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Radiolab podcast on homeschooler with no identity?


staceyobu
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I've been following this story, too.  I feel bad for her!  I had to completely start over with my kids' paperwork for everything and it was a nightmare.  We were robbed and they took all my kids' identification...birth certificates, social security cards, baptismal certificates - everything.  Because we homeschool and they weren't in the school system (most of my kids have never been to school), it was near-impossible to get them social security cards.  We went to two different SS offices and eventually had to call the SSA and have a case manager help us.  They could prove our kids were born, but they couldn't prove they were still alive (I kid you not!).  So, we eventually had to get letters from our pediatrician saying the kids were alive and being treated by their pediatric group and that's when we were able to get their SS cards.  (And we're in TX, too)

 

Anyway, just saying, she has a hard road ahead trying to get all of her paperwork -especially with no birth certificate.

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I listened last night. Those parents take obedience as a virtue to an un-virtuous place! 23 and not being allowed to get a job? Having to sneak your grandparents phone number?

 

When I was 23 I'd been married two years, had a baby,a good education and a decent start in my professional life.

 

It's infantalizing for parents to try to control an adult like that.

 

She didn't seem to be exaggerating or overly critical of her parents. She seems lost.

 

I think parents and midwives should face criminal penalties for not filing a birth certificate.

 

I have an aunt, who for a myriad of reasons too wacky to enumerate here, does not have a birth certificate and has been unable to get one. Her state will no longer issue her an ID or drivers license and she has to deal in a cash economy. She can't volunteer to chaperone her children's school fieldtrips because they can't background check her. She can't take her kids to Mexico or Canada, can no longer buy car insurance in her name. She can't prove her American citizenship (she was definitely born in Chicago). The tax and benefits ramifications are staggering (she does pay taxes for example but has no SocSec file) and that's not the end of it. The only person who could have helped her is now dead and wouldn't budge to help her in life (because in doing so, that dead person would have had to admit to felonious acts and because that dead person was just a horrible excuse for a human being). Different reasons but the same convoluted mess.

 

Too much rides on American citizenship and the need for identification for parents to not be obligated to file a birth certificate.

Edited by LucyStoner
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I hate that this is being framed as a "homeschooling" story rather than a "parents who belong to a cult-like movement" story. She could've gone to a private religious school and still had the same issues trying to prove who she is. Private schools are not required to verify their enrolled students' birth certificates, at least not in my state.

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I hate that this is being framed as a "homeschooling" story rather than a "parents who belong to a cult-like movement" story. She could've gone to a private religious school and still had the same issues trying to prove who she is. Private schools are not required to verify their enrolled students' birth certificates, at least not in my state.

I didn't feel like they particularly played up the homeschooling in the show, though. They focused more on people who wanted to be sovereign, or whatever it was called.

 

It's a nice idea to not have any "government strings" attached to your life. Not so nice of an idea when it means you literally can't get a job to feed yourself.

 

We had an unassisted homebirth and had a fairly difficult time getting a birth certificate. Had to get a statement from an OB and pediatrician. Ped fired us as patients and refused to say baby existed because he was mad about the birth. We had a heck of a time getting in with a ped who would actually agree to see the baby and write a statement. I can only imagine what happens if you wait 20 years to take care of things.

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I listened last night. Those parents take obedience as a virtue to an un-virtuous place! 23 and not being allowed to get a job? Having to sneak your grandparents phone number?

 

When I was 23 I'd been married two years, had a baby,a good education and a decent start in my professional life.

 

It's infantalizing for parents to try to control an adult like that.

 

She didn't seem to be exaggerating or overly critical of her parents. She seems lost.

 

I think parents and midwives should face criminal penalties for not filing a birth certificate.

