Panel suggests changes to home school oversight

Sandy Hook Advisory Commission members (Hugh McQuaid Photo)
Sandy Hook Advisory Commission members (Hugh McQuaid Photo)

HARTFORD, Conn. – The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission discussed controversial changes to the oversight of troubled home-schooled children Tuesday in its draft recommendations on mental health.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy created the group more than a year and a half ago in response to the murders of 20 school children and six educators at an elementary school in Newtown. He charged the panel— made up of experts in education, mental health, law enforcement, and emergency response — with making recommendations to reduce the risk of future tragedies.

The commission expects to have a final report within the next few weeks. On Tuesday its members reviewed their likely recommendations on mental health during a meeting in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

The draft proposals include requirements for individual plans for students with significant emotional or behavioral problems. The group is backing extending those requirements to troubled youths, whose parents have chosen to home school.

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.



5 responses to “Panel suggests changes to home school oversight”

  1. Lifelong Teacher

    Right now, there is really zero oversight for any parent who declares the intent to homeschool in CT. The parent is supposed to notify the district, and then come in at the end of her school year to ‘review’ the student’s work. There is no approval or disapproval involved, with no sanction or follow through if the end of year meeting doesn’t take place.

    No assessments at all are involved. It’s a joke.

  2. Casey Smith

    I would like to point out that Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold [Columbine], Luke Woodham [Pearl, MS], Mitchell Johnson, Andrew Golden [Craig County,AR], Michael Carneal [West Paducah, KY] and Kip Kinkle [Springfield, OR] were all public school students who murdered other students. And those are just a few of the names. There are many more. You can blame home schooling for it and tighten regulations, but Adam Lanza would not have necessarily been stopped by being in public school, just as public school did not prevent the seven above named students from their murderous rampages.
    Secondly, Mrs. Lanza was trying to get her son into a facility. You can play “what if” or “should have” scenarios all you want, but the cold fact of the matter is that since the 1980’s with the passage of the Patient’s Bill of Rights, long term residential psychiatric treatment facilities have all but disappeared from the landscape. It’s quite ironic that the Lanzas lived in Newtown, the home of the now defunct, state run Fairfield Hills Hospital.
    The issue here is not home schooling, nor is it gun control. The issue is the availability of mental health services.

  3. EveT

    Let’s hope this can provide the impetus for “a change from current requirements which are permissive. The parents of homeschooled children may choose to participate in school programing, but are not required to.” We need homeschool oversight and monitoring of students’ progress, not just for “troubled” children but for all those who are homeschooled.

  4. Chet

    Lifelong Teacher you are incorrect. There is no law requiring parents to file a Notice of Intent with the town school or a legal requirement to come in at the end of year to review with school. Maybe if schools did a better job of having graduates ready for college without needing remedial courses some parents wouldn’t feel the need to do it themselves.

  5. Casey Smith

    @ Eve,

    Home schools function the same as a private school. I would like to point out that the oversight you mention regarding home school student doesn’t exist for public school students. If you walk into the BOE office and ask to see your child’s records, they will not show them to you. And they won’t show you the performance records for Bobby Smith or Susie Jones either because of student confidentiality laws. The only metric you have of whether a child is performing in school is the report card or, more recently, the files that parents have access to online.
    Once again, the issue is not home schooling. The issue is the availability mental health services. And even with that, there are still people who are going to go off the rails. The absolute worse school massacre in the U.S. had occurred in Bath, Michigan in 1927 when a disgruntled former School Board Treasurer blew up an elementary school killing 36 student and two teachers. Although Mr. Kehoe did have a gun with him that day and did fire it, the major destruction was accomplished by the use of bombs he had planted in the school over a period of months.
    The Newtown tragedy was horrific, but it was not an indictment of home schooling or firearms. People do evil things, but blaming entire groups of people (home schoolers, gun owners) for an individual’s actions never accomplishes anything. Adam Lanza was legally an adult and he did know what he was doing. I do not blame his mother, his family, gun owners, gun manufacturers, or the home schooling community. I blame Adam Lanza, just like I blame Kip Kinkle, Dylan Klebold and all the rest who have committed similar mass murders. They are the only ones that are responsible for their actions and punishing everyone else is not going to bring any of their victims back. Needlessly harassing others so it will “never happen again” is unrealistic. Murder has been happening since Cain killed Abel and I don’t see it stopping much in the future, regardless of how I feel about it. If you don’t believe me, just read the Connecticut Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post or any other newspaper for a major city.

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