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HSLDA Is Promoting Parents' "Right" to Spank - Page 2

post #21 of 56
I am failing to understand how this can possibly be a parents rights issue. I equate spanking with abuse (causing physical harm to your child), and I personally don't think any human has the right to abuse any other human. But, IMO, I also don't think parents should have the "right" to circumcise. I don't think any of us should have the right to inflict pain on anyone else, but especially not young children who have no ability of recourse against us.
post #22 of 56

The only reason this is an issue with HSLDA is because they are lobbying for the Parental Rights Ammendment.  Again this is to combat the UN Rights of the Child Treaty and subsequent state laws like those of the State of Washington where a parent was arrested because he wanted his child opted out of 'diversity' education.  Or where a child was removed for the home because he complained that his parents made him go to church.  Or where parents were not allowed to see the results of their childs drug screening under HIPPA.  This is why HSLDA is involved with this.  You can agree or disagree with the spanking issue- and it doesn't matter- because that isn't the point.  The UN Rights of the Child Treatee is insane and to let the states have all the power over our children is a stupid move.  I believe Germany has signed this and homeschooling is illegal there.  Afganistan has signed it and they murder children in so called 'honor killings'.  Denmark signed it and they allow physicians to euthanize babies up to the age of either 1 or 2 for any reason they deem acceptable.  This is a tip of the iceberg situation.

 

Yes if you are a paying member of an organization you should know what they are doing and what they stand for.  We can all agree on that.  But in this case it is imperative to NOT throw the baby out with the bathwater and look at the big picture. 

post #23 of 56

iowaorganic, I would be interested in seeing some links to those stories.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_on_the_Rights_of_the_Child

 

Supporters of this treaty include UNICEF and Amnesty International.

post #24 of 56

And here is the Wikipedia page for Parental Rights Amendment:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parental_Rights_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

 

Here is the HSing entry from the same article, pretty much restating the HEM link I mentioned above:

 

 

Opposition from homeschooling advocates

Larry Kaseman of Home Education magazine argues that the Amendment's focus on rights rather than responsibilities will empower parents to treat their children like property and shelter unfit parents from punishment for neglect and abuse. Kaseman also holds that parental rights exist separately from federal law, and expresses concern that a constitutional amendment would federalize family law, granting the government the power to give, define, limit, regulate, and take away parental rights. He argues that the Ninth Amendmentto the United States Constitution already protects parental rights.[23]

post #25 of 56

And here is the Wikipedia page for Parental Rights Amendment:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parental_Rights_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

 

Here is the HSing entry from the same article, pretty much restating the HEM link I mentioned above:

 

 

Opposition from homeschooling advocates

Larry Kaseman of Home Education magazine argues that the Amendment's focus on rights rather than responsibilities will empower parents to treat their children like property and shelter unfit parents from punishment for neglect and abuse. Kaseman also holds that parental rights exist separately from federal law, and expresses concern that a constitutional amendment would federalize family law, granting the government the power to give, define, limit, regulate, and take away parental rights. He argues that the Ninth Amendmentto the United States Constitution already protects parental rights.[23]

 

(Me again) HSLDA is backing this amendment.

 

Sorry for the double post.  I can't edit out that last one.

 

post #26 of 56
Thread Starter 

I actually have very strong libertarian tendencies.  My dh is an attorney who has represented parents and children in cases where their civil rights truly were in jeopardy (schools trying to administer drug tests to high school students, for example).

 

I agree with Sweet Silver that some lines can, and must, be drawn, to distinguish between a parent's and a child's rights.  Our nation has already done this.  As a previous poster has already pointed out, is not legal to have sex with one's child, no matter how convinced a parent is that doing so might benefit the child.  It is not legal to withhold food from a child for a week, even if the parent is convinced that a week-long fast will be of immense spiritual benefit to the child, and that god will provide for the child's well-being.