 

I have an aunt, who for a myriad of reasons too wacky to enumerate here, does not have a birth certificate and has been unable to get one. Her state will no longer issue her an ID or drivers license and she has to deal in a cash economy. She can't volunteer to chaperone her children's school fieldtrips because they can't background check her. She can't take her kids to Mexico or Canada, can no longer buy car insurance in her name. She can't prove her American citizenship (she was definitely born in Chicago). The tax and benefits ramifications are staggering (she does pay taxes for example but has no SocSec file) and that's not the end of it. The only person who could have helped her is now dead and wouldn't budge to help her in life (because in doing so, that dead person would have had to admit to felonious acts and because that dead person was just a horrible excuse for a human being). Different reasons but the same convoluted mess.

 

Too much rides on American citizenship and the need for identification for parents to not be obligated to file a birth certificate.

Re: your Aunt--in my dreams I would have the funds to hire her a great legal team to prove her identity via DNA testing and push that through the courts!

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Re: your Aunt--in my dreams I would have the funds to hire her a great legal team to prove her identity via DNA testing and push that through the courts!

You and me both!

 

We have tried so much. Unfortunately, her circumstances are the stuff of a Lifetime TV for Women Original Movie but without the happy ending. She's working with the center for missing and exploited children but even they have reached a dead end. The recent death of the terrible person I mentioned only makes it worse since even that very slim chance is gone. Back when my mom was alive (7 years ago), ID laws were looser and she still had a DL and other rights and she wasn't pursuing it so hard. My mom didn't know all of the details but she knew enough that she might have been able to be useful.

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I hate that this is being framed as a "homeschooling" story rather than a "parents who belong to a cult-like movement" story. She could've gone to a private religious school and still had the same issues trying to prove who she is. Private schools are not required to verify their enrolled students' birth certificates, at least not in my state.

The podcast didn't emphasize homeschooling so much as the isolation. Homeschooling was just one of many means to ensure that isolation. It wasn't blamed for the problem...no more so than living rurally or homebirth or religion or not attending church regularly or not being allowed any media or a job were blamed for the problem. Homeschooling was just one factor in many that the parents misused to this bizarre end of isolation.

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The podcast didn't emphasize homeschooling so much as the isolation. Homeschooling was just one of many means to ensure that isolation. It wasn't blamed for the problem...no more so than living rurally or homebirth or religion or not attending church regularly or not being allowed any media or a job were blamed for the problem. Homeschooling was just one factor in many that the parents misused to this bizarre end of isolation.

I agree.

 

While I am no fan of excessive government intrusion, I can't help but think that it is a form of neglect and abuse to allow children to be "off grid" in terms of identity because as adults this situation absolutely, profoundly impacts their constitutional right to pursue "life, liberty, happiness", their ability to have their freedoms. I do not buy into the concept that a parents' right to believe anything trumps a child's rights to the basics, and identity and provable citizenship in this day and age are absolutely necessary basics. I mean literally, just to eat! She can't get a job to provide for herself or sign up for benefits without an identity. Were it not for kind people willing to take care of her, she could die of malnutrition, homelessness, ......

 

So where is the line. How do we protect and not over intrude?

 

Born within these borders? I think we need to say that birth certificates are mandatory and failure to get them for your minor child is a felony. Make the fines massive. Make the parents pay to the courts until they get the certificate. One could always waive the remainder after compliance. I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing to jail the parents for a week while local authorities pull together the necessary documentation to apply for the birth certificate. We may need to make it legal for police or social workers or sheriffs or whatever to do so, then relinquish the kids back to the care of the whackadoodles if they haven't done anything worse. It would protect the children as young adults from a host of really bad consequences.

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I didn't listen to the podcast but the Pennington case has been trumpeted all over the media and blogosphere as an excuse to bash homeschooling and call for increased regulation of homeschoolers. When really the issue started during the girl's infancy as the family failed to obtain a birth certificate. Even if they had legitimately thought that the midwife had filed the paperwork, responsible parents would've noticed that it didn't come in the mail and followed up on that.

 

It's not a "homeschooling" issue at all and should not be used by critics of HSing to claim that we need intrusive regulations. Simply pass a law stating that parents have 6 months or some reasonable time frame after a baby is born to get that baby a birth certificate.

