Calif. lawmakers call for more homeschool oversight

By Leigh Jones/WORLD News Service - Posted at Baptist Press:

RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. (BP) -- Homeschooling opponents in California seized on the horrific case of child abuse discovered Jan. 14 in Riverside County to call for more oversight of parents who teach their children at home.

But homeschooling advocates say policymakers need to consider one key fact obscured by emotional reactions to the Tupin case: None of the organizations that track child abuse list homeschooling as a risk factor.

Police discovered what media outlets have dubbed a "house of horrors" when one of David and Louise Turpin's 13 children escaped through a window in their stucco-sided, suburban home, which looked completely normal from the outside. But inside, investigators found signs of extreme abuse amid filthy conditions, with piles of human waste next to furniture where the parents had shackled the children. News reports quickly focused on a mitigating factor child safety advocates claim enabled the abuse: The Turpins homeschooled their children with no oversight from government officials.

Citing the lack of state involvement in home and private schools, California Assemblyman Jose Medina, a Democrat, said he plans to introduce legislation requiring state officials to conduct on-site inspections of all private schools in the state, which include parents who educate their children at home.

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