 

The notion that drawing ANY lines at all inevitably leads to a slippery slope is just not defensible.  It is, in fact, fear mongering.  Just because Germany doesn't allow homeschooling and a German court has recently ruled that circumcising one's child is not a parental right doesn't mean that if the U.S. outlaws involuntary circumcision, homeschooling will follow next.  Those issues will have to be decided individually, on their own merits. 

 

An obvious place to draw a sensible line between the parent's rights and the child's rights is with the child's body.  If you do something to the body that causes the child physical suffering or permanent disfigurement (e.g., hitting the child or circumcising him or her), you have crossed that line.  Parental rights end where a child's rights (not to suffer unnecessary physical harm) begin.  There is abundant evidence that homeschooling can be good for children--better than school, even.  There is, on the other hand, NO evidence whatsoever that spanking is good for children.  In fact, there is abundant evidence to the contrary.  The "evidence" that HSLDA and other conservative groups frequently trot out is either anecdotal or from the Bible. 


The best way to keep homeschooling legal is to keep pointing elected officials to the already abundant (and increasing evidence) that homeschooled children are, as a whole, learning very succesfully.  Those of us who are unschoolers need to be particularly vigilant that we don't allow "learning" to be defined by standardized tests or specific curriculums.  People like Alfie Kohn and Peter Gray, who have tirelessly collected research that shows standardized testing and learning are often at odds with each other, have done us an immense favor.

 

HSLDA, by mixing other issues with homeschooling, makes the fight tougher for all homeschoolers who don't share its narrow view of the homeschooling life.  In this respect, the organization is like a certain presidential candidate who liked to talk about homeschooling and banning birth control in the same breath. 

 

BTW, the Parental Rights Amendment supported by the HSLDA people (under its spinoff organization), is also a really transparent attempt to outlaw abortion.  Read the amendment--and the history of talks between the HSLDA people and the National Right to Life--and I think you'll see what I mean.  We could have all kinds of reasonable arguments for and against the legal right to an abortion.  But I think we all can agree that abortion has nothing at all to do with homeschooling, and that mixing the two issues can not possibly be in the best interest of the homeschooling cause.

post #27 of 56

I've never supported HSLDA because I think that the number of other issues they get involved in takes away from promoting homeschooling and the rights of homeschooling families.

 

I wish there was a homeschooling organization that was just as large, but was inclusive of all homeschoolers and really focused on homeschooling issues.

post #28 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post

I've never supported HSLDA because I think that the number of other issues they get involved in takes away from promoting homeschooling and the rights of homeschooling families.

 

I wish there was a homeschooling organization that was just as large, but was inclusive of all homeschoolers and really focused on homeschooling issues.

So, so hard to be inclusive of all homeschoolers and have any issues left except that we already have a right to educate our children as we see fit and attempting to preserve that right from government intrusion.  Anything beyond that is speaking only for some homeschoolers.  That's why I tend to think that HSing is best left at a state level and organizations stay somewhat smaller.  I'm not really firm in this stance, but it is my first-thought tendency.  I agree with the slippery-slopers in that an attempt by the federal government to define HSing is going to lead to more regulations--having to determine whether someone is or isn't HSing according to the definition of the law.  Those HSers who have no trouble embracing the legal requirements of their state might balk when someone like me mentions it, but I HS differently than they do and I tend to agree with the slippery-slopers on that part of the issue.  

 

Whether I agree that the "parental right" to spank (or not) and that it is connected to the same rights that allow us to educate our own children, well..... like Luckiestgirl, I know there is a line which is unacceptable to cross.  I lean towards spanking being beyond that line, but the majority of parents in this country unfortunately disagree.  I do appreciate that in this country, people think long and hard (I hope) about whether a law violates the principles of freedom this country was supposedly founded on.  I am a closet libertarian and I've got a noisy anarchist-hippie living in the "attic" and they tend to keep my bleedingheart liberal tendencies in check.  It is true that not everything is a slippery slope, but usually that knowledge comes in hindsight, whether it was or not.  I am definitely the type to be skeptical that it won't.  Skepticism is good.

post #29 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post

I have to say I think it's pretty scary for a homeschool organization to be taking these kinds of positions.  I can't help but think that there are kids out there who are homeschooled so that nobody can get a good look at them.  I am sure that is few and far between, but it was the first thing I thought when I read the OP and I generally have good feelings about homeschooling.  