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The only other place I have seen it is on the blogs of people in or of the homeschooling community or on social media. I have not seen it "all over" any semblance of other media or professional media. This was the first time I'd seen/heard it covered by professional journalists at all and it definitely wasn't a piece smearing homeschooling.

Edited by LucyStoner
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Simply pass a law stating that parents have 6 months or some reasonable time frame after a baby is born to get that baby a birth certificate.

Such a law needs some checks and teeth. Most states require registration of birth in some way or another. The "Pennington's" and or their midwifebroke the law. That doesn't do Faith any good or provide her with a remedy to obtain the document 20 years on down the road. Most states have regulations impacting someone in her shoe's ability to obtain a birth certificate.

 

People who register at school have provide a birth certificate. I personally would not consider such a requirement onerous for me as a homeschooler.

 

I think it's fair to say that no individual acting on their own or in concert with another has the right to deny someone of their proof of legal existence and national citizenship.

 

These parents should be in jail.

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The podcast didn't emphasize homeschooling so much as the isolation. Homeschooling was just one of many means to ensure that isolation. 

 

Yup -- I was (pleasantly) surprised to hear that homeschooling was treated as non-judgmentally as if she said she was left-handed.

 

The only exception was the insinuation that the Texas Homeschool coalition worked to punish the legislator who helped her get her identity paperwork started. 

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I didn't listen to the podcast but the Pennington case has been trumpeted all over the media and blogosphere as an excuse to bash homeschooling and call for increased regulation of homeschoolers. When really the issue started during the girl's infancy as the family failed to obtain a birth certificate. Even if they had legitimately thought that the midwife had filed the paperwork, responsible parents would've noticed that it didn't come in the mail and followed up on that.

 

It's not a "homeschooling" issue at all and should not be used by critics of HSing to claim that we need intrusive regulations. Simply pass a law stating that parents have 6 months or some reasonable time frame after a baby is born to get that baby a birth certificate.

Nowhere that I have lived do birth certificates automatically come in the mail just because the information is filed. I have to request and pay for a copy of the certificate in order to get one.

 

If the hospital somehow failed to file the paperwork, I might not find out about it until years later.

 

Not super relevant to this case, but the assertion above that parents should have noticed no certificate arriving doesn't hold water.

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People who register at school have provide a birth certificate. I personally would not consider such a requirement onerous for me as a homeschooler.

 

People who register at PUBLIC school have to provide a birth certificate for proof of age and some sort of proof of residence. Private schools are not required to collect that information, at least not in my state (and if CA doesn't require it, I doubt TX does either). She could've run into the same problem had she attended some private religious school.

 

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Nowhere that I have lived do birth certificates automatically come in the mail just because the information is filed. I have to request and pay for a copy of the certificate in order to get one.

 

If the hospital somehow failed to file the paperwork, I might not find out about it until years later.

 

Not super relevant to this case, but the assertion above that parents should have noticed no certificate arriving doesn't hold water.

 

Well, in the two states where I've given birth, the certificates came in the mail automatically. So yeah, I definitely would've noticed had it failed to arrive in a timely fashion (as IMHO any responsible parent would).

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People who register at PUBLIC school have to provide a birth certificate for proof of age and some sort of proof of residence. Private schools are not required to collect that information, at least not in my state (and if CA doesn't require it, I doubt TX does either). She could've run into the same problem had she attended some private religious school.

 

I meant that it was required by public schools and I wouldn't find it onerous to do so myself.

 

I don't see the need to be defensive about homeschooling when abusive people homeschool. I'm not an abusive person who homeschools. I definitely don't need to defend those who are or pretend that homeschoolers are all above reproach. That the same thing could have happened with some private school is irrelevant.

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Well, in the two states where I've given birth, the certificates came in the mail automatically. So yeah, I definitely would've noticed had it failed to arrive in a timely fashion (as IMHO any responsible parent would).

 

I had to go in person to get a copy of my son's birth certificate. I did so when he was about four months old, so I would have seen an error at that time. They are not automatically mailed in the state where I reside. 

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So I don't want to wade through the podcast. What is her status now? Does she have any documents? Have her parents helped her at all?

