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VaKim

Anybody posted about the 13 siblings found chained in California home?

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Hmm it would be interesting to see some research done. Only thing I could find suggested rates of abuse were lower in home and private school kids but it was pretty unscientific and vague.

 

 

homeschoolers - who are homeschooling in good faith, and private school, I would imagine lower incidence of abuse, because they have a higher percentage who are really putting into their kids.

 

there are a lot of people who claim to be homeschooling, but are hiding under the radar of a public school system.  or they are antigovernment preppers (a former neighbor age of the daughter said they snuck into their house after they moved out.  lots of religious material talking about armageddon. )

 

I've always assumed the parents would claim to be homeschooling if anyone questioned them.

 

becasue HS is recognized, those who keep their kids out of school will claim HS when confronted.  doesn't mean they are . . .

 

abusers like this keep their kids out of school so no one will see them.

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From the Knox Study quoted in the WaPo article - **Don't read the study if you are sensitive to pictures of abused children**

 

Twenty-eight cases of extreme child abuse were identified. The children’s median age was 7.5 years (range = 9 months-14.5 years). Abuse duration ranged from 3.5 months to 8 years (median = 3 years). Eleven (39 %) children were male and 17 (61 %) female. Twelve children were Caucasian (43 %), 10 (36 %) African American, and six (21 %) were Hispanic.

 

Eighty-nine percent experienced food deprivation and 79 % were fluid restricted. Sixty-four percent were restricted in the performance of normal bodily functions, including toilet access for urination and defecation. The majority of children (89 %) were isolated from people outside the immediate family; 75 % experienced solitary confinement. For over half, few individuals outside the abuser(s) knew of the child’s existence. This social isolation typically involved preventing the child from attending school or daycare. Twenty-nine percent of school-age children were not allowed to attend school; two children, though previous enrolled, were dis-enrolled by their caregiver and received no further schooling. An additional 47 % who had been enrolled in school were removed under the auspice of “homeschooling.†This “homeschooling†appears to have been designed to further isolate the child and typically occurred after closure of a previously opened CPS case. Review of these cases found no true educational efforts were provided to the homeschooled children. Their isolation was accompanied by an escalation of physically abusive events.

 

The victims we saw share some of the characteristics of the child starvation cases described by Kellogg and Lukefahr (2005), including isolation of the child and hidden or missed malnutrition. They were usually kept at home, or if taken where others could observe them, were clothed to cover their degree of malnutrition and their physical injuries. Older children were removed from school under the guise of home schooling. Although home schooling is a valid form of education for many families, these children show no evidence of receiving any education. Their removal from school appears to have been motivated by the need to keep the children hidden. Several children had home visits from protective services or public health nurses or were seen by physicians, but their severe malnutrition was missed. Lack of regularly obtaining and charting growth data appeared contributory.

 

 

------

 

Perhaps if you are already accused of abuse by CPS and withdraw your child, then you should continue to be monitored by CPS.

 

 

Edited by Plum Crazy
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I haven’t seen it mentioned, but the mom was a teen when she left home to be with/marry this adult man and nobody stopped it. She may also have a combination of mental illness, abuse, and Stockholm syndrome. It’s very sad all around.

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I haven’t seen it mentioned, but the mom was a teen when she left home to be with/marry this adult man and nobody stopped it. She may also have a combination of mental illness, abuse, and Stockholm syndrome. It’s very sad all around.

Not only that but I think someone commented that the sister had been abused by someone she trusted. It's possible that mum came from an abusive home environment.

 

I definitely would wonder if she was a victim in this as well as a perpetrator. She certainly doesn't look well or happy.

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I live in a state with home visits and mandatory registration (New South Wales, Australia). We were registered homeschoolers from 2008- 2017. When DS turned 17 registration was no longer required. To register, parents must provide an education plan that meets the appropriate age and stage based outcomes for each child, show work samples from the previous year, show a timetable that meets minimum school hours, and have a home visit where the children talk with the inspector and the inspector can see that you have adequate space, light and resources to educate the children. We must also show that the children have a range of social experiences and a chance to interacte with other kids. Registration can be for 3,6 or 12 months initially, depending on how well prepared the parent it, or for up to two years for experienced homeschoolers. For while, experienced homeschoolers were able to register by sending all the stuff in, with no homevisit. I did it once for one child. It was a massive PITA. The home visit is much easier, despite the need to vacuum.