 

On this logic, though, I'm not sure why we'd be able to say anything about how a parent treats their child as long as the parent was of the belief that it was somehow good for them.  Would the same people believe that sexual abuse is okay, but only if it's main purpose was to teach the child how to have sex?  Or maybe a parent could use sex against the child instead of spanking  --  it must be pretty awful for a child to be sexually abused so, even a very immature one would understand not to do something again if the punishment was say, intercourse.  Obviously you are not saying here anywhere that you'd endorse that view, but I'm not sure why not.  Is it because you believe there's no "injury" involved in spanking?  And would that mean that if that line was crossed  --  child got bruised once (or how would you measure it?)  --  then the spankers would be suddenly abusers?  

 

I also think that if you really want your wife (or husband) to behave, hitting sounds like a better bet than talking.  It sounds like you're saying as long as someone can't follow your reasoning, it's okay to hit them until they do what you want, what if its just faster and easier to get your spouse to do what you want by hitting even if she can understand what you are demanding of her?  What if your spouse doesn't agree no matter how many times you tell them how you like the bed made (or whatever)?

 

I used to have a friend who beat her husband pretty seriously and frequently (nearly blinded him) and he was a freaking model husband.  He worked hard, made a lot of money, and then was home by six and in charge of all the kid duties for the rest of the night, and got them up in the morning and bathed and dressed and dropped off at school.  All of the talking in the world would not get my husband on board with that division of labor.  

 

Maybe all of the above is completely beside the point, because what's really important is just that the government set no limits for what parents can do to their kids?  I don't think I trust people enough to sign up for that.  

 

I think what I said was misinterpreted. We 'run' in military social circles and therefore have lots of friends who are very conservative. Many of them spank their children. Some of these parents and I have discussed the topic of spanking and in my post I was trying to explain why these families feel that spanking is ok. We do not spank our children but I do think it's important to understand the viewpoint of those who do when discussing something. 

 

I personally feel that spanking is not ok but that 'spanking' should have a definition. A parent laying a small child over their knee and repeatedly hitting their bottom? Not okay anywhere. A parent lightly 'smacking' a child's hand when they reach for something they're not allowed to have for the tenth time? I still don't agree with it but I don't think something like that should be outlawed. 

 

Again, I don't agree with spanking or inflicting harm on a child but I was spanked as a child and while I won't say I'm better off for it I will say that I don't harbor anger towards my parents over it nor do I feel it did any lasting damage, physically or emotionally. 50+ years ago virtually every child was spanked, often severely, and yet most all suffered no long term ills because of it. Liking spanking (not beating) to sexual abuse is not a correct comparison. Virtually all victims of sexual abuse suffer terribly because of it, not so for children who are/were spanked (again, not beaten). 

 

My big concern with a law against parents inflicting any pain whatsoever on their children is how that law would be interpreted. What if it's claimed that giving a child a chore that involves sweeping the floor makes that child's back hurt and the parent is arrested? Or if a child is denied a video game system, could that be construed as a parent causing emotional pain? There are just so many ways a law prohibiting parents from inflicting any pain whatsoever on their children could be construed. I'm not a fan of the government meddling in parenting unless serious abuse is taking place. 