A state legislator sponsored a law that allowed a judge to consider cases like hers with less evidence and a judge granted her a delayed certificate based on her grandmother's affidavit, a note from her uncle who was a doctor that he had once treated her toe and something from an orthodontist office. Nothing from her parents.

 

She still doesn't have all of the paper work squared away. It sounded like she doesn't have a SS card yet but it's unclear as to why not.

 

She lives in Austin and visits her siblings and parents sometimes.

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These parents should be in jail.

 

Several people have mentioned this. I stridently disagree. Our carceral state is way out of control, and, imo, people who are not a danger to society should not be in jail. I'm not willing to pay to incarcerate people for being nutjobs or whackadoos or whatever. I think that there are other ways to handle the problem besides "throw the book at them!" 

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Maybe the young woman should sue her parents in civil court for damages. It has most certainly had a terrible effect on her ability to function independently as an adult and was an affront to her constitutional rights. I don't think any lawyer would have trouble making that case. Even if she never recovered a penny, maybe the thought of being sued would make some of these cults think twice about their actions. Often times the only thing that speaks loudly enough to get attention is that which negatively affects the bottom line.

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Maybe the young woman should sue her parents in civil court for damages. It has most certainly had a terrible effect on her ability to function independently as an adult and was an affront to her constitutional rights. I don't think any lawyer would have trouble making that case. Even if she never recovered a penny, maybe the thought of being sued would make some of these cults think twice about their actions. Often times the only thing that speaks loudly enough to get attention is that which negatively affects the bottom line.

That would take an activist or pro bono lawyer, because I doubt there's a good opportunity to recover enough cash to offset fees and court costs.

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In CA?

I had to go in person and get it.

Yep, I have three children born in CA and I had to either go in person to the county offices or mail in a notarized request form along with payment in order to get a certificate. Maybe Crimson's county does things differently?!? I remember the hospital sending me home with paperwork to request a birth certificate along with a coupon for a local notary and instructions to wait at least a month before sending it in so things had time to be recorded.

 

For my children born in other states, including Texas,the process was very similar--minus the notary bit.

Edited by maize
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I read that the legislator helping her was sponsoring a bill to make it a legal requirement for parents to have to sign an affidavit so children like this can get a delayed birth certificate. In other words, if the child asks, the parent has to sign the affidavit, and if they don't it would be a misdemeanor. Anyone know if that passed, is in debate, or got shut down?

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This is just a comment on how times change.   I am pretty certain my grandmother never had a birth certificate.  She didn't have a problem starting school, getting a SS# or a driver's license, because she lived in a small town and the bureaucrat knew her and her family.   

 

I will have to ask DH how we got DD's birth certificate.  I remember a lady getting the info from me when I was still out of it, and then the verified everything later and a mistake was found.  I know I didn't have to go to the office to get it.  

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How do undocumented students (children of undocumented immigrants) end up in the school system? I'm not trying to spark an immigration debate, in sincerely curious.

This came up in another discussion not too long ago. Turns out in most cases schools can accept something like a note from a Dr. who has treated the child as verification of their identity. They ask for birth certificates but can't actually refuse to enroll a child who doesn't present one.

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Also, if a child immigrated themselves, legally or not, they will have a birth certificate to present from their home country. If they were born in the US to immigrant parents they will have a US birth certificate (and citizenship). Children do not have to be citizens or prove citizenship to attend school--I've attended public school in a country where I was not a citizen.

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How do undocumented students (children of undocumented immigrants) end up in the school system? I'm not trying to spark an immigration debate, in sincerely curious.

Around here there are summer programs for migrant worker's children, and it seems that to enroll the only requirement is a physical address within the district. Some kids use the address of the employer. The school looks the other way.

 

How it would work for the non migratory population is anybody's guess. Whatever the schools do about that, they appear to keep it close to the hip. We do have it though. The local Amish do observe Rumspringa (sp?) and some of the 16 years occasionally decide not to stay in the community and want to attend school. Some of them do not have birth certificates and none have social security numbers. However when I've asked local teachers about how these kids enroll, they shrug. It is some sort of administrative thing to which they are not privy.

