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Advisory Commission in CT Using School Shootings To Overstep Homeschooler’s Boundaries

By: Krystle Crossman

In 2012 the world watched in horror as the story of the Sandy Hook massacre unfolded. Teenager Adam Lanza killed his mother and then forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT where he shot and killed 6 teachers and 20 children, and then took his own life. Lanza was home-schooled and now the Connecticut Board is looking to have home-schooled kids in the state monitored more closely. This new development was met with much opposition from home-school parents.

In 2013 a bill was created by the board to have mental health assessment for all students in school and inn home-school. But the home-school parents were strongly opposed to this and the bill eventually flickered out. More discussions have occurred since then about the state of mental health help and how maybe this tragedy could have been prevented if there had been more help for kids like Adam Lanza who had mental health issues. The board is again making a movement for any children who are home-schooled and have known mental health issues to be evaluated and monitored to prevent any re-occurrence of this horrible event.

The board is trying to implement this as they feel that home-schooled children that may have social, emotional, or mental health issues are not getting the help that they need because only their parents are seeing them during the day and may have blinders on when it comes to their child. They also feel that perhaps the parents are unaware of help that is available for their child and so they do not do anything about it. Part of this new requirement would be for home-schooled children to have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) in place and it would need to be approved by a special education teacher within the school district. It will also require the parents to check in with the superintendent at least once per year and make sure that they are staying on top of regular reports on how their child is doing with their IEP.

One of the reasons that the home-school parents are so strongly opposed to this is because when they take their child out of the school system they are supposed to be able to have minimal interference from the school district when it comes to their child. Many feel that this is invasive and that the schools will have too much control over what their children are learning.

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