Homeschooling is Not Abuse

Miami’s CBS Local reported on an adoption bill already passed out of the House and waiting for a final reading/vote in the Florida Senate.

Adoption Bill Passes Amid Home-Schooling Questions

An amendment added to the bill Tuesday declared that Floridians cannot be denied the opportunity to adopt if they plan to home-school their adopted children. The provision has worried people who point to child-abuse cases in which crimes were committed by home-schooling foster and adoptive parents.

“I really feel that we’re leaving some children at risk,” said Rep. Joe Geller, D-Aventura.

But bill sponsor Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, called boosting adoptions “one of the most loving and kind things we can do.”

Agree with the latter and find the assumptions by Representative Geller a shallow shot at parents loving those children enough to spend lots of time nurturing them. If these children were already in the foster care system, we could assume nothing would escape the government watch.  But sometimes terrible things happen right out in the open.

As one Florida state senator stated after asking the logical questions – “there was absolutely no evidence … that would support discriminating against home-schooling families.”

Ironically, in her quote below, this judge missed the point. Negligent parents were caught and appearing in her court:

“Children who are home-schooled are isolated, not socializing with other children, and are not a part of the greater community,” said Cindy Lederman, a dependency court judge in Miami-Dade County’s 11th Judicial Circuit with 20 years experience. “In virtually every case in my courtroom where the parents claimed the children were being home-schooled, the children were not receiving education, they were not being taught by qualified people and they were not learning. It was just a clever way to hide the abuse and neglect.”

Of course, the solution for neglected and abused children is putting them into public school. But let’s mention school personnel repeatedly voiced concerns about Nubia and Victor Barahona before they were taken out of school. Nubia’s body was discovered in her adoptive father’s truck and her brother was horribly abused.  The Miami Herald reported on the lawsuit against the  Department of Children & Families:

“These people shouldn’t have had any children in their home,” he said. For instance, the Barahonas were allowed to adopt Nubia and Victor despite the misgivings of a guardian ad litem, an individual who represents children in the court system, who felt the parents were unfit.

“One of our main goals in pursuing cases like this is not only to compensate the kids, but to try to fix a system that is ridiculously broken and just never seems to get fixed,” Falzone said.

It can’t get much worse than this, but it does.  One of the child protection investigators supposedly looking into these allegations of abuse and neglect in the Barahona “home” was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for engaging in sex with a foster child.

Who is watching out for these children?

So. Back to homeschooling families adopting foster children.  This below is a good question from the CBS Local article:

“I’m going to choose a loving family every time,” he said. “And when you consider the fact that the president of the Senate, Andy Gardiner, and his wife Camille home-school their three children, how can public policy in our state say that Andy Gardiner and Camille Gardiner couldn’t adopt a child?”

Sometimes the speck of sawdust in an eye is only seen looking past the plank in one’s own eye.  Homeschooling is just an easy target.

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