 

About 2/3 of homeschoolers in NSW are registered, the homeschooling community estimates. We use a wide variety of methods, from natural learning, to Steiner, Charlotte Mason, Classical and standard school at home. Many families use Christian materials. As long as they cover the outcomes, you can use whatever you like. The inspectors (called Authorised Persons, which I think is daft) are all experienced educators. Our first AP was a former high school principal who told me to calm down and put me in touch with a local natural learner and a lovely homeschool group that we are still members of. Our second AP was a former maths teacher who also inspected schools to determine that they met the curriculum requirements (she passed me on the same day that she failed a very expensive private school one year). Both were very pro-homeschooling, great mentors and were very keen to provide support. Our second AP was working with a refugee family who wanted to homeschool but was badly under resourced. She met with them monthly for a while to help them find their feet.

 

They’re aren’t any real financial incentives for this unless you receive a social security payment. Homeschooling is completely unfunded in Australia. Most of us register because we think homeschooling is a legitimate education model and we want some recognition for that. There is some feeling of validation that comes from it, too. I didn’t realise I needed that until I got it, but we were accidental homeschoolers at the beginning. You can apply for a year 10 completion certificate but it doesn’t count for much.

 

Yes prepping for a visit is a pain. But I would do all that planning anyway. Yes I did have to clean the house, but I would have done that anyway. The real oversight comes from an experienced, trained person sitting in your dining room, eyeballing your kids and having a low-pressure conversation with them. That family would not have passed. Any visitor to the home would have noticed that something was wrong. And so there is a layer of protection, not perfect, but there anyway. Could I use excessive physical punishment and not get caught? Yes. Could I emotionally abuse the kids? Yes. Could I get away with living in filth, systematically under feeding, not socialising and chaining the kids up? No. Our system also means there is a delineation between registered homeschoolers and those who are not. I know good homeschoolers who are not registered. I know some fairly ordinary ones who aren’t, too. They have a pile of reasons, including fear of oversight, anti govt sentiment or a wish to do their own thing. Some of them simply can’t be bothered planning 12 months in advance and some of their kids do fall behind. And yes, they do give us a bad name in a country where homeschoolers are still in an very minority and fight for recognition. So registration not only protects our kids, it also means I can point to it and say “we are legal and doing the right thing and someone always comes out to checkâ€. It actually protects me, and apart from an afternoon’s kerfuffle, costs me nothing.

Edited by Deee
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The children wrote journals. Many journals.

 

Those are going to be damning.

 

The mother was 16 when she married her significantly older husband. Makes me wonder if she might be viewed as the first victim--one who then went on to victimize many others.

 

I'm not usually a revenge person, but I admit that a part of me really wishes these "parents" could be made to live for a year at least the way they forced their kids to live.

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Here is the deal with annual physicals- and I think it was only Florida that had this requirement.  I do not remember if it was in the umbrella school portion or the test or portfolio portion since I did both depending on kid and age in my short 2.5 years there.  I can't remember if I got out of "physical" by saying I had a philosophical issue with it or wrote something about how many visits they each had to doctors or what exactly.  I did have an issue with annual exam- we were in the military medical system.  My two kids who were still homeschooled by then were seeing doctors a lot- both pediatricians and specialists.  My youngest had developed what we later found out when we ended up at Johns Hopkins- juvenile ideopathic osteoporosis and broke three bones while we were there and yes, we were seeing specialists but didn't hit a good one until we found an old doctor at Johns Hopkins who specialist in cases of osteoporis and osteopenia and Ehlers Danlos etc, etc.  Fortunately she developed it at 9 and could advocate her own position and the first weird break was at a VBS I wasn't at and another later break was at a winter camp retreat playing soccer and so on.  Nobody thought we were abusing her because we did take proper care of her and breaks weren't in weird places that abusers do but more normal regular breaks.  (But as an aside, some of the other genetic osteoporosis causes in children do often result in CPS calls).(( That specialist was actually fairly certain that I and my other daugher also had issues and that he had seen a few families that had similar issues but did not meet Ehlers-Danos criteria and he thought there was a yet undiscovered genetic cause for her osteoporosis, my and my other daughter;s osteopenia, and also loose joints).  That youngest also developed an anaphalactic reaction to wasps in Fl and then started going to an allergist weekly.  The other daughter had tachycardia issues, on medications, etc , etc, all of which necessitated so many visits to doctors, PT, shot clinics, OT, genetic specialist, MRi facilities, hospital because middle kid had surgery there, etc,etc. and I was supposed to add to that a idiotic annual physical that the military did not consider necessary and therefore wouldn't pay.  Absolutely not -totally unnecessary and pointless. I mean one of those school years, they very well may have had a physical- for sports or camp or maybe when they first arrived.  But in the military system, you weren't supposed to need one every year.

 

And I had no problems with testing issues.  I think in VA you may have had to test.  But at least there we could substitute ACT for test if they took it that year- youngest was in talent search so she was also taking it,  Some states have super strict test requirements like only these 4 tests and do not let you replace ACT or SAT or PSAT or anything like that.  That puts an extra testing burden on high school students and is totally stupid since if you can score well enough for colleges, you certainly are getting educated somehow.

