UN Treaty threatens Homeschooling Freedoms

Here’s a sobering article written by the folks at the HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association) which should make every single homeschooler (and person who values freedom) sit up and take notice. It is about how the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child are being interpreted and how this could be enforced in Britain. All member nations which have signed the treaty are potentially affected and this means that homeschooling could become illegal in many countries across the globe. This is not an issue to shrug one’s shoulders at and pass over. Get involved in your local homeschooling organization and get mobilized!

Posted on June 18, 2009 in General Homeschooling

  • Dan WC says:

    As you note in the text of your entry, it is not the UN treaty itself that threatens homeschooling freedoms, but rather the interpretation of the treaty by Mr. Bagman (and apparently accepted by the British gov’t in his report). In reading the HSLDA piece, it seems that Mr. Bagman has simply latched onto language within the UN convention to buttress his own specious ideas about how children should be treated and regulated.
    I think the strategy of making the UN the bogeyman actually is unhelpful and distracts from the real problem (which in this case is the need to fight local, albeit national, proposed regulations in Britain and not go fighting the UN). As homeschoolers, it is always imperative for us to be vigilant against attempts to encroach on our freedoms. But bashing the UN has long been a staple of the right, and plays into a whole host of other political positions that in the end do little to promote freedom either.
    I agree that we all should be involved in our local and state homeschool organizations and get mobilized. You are right that is the real need and the real issue.

  • donna says:

    WARNING: Some of you become unhappy when I get “political”…..so don’t read on if that’s you! (though I might suggest that we all think about what “political” means….isn’t talking about education and a vision of the future “political” in and of itself?!
    Hello Dan! Great to “see you” here!
    Well yes – UN-bashing (any sort of bashing) is not especially helpful. But….I do thnk it is vital that we consider the effect that huge, impersonal institutions which are not accountable in any meaningful way (eg the UN) can have in our lives. And we need to consider that when a country signs a declaration that comes from an institution such as the UN what happens next? It’s just not surprising that political interests represented by a person such as Mr Bagman can walk right in and then use that signed treaty to build upon. Further, I would actually say, Dan, that I think Mr Bagman’s opinions are not at all out of tune with the language of the UN declaration. However, were there a grass roots response to such a declaration or were it to have come from the grass roots in the first place then I very much doubt that someone like Mr Bagman would have been given the time of day.
    Surely at this point in our political evolution, we need to get beyond centralized bureaucratic institutions and work on the task of developing de-centralized grass-roots community based politics where real people can actually have in-put in the decision-making processes that effect them and not get slammed by surprises emanating from organizations like the UN? What does the UN mean in my life? How do I get to express my view there? I can’t express my view – yet I am supposed to abide by its rulings? Although I believe fervently that the ideal of the UN (some kind of peaceful brotherly internationalism)is forward-looking, I strongly believe that creating or supporting enormous, extra-national institutions which are a world unto themselves is not a way to achieve that end.
    Yours in Libertarian Left Freedom,
    (dissenting views most warmly welcome….!

  • dottyspots says:

    The B*dman Review has been a bit of a shaker over here, but it is not Law yet and it certainly is being challenged. Indeed, arguments have been put forward that elements of it contravene the Convention. The various home-ed orgs are active on this and individuals have also been contacting their local MPs to protest. There has been some support from some Peers for home-education too.
    It is certainly a worrying time for many home-edders here. Although some may broadly support some of the recommendations, others are of huge concern to pretty much everyone.

  • Sumiyeh Aboosaiedi says:

    Hi Donna!
    I don’t see any topic that relates to this issue, so I’m just inserting it myself. . .have you or any of your contributors seen/read the book Free Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy? Seasoned NewYorker mom gives her 9 y/o son maps, $20 and some quarters (in case he needs to call) and leaves him to make it home in NY himself. (The boy had been begging for an independent exercise for months, she says.)Although released last year, the book generated quite a bit of controversy (and support). I can imagine that it is in line with the “real-life” values that a waldorf homeschool education strives to instill, but I wanted to sound you (all) out on the issue anyway. Out of brevity, I’ ve given only the very basics of the matter. If anyone is interested, read it for yourself ;P

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