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How do undocumented students (children of undocumented immigrants) end up in the school system? I'm not trying to spark an immigration debate, in sincerely curious.

 

Having an SSN or a birth certificate isn't required to attend school. The public schools can't deny anyone an education. In fact, you can withhold your SSN from the school - they don't need it, they just want it. 

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Several people have mentioned this. I stridently disagree. Our carceral state is way out of control, and, imo, people who are not a danger to society should not be in jail. I'm not willing to pay to incarcerate people for being nutjobs or whackadoos or whatever. I think that there are other ways to handle the problem besides "throw the book at them!" 

I strongly agree that people who are not a danger to society should not be in jail, I don't actually want these particular people in jail, but these people are a great danger to society. They are having kids (presumably they are done now, though) that they are deliberately keeping them from contributing to society. They are real trouble for everyone. They are the definition of evil and controlling.

 

I think the daughter should be able to sue them for civil damages. She is to be congratulated for trying to take her life into her own hands despite extensive brainwashing.

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My district issues an ID number to kids who don't have a social security number, and in general, if the kid looks over age 7 and claims to be X age, they'll place them based on age/grade in K-8. (They will require a physical and shot record, and the physical will give an estimated age as well).  For teens, they'll start in 9th grade regardless of age unless there are school records provided-and sometimes even if there are, especially if there aren't test scores to back up said school records. In general, compulsory education laws trump paperwork, and there's always a way to get around it if it's absolutely needed. Ultimately, schools want kids in school. When I taught in a school with a high number of families who were seasonal farm workers, we were told explicitly NOT to ask any questions that might lead to finding out a child was here illegally-because what we didn't know, we weren't required to report, and if parents felt that they were at risk of being deported by enrolling their child in school, the kids would simply not be enrolled. That, for the child, it was better to be in school than not.

 

I suspect that it would be easier for a completely off grid teen who was of age to enroll in public school in many ways because doing so would start a paper trail and get some documentation in place. If they're legally an adult already, it may be much more difficult to get anything at all.

Edited by dmmetler
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I suspect that it would be easier for a completely off grid teen who was of age to enroll in public school in many ways because doing so would start a paper trail and get some documentation in place. If they're legally an adult already, it may be much more difficult to get anything at all.

Exactly. Here it is fairly easy to get established through school, and a student ID can be used, along with a few pieces of mail, to prove residency for a state ID. Once the state ID is issued, it can be used to get the driver's license and for employment purposes, that would be very handy.

 

But once the person turns 18, if they do not have a state issued photo ID or passport, then in order to get a photo ID or driver's license, not only is the birth certificate required, but also mail, plus a bank account statement (not something the OPs girl in question likely had coming from a family like that) plus a doctor's statement or county vaccine record, plus a high school diploma but not a homeschooling one - must be a school issued one where they can, should they want to, call the administrator and verify the student has been enrolled there or proof of GED, or in lieu of the diploma, three pay stubs with numbers they can call to verify employment and residency with your boss. An off grid child recently becoming an adult, would not have any of these things except possibly the doctor statement. Now that said, unless the child suffers a life threatening injury, in our experience with sovereign citizen/anti-government/militia types, they tend to be against going to doctors and dentists because they don't like paper trails, period. So if the 18 year old has been fairly healthy, didn't end up in a car accident or something that generated an ER visit, it is entirely possible for him/her to not have any medical personnel who can write up something that verifies anything.

 

It is a honking big, black hole!

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Nowhere that I have lived do birth certificates automatically come in the mail just because the information is filed. I have to request and pay for a copy of the certificate in order to get one.

 

If the hospital somehow failed to file the paperwork, I might not find out about it until years later.

 

Not super relevant to this case, but the assertion above that parents should have noticed no certificate arriving doesn't hold water.

I agree!