 

Kind of an aside but somewhat relevant:

There are still many public schools in the United States where corporal punishment is allowed and used. It's legal in 22 states. They generally use wooden paddles.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1915820,00.html

 

Let's let the government outlaw that before they go after parents.

post #30 of 56
Quote:
So, so hard to be inclusive of all homeschoolers and have any issues left except that we already have a right to educate our children as we see fit and attempting to preserve that right from government intrusion

 

Aren't these enough issues to handle?  That is all that most members want, I imagine. I had seen the HEM article on

HSLDA's "History" Erodes the Foundations of Our Freedom  some time ago, but wondered if the organization might have broadened its horizons since then or if this criticism still applied.  Then I also saw statements HSLDA had issued including unschooling as a recognized form of homeschooling.  Now on further reading I I think it indeed dangerous to leave the impression that HSLDA is the voice of the homeschoolers.  They are going global as well - and I have seen disturbing reports about their role in Europe so far (not sure how accurate they are, so not detailing here).  But look at this - http://www.ghec2012.org/cms/content/ghec-2012-board

 

a global conference on homeschooling ... I wonder if secular / liberal homeschoolers are at all involved in this?

post #31 of 56

Not only does HSLDA represent homeschoolers with special needs, they have three SN educational consultants to help their members. Here's the page: http://hslda.org/strugglinglearner/default.asp
 

post #32 of 56
Thread Starter 

I admit to being a little suspicious when, after all sorts of unpleasant things about HSLDA are revealed, new MDC members (people posting for the very first time) show up in this forum.

post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by iowaorganic View Post

The only reason this is an issue with HSLDA is because they are lobbying for the Parental Rights Ammendment.  <snipped>

 

Yes if you are a paying member of an organization you should know what they are doing and what they stand for.  We can all agree on that.  But in this case it is imperative to NOT throw the baby out with the bathwater and look at the big picture. 

 

yeahthat.gif

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicki in VA View Post

Not only does HSLDA represent homeschoolers with special needs, they have three SN educational consultants to help their members. Here's the page: http://hslda.org/strugglinglearner/default.asp
 

 


With all due respect, I'm pretty sure I still have the e-mail that says pointe blanke that they will not undertake cases with children trying to get special education services at home--with the offer of a refund of my membership dues.  I'll take that over whatever they put up as advertising.

 

And since you are a new poster who is in VA, I am also suspect (since I know they are headquartered in VA).

post #34 of 56

<<fforts to make military recruitment of HSers easier, exemption from taxes, exemption from federally mandated tests, parental rights amendments, all of which would actually reduce the freedoms to homeschool that they claim to protect.>>

 

I'm not understanding how these things reduce the freedom to homeschool -- can you explain? This is my perspective:

 

Homeschoolers who tried to join the military were not recognized as graduates and were required to take a GED and were then joining at a different tier/level with lesser benefits. HSLDA's Federal Relations department worked with all the branches to start pilot programs recognizing homeschool grads whose parents would show a transcript. Period. Same benefits (tier 1) as any other high school grad. No freedoms removed-- no authentication or certification of parents, approval of program/courses, etc. Just a self-certified transcript from the parents.

 

Exemption from federally-mandated tests is important because a federal test would lead to a federal curriculum -- and isn't one of our main reasons for homeschooling so we can tailor our curriculum to our children's needs?

 

The parental rights amendment is about the only thing that can prevent passage of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. If the UNCRC is passed, you can kiss homeschooling goodbye. :)

 

Am I missing something here?  :)  Thanks! 

 

Vicki

post #35 of 56

http://homeschoolcommunity.blogspot.com/2009/08/open-letter-to-homeschool-community.html

 

One person's perspective.  The following is an older article and I am not sure how much is still current, but it is still relevant.  Yes, it is an opinionated argument from the Kasemens, but my arguments would be opinionated as well. I have read their articles for years and find them well thought out, logical and convincing.  I could only hope my arguments would be half as good:

 

http://homeedmag.com/HEM/172/ma_clmn_tch.php

 

Quote:

 

"(3) We can learn from this experience and renew our commitment not to use legislation to try to solve problems except in rare situations when it is absolutely necessary. This problem has developed as a result of an attempt to use federal legislation to make it easier for homeschoolers to enter the military. It is a perfect example of a general principle we homeschoolers need to understand:homeschooling legislation carries serious risks because it provides many opportunities for increased regulation of homeschooling. One set of risks comes from the fact that amendments that increase regulation of homeschooling can be added during the legislative process. But even if a bill gets through the legislature without harmful amendments, regulation can easily be increased as the law is being implemented, as is the case with this law. We need to continue to find non-legislative ways to solve problems, as we have been doing. Consider how many of us homeschoolers have figured out how to get learning resources, become active in our communities, get jobs, attend college, etc., etc. without legislation to clear the way."