Edited by transientChris

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The whole thing is really horrific and in many ways very different than a lot of the other cases.  Super sadistic behavior but of a kind I haven't seen in this particular way.  Just like the extreme religiousity is not usually found in people who keep going to Vegas and doing Elvis wedding re-enactments.  Definite horrible abuse and like so many suspected- one case of lewd behavior.  I don't know if that means the baby was the mom's. 

 

And yeah- tough for all the investigators too.

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The children wrote journals. Many journals.

 

Those are going to be damning.

 

The mother was 16 when she married her significantly older husband. Makes me wonder if she might be viewed as the first victim--one who then went on to victimize many others.

 

I'm not usually a revenge person, but I admit that a part of me really wishes these "parents" could be made to live for a year at least the way they forced their kids to live.

It also indicates that the parents actually were homeschooling on some level because the kids are able to write. That doesn't happen without some education and exposure to literacy.

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But surely we don't advocate not taking an ill child to the ER, even though there have been extreme cases where it went bad. Same with annual physicals or homeschool evaluations. 

 

 

the point which I seem unable to explain to you  - and this is the last time I'm going to discuss this

is parents who are abusing their children avoid taking to anywhere they might be exposed.   they do skip going to the dr, even when the child is very sick.   they will be the one's who won't go to any sort of accountability meeting for homeschool.   they are the ones who don't let their kids have contact (or only very limited contact) with outsiders.

and the fact is - innocent parents get mistakenly identified as abusers.    homeschoolers who are teaching their children - but dont' keep good records, or don't trust government, won't have face to face meetings just to satisfy some regulation put in place to prove they aren't abusing their children.   and it only takes one mandatory reporter with an attitude . . . 

but I'm done.   we're going to have to agree to disagree.

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In all honesty, if the children lived like that all of their lives, they may not have been aware that there was anything wrong.  I wouldn't be surprised if there are many people in different abusive situations where the perception of reality is distorted by personal experience. Just having grown up in a home with an alcoholic parent, I had to learn what a "normal" home is like and had to learn healthy problem solving behaviors, etc. as an adult. I imagine abuse survivors may have even more to learn and much more severe damage to attempt to undo. 

 

True.  It wasn't until I had a college Abnormal Psych class that I realized my dad wasn't normal.  Now I know just how abnormal he is.

 

From the article:

“We’ve seen so many cases that for us, the Turpin case is not that abnormal,†Coleman said. “It fits this pattern we’ve been tracking for a long time.â€

 

To be sure, she said, the vast majority of home-schooled children have parents who create a warm environment at home and provide a fine education. She was happily home schooled, as were other staff members of her organization. The California case, she said, is “not the norm.â€

 

But, she said, the lack of regulation and enforcement by states allows home-schooling parents who abuse their children to hide them. While children who attend regular schools are abused too, research shows that home schoolers account for a disproportionate number of abused children.

 

 

A 2014 study by University of Wisconsin pediatrician Barbara Knox and colleagues found that in 38 cases of severe child abuse, 47 percent of parents had never enrolled their children in school or pulled their youngsters out when abuse was suspected and told authorities they were home schooling.

 

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that 3.3 percent of U.S. students, ages 5 to 17, or about 1.7 million, were home schooled in 2016."

 

The author of this article doesn't think that starving and chaining your kids to furniture is not that abnormal? What "pattern have they been tracking for a long time?"

 

The author's own cited statistics don't support her assertion that homeschoolers account for a disproportionate amount of abuse cases. The University of Wisconsin study found that the majority of the kids in the study they researched were NOT homeschooled. The majority of the kids were enrolled in traditional school yet were still abused. Regulations didn't help these kids, so why do some people think that more regulations will help prevent these abuses in the homeschooling community?

 

As a PP mentioned, but is worth repeating as so many people read/understand stats incorrectly...

 

If 3.3% of students are homeschooled, there should only be 3.3% of kids in severe abuse cases that are homeschooled to be equal.  Since there are 47%, that's 14x what we should be seeing.  For every severe abuse case in school, there are 14 that are "homeschooled."  The authors stats definitely support what she is saying and then some.

 

Personally, I like PA's homeschooling regs.  Perhaps a thing or two could be modified and I'm sure some still slip through the cracks, but at least it makes those who want to hide in the cracks WORK to do so instead of being super easy.  And our laws certainly aren't difficult to conform to.  It's worth it if it can save a youngster - or 14.  What would have helped in this situation is our requirement to have medical and dental evaluations at certain grade levels.  Kids develop at different times and it's still normal - when it's kept track of.  ps  There are some exemptions shown at the bottom for those who might worry that's it's too invasive, but again, it would make those who want to be abusers rather than competent homeschooling parents WORK to slip into the cracks.  Most don't.  That's why they move - to look for easy.  What if "easy" were harder to find?