 

The hospital where I delivered two of my children filed SS paperwork for me, those arrived automatically. I didn't have a birth certificate for my daughter until she was over two and realized we needed one so she could get a passport or something. The hospital filed paperwork, but I had to request the birth certificate myself. We had so many medical issue going on the first year or so of her life that the last thing on my mind was whether or not I had a copy of the birth certificate.

 

I can't remember what we did with my third child, for all I know I may not actually have a copy of his birth certificate. I should check on that.

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Several people have mentioned this. I stridently disagree. Our carceral state is way out of control, and, imo, people who are not a danger to society should not be in jail. I'm not willing to pay to incarcerate people for being nutjobs or whackadoos or whatever. I think that there are other ways to handle the problem besides "throw the book at them!"

Identification abuse is not just being a wackadoodle. I'm not saying imprison them. But if someone has to go to county jail (often on weekends only) for not paying a fine or for failing to pay their court costs or for non-payment of child support when they have no means to pay anyways, parents who were essentially holding adults hostage (she was an ADULT when she dared to leave) can experience some county hospitality until they comply with the law and do right by their adult child.

 

These people have 8 other kids. If they don't sign affidavits when the other kids want to get their BC, the new law in TX is subject to a fine or 364 days in jail. I assume that a judge would only resort to that if the parents didn't sign the affidavit.

 

These parents and their misguided supporters (many in the homeschooling community) framed this as a child having a temper tantrum. Asking for her legal identity was a "temper tantrum" to them (taking this from their own blog and social media accounts, not hers).

 

We can not allow parents to exert absolute dominion over their adult children. If asking them to do the right thing does nothing, they need to face some actual repercussions. At one point her dad said he would help but then apparently rescinded that offer when she would not comply with his demands. He should have signed the forms without strings.

Edited by LucyStoner
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Having an SSN or a birth certificate isn't required to attend school. The public schools can't deny anyone an education. In fact, you can withhold your SSN from the school - they don't need it, they just want it.

I don't recall the schools here asking for a SSN. They do press hard for proof of age here though. I suppose they have alternative means than a BC for that though if the parents don't have one or refuse to provide one.

Edited by LucyStoner
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Identification abuse is not just being a wackadoodle. I'm not saying imprison them. But if someone has to go to county jail (often on weekends only) for not paying a fine or for failing to pay their court costs or for non-payment of child support when they have no means to pay anyways, parents who were essentially holding adults hostage (she was an ADULT when she dared to leave) can experience some county hospitality until they comply with the law and do right by their adult child.

 

These people have 8 other kids. If they don't sign affidavits when the other kids want to get their BC, the new law in TX is subject to a fine or 364 days in jail. I assume that a judge would only resort to that if the parents didn't sign the affidavit.

 

These parents and their misguided supporters (many in the homeschooling community) framed this as a child having a temper tantrum. Asking for her legal identity was a "temper tantrum" to them (taking this from their own blog and social media accounts, not hers).

 

We can not allow parents to exert absolute dominion over their adult children. If asking them to do the right thing does nothing, they need to face some actual repercussions. At one point her dad said he would help but then apparently rescinded that offer when she would not comply with his demands. He should have signed the forms without strings.

Absolutely agreed and a couple of nights in county lock up is nothing like prison, but it sure can interfere with the pocketbook and tends to shake loose people who don't want to cooperate. They are violating their adult daughters' right to simply take care of herself, and there are very serious repercussions to her that can include being turned away for many programs, being unable to work to support herself, being unable to sign up for necessary services for a disability, unable to get community mental health or legal aid, unable to get a post office box, you name it. Shoot. In my county, without some sort of identity, she wouldn't be able to use the disability bus service! It then trickles down to any offspring she has because she can't prove her citizenship which makes a whole nother mess for them. I can't think of a single employer in my county that doesn't do background checks now, and she has no identity so no background. She can't sweep floors at the local 7-11 without identification. They are literally holding her life hostage so they can darn well pay for their folly.

 

Again, a parents' right to believe anything does not trump the basic legal rights of their children.

 

And as for flat earth????  :eek:

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I meant that it was required by public schools and I wouldn't find it onerous to do so myself.