Edited by SweetSilver - 7/4/12 at 2:02pm
post #36 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicki in VA View Post

 

The parental rights amendment is about the only thing that can prevent passage of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. If the UNCRC is passed, you can kiss homeschooling goodbye. :)

 

 

 

Simply put, Vicki, not all homeschoolers accept this claim.  Homeschooling is flourishing and very much legal in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom--all countries that have signed the UNCRC. 

 

Some of us see homeschooling as being about the rights of the child not to be involuntarily confined in what is too often a prison-like environment, in which his ability to have self-determination in how and what he should learn is severely curtailed.  Parents who come to homeschooling from this philosophy (often through the work of John Holt) oppose other practices (e.g., spanking) that limit the child's right to freedom from bodily harm.  Surely HSLDA knows that there are countries that have banned spanking yet allow homeschooling (e.g., New Zealand, Finland)  so HSLDA's claim that all these issues are one and the same is patently false. 

 

The HSLDA supports a philosophy in which children are the property of their parents, not individuals with a right to certain basic protections (like educational freedom and bodily safety). 

 

I'd like to see you explain exactly how the legalization of gay marriage would impact homeschooling. 

post #37 of 56

A paragraph from the first link.  I am having trouble edited and writing with links posted.

 

 

Quote:

 

"However, it became clear in 2005 that HSLDA was not just helping their members, they were attempting to set government policy for ALL homeschooled students. In 2005, their second attempt to introduce their Home School Non Discrimination Act (HoNDA) included language that would have enabled HSLDA as the certification agency for the U. S. military of homeschool graduates, including language identifying a “home school certificate or diploma”:

 

 

post #38 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by elus0814 View Post

I agree with other posters that it is a parental rights issue. There are lots of things that are legal to do to children that cause them pain and/or harm, at what point will the law have overstepped? I think about the spanking issue like vaccinating. It's painful for the child at the time and has a risk of long term damage but parents still do it because they believe the pain and risk are justified by the potential benefits. Parents who spank their children know it will cause pain and it carries the risk of long term emotional problems but they still do it because they believe it will benefit their children in the long run by showing them when they're doing something they have been told not to do. To the poster that commented on how it's illegal for a man to administer corporal punishment to his wife. An adult woman can carry on a conversation with her husband during which he can explain why he would prefer she not do something. He doesn't need to physically correct her because she is capable of understanding things that children can't and adjusting her actions accordingly. A child might not be able to understand when things are explained to them. Some parents feel it makes more sense to use corporal punishment to get the child to understand. How many parents have explained something gently a thousand times only to have a child misbehave anyway? Part of that is immaturity, even a very immature child will understand not to do something again when it means they will experience pain.

These above are great points. And I was also thinking that a child and full-grown adult woman are quite different. However-- this still doesn't make me feel justified in striking a child, adult or animal. As human beings we evolved as thinkers. As such, we should be intelligent enough to understand that harming another person is wrong. Period.

I wish this org would spend more time on home schooling rather then parental rights. Ridiculous.
post #39 of 56
Thread Starter 

Just wanted to say thanks to SweetSilver for all the links.  I was posting at the same time and had to get off the computer right after I posted. 

post #40 of 56
I don't spank my kids but maybe if I'd gotten different kids I might have, I don't know. But I do worry about the way parents are policed in our society. It pains me when I hear of children being removed from good homes because of misunderstandings, causing worse trauma than the kids ever experienced at home. I don't think spankings are always that bad.
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