bill, SB32, as well as Pennsylvania?s Home Education Program law (24 P.S. 13-1327.1). It is not difficult to see that some sponsors have not even taken the time to read either of these documents.
The Home Education Program Law (24 P.S. 13-1327.1 (b)(1)) currently prohibits home education of children when ANY adult living in the home has been convicted of an extensive legal list of crimes in the last five years, including:
- aggravated assault
- unlawful restraint
- statutory sexual assault
- involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
- sexual assault
- aggravated indecent assault
- indecent assault
- indecent exposure
- concealing the death of a child
- endangering the welfare of a child
- dealing in infant children
- prostitution and related offenses
- corruption of minors
- obscene and other sexual materials and performances
- sexual abuse of children
Pennsylvania’s current law is far more restrictive than what is in SB32. Provisions are already in place to prevent children from being home educated in a dangerous situation. There is a complete lack of logic in legislating home visits to residences where a person has been subject of a child abuse report in the last eighteen months (SB32), since the law already prohibits a Home Education Program if a conviction has occurred within the last five years. This is equivalent to passing new legislation saying you cannot drive a car if your blood-alcohol content is greater than 3%, when the current value is 0.08%!
Secondly, warrantless home visits are clearly unconstitutional. Home visits violate the Fourth Amendment. They are a violation of the home education family?s right to privacy and their right to be free from warrantless searches and seizure. Multiple state cases and the US Supreme Court cases have stood firm on this point. (Kindstedt v. East Greenwich School Committee, Griswold v. Connecticut, Steagald v. United States, just to name a few)
SB32 is simply legislative slander against home education parents. It is illogical and misguided and needs to be discontinued.