 

I don't see the need to be defensive about homeschooling when abusive people homeschool. I'm not an abusive person who homeschools. I definitely don't need to defend those who are or pretend that homeschoolers are all above reproach. That the same thing could have happened with some private school is irrelevant.

 

It's relevant when these tragedies are used to push for greater government regulation of homeschooling.

 

Homeschoolers should be held to no more intrusive regulation than private schools. If private schools in a state are not required to collect birth certificates or administer standardized tests or get portfolios approved by local superintendents, then homeschoolers shouldn't either. If the government feels that there is a legitimate reason to require these things, then impose them on private schools as well (good luck with that because the wealthy families who can afford private schools won't stand for it).

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It's relevant when these tragedies are used to push for greater government regulation of homeschooling.

 

Homeschoolers should be held to no more intrusive regulation than private schools. If private schools in a state are not required to collect birth certificates or administer standardized tests or get portfolios approved by local superintendents, then homeschoolers shouldn't either. If the government feels that there is a legitimate reason to require these things, then impose them on private schools as well (good luck with that because the wealthy families who can afford private schools won't stand for it).

The wealthy private schools here require FAR more than the public or the small religious private schools. They don't just want birth certificates, they want professional evaluations and cognitive test scores and letters of recommendation and lengthly forms describing the home environment. A couple of very expensive schools that well off professionals flock to require an exhaustive list of media and TV shows the children watch. Even if you are paying full sticker, they more or less demand financial particulars for their fundraising department. Don't like it, don't go.

 

None of the parents I know who go to the big private schools have any issue providing something as small as a birth certificate.

 

I've never understood why some homeschoolers react to any requirements so strongly. I generally find the perceptions of it being onerous or intrusive to far outpace the reality of what little is required.

Edited by LucyStoner
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Yep, I have three children born in CA and I had to either go in person to the county offices or mail in a notarized request form along with payment in order to get a certificate. Maybe Crimson's county does things differently?!? I remember the hospital sending me home with paperwork to request a birth certificate along with a coupon for a local notary and instructions to wait at least a month before sending it in so things had time to be recorded.

 

2 out of my 3 kids were born in CA and I definitely didn't have to go get anything notarized after I left the hospital or request the birth certificates in person. It's possible that there was a notary at the hospitals who signed a mail request that was part of the stack of paperwork. DH filled out the paperwork and just had me sign where I needed to.

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Crimson, not every state is like yours. Many do require quite a bit of data collection of private schools. Locally except for the Amish who are exempt, vaccinations records and vaccination waivers must be collected as well as proof of residency. Your experience is not true for all by any stretch.

 

And again this is not a homeschooling issue anyway. It is a citizenship and identity issue. It has nothing to do with educational choice.

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The wealthy private schools here require FAR more than the public or the small religious private schools. They don't just want birth certificates, they want professional evaluations and cognitive test scores and letters of recommendation and lengthly forms describing the home environment. A couple of very expensive schools that well off professionals flock to require an exhaustive list of media and TV shows the children watch. Even if you are paying full sticker, they more or less demand financial particulars for their fundraising department. Don't like it, don't go.

 

None of the parents I know who go to the big private schools have any issue providing something as small as a birth certificate.

 

I've never understood why some homeschoolers react to any requirements so strongly. I generally find the perceptions of it being onerous or intrusive to far outpace the reality of what little is required.

 

I don't have a problem with requiring birth certificates- it's the forcing schools that do not accept taxpayer money to administer standardized tests every year and/or get student portfolios approved.

 

I didn't have a problem with having to submit portfolios and have my kids take standardized tests when they were in a charter school that gave $700-$900 per child per semester for me to spend on materials and classes. But now that we file the Private School Affidavit and don't get any funding, I would object. Not because I have something to hide (my kids test well) but because I'm paying 100% out-of-pocket for their educational expenses. The taxpayers have a legitimate interest in student test scores for schools they fund (including home-based charter independent study programs). But they aren't funding my homeschool at this point.

 

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