 

http://www.askpauline.com/hs/homeschoolmedical.html

Edited by creekland
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It also indicates that the parents actually were homeschooling on some level because the kids are able to write. That doesn't happen without some education and exposure to literacy.

 

the girl who played with three of the kids for a few months when they lived south of fort worth said there was a room that looked like it was set up to be a school room.  that was about 15 years ago.    she and her mother went in the house after the family moved out.

apparently, the 'friend's" mother asked one of the children her name - and they were never allowed out front again.  they were allowed to play in the back, and never with anyone else.

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the girl who played with three of the kids for a few months when they lived south of fort worth said there was a room that looked like it was set up to be a school room.  that was about 15 years ago.    she and her mother went in the house after the family moved out.

apparently, the 'friend's" mother asked one of the children her name - and they were never allowed out front again.  they were allowed to play in the back, and never with anyone else.

 

Zoiks.  I lived south of Fort Worth about fifteen years ago.  I wonder if we ran in the same circles, like, ever.  (I was homeschooling then.  I started our homeschooling journey while living in Fort Worth.)  Probably not.  Seems they were quite reclusive.

 

Edited by Kinsa

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So no one is addressing how to deal with people going under the radar.  That's the problem.  People who severely abuse will go wherever they can be under the radar.  How do we stop that?

 

Therein lies the rub.

 

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Some upthread referenced part of the fire codes that apply to some private schools. California codes make provision to exempt private home schools when the building in question is primarily a residence with just parents and their own children. There are several such laws that homeschools are exempt from, and that apply only to commercial private school buildings. It is a good idea to check stuff like this with an attorney rather than getting legal info from random news reporters.

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True.  It wasn't until I had a college Abnormal Psych class that I realized my dad wasn't normal.  Now I know just how abnormal he is.

 

 

As a PP mentioned, but is worth repeating as so many people read/understand stats correctly...

 

If 3.3% of students are homeschooled, there should only be 3.3% of kids in severe abuse cases that are homeschooled to be equal.  Since there are 47%, that's 14x what we should be seeing.  For every severe abuse case in school, there are 14 that are "homeschooled."  The authors stats definitely support what she is saying and then some.

 

Personally, I like PA's homeschooling regs.  Perhaps a thing or two could be modified and I'm sure some still slip through the cracks, but at least it makes those who want to hide in the cracks WORK to do so instead of being super easy.  And our laws certainly aren't difficult to conform to.  It's worth it if it can save a youngster - or 14.  What would have helped in this situation is our requirement to have medical and dental evaluations at certain grade levels.  Kids develop at different times and it's still normal - when it's kept track of.  ps  There are some exemptions shown at the bottom for those who might worry that's it's too invasive, but again, it would make those who want to be abusers rather than competent homeschooling parents WORK to slip into the cracks.  Most don't.  That's why they move - to look for easy.  What if "easy" were harder to find?

 

http://www.askpauline.com/hs/homeschoolmedical.html

 

Except the article says that the students were removed under the guise of homeschooling in quotes. It doesn't say that any of the abusers were following the regs set up by the state in which they resided. If the regs not being strict enough is the problem, then we would see these kind of numbers from people following the regs of their state and still not getting caught. I would like to know what the numbers are for people following their state regs. That would be a more indicative study about the need for stricter or more lenient regs in a particular place.

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So no one is addressing how to deal with people going under the radar.  That's the problem.  People who severely abuse will go wherever they can be under the radar.  How do we stop that?

 

We put radar everywhere.  That's what most of us in favor of radar are suggesting.  Those on this board shouldn't have problems at all.  Even if they get reported, reporters will investigate and close the case noting all is well - unless - it isn't.

 

Except the article says that the students were removed under the guise of homeschooling in quotes. It doesn't say that any of the abusers were following the regs set up by the state in which they resided. If the regs not being strict enough is the problem, then we would see these kind of numbers from people following the regs of their state and still not getting caught. I would like to know what the numbers are for people following their state regs. That would be a more indicative study about the need for stricter or more lenient regs in a particular place.

 

I doubt one can get that sort of info unless the radar (regs) are set up everywhere.  Then those avoiding it can more easily be spotted.  It would raise a red flag to be extra cautious.

 

I don't think true homeschooling IS the problem.  I think it's folks using homeschooling as a way to dodge the radar, esp in places where it's easy to do so.

 

No system will be perfect, but some are better than others.  Speed limits don't stop speeding, but they make it tougher for the driver who always wants to go 100mph to keep getting away with it because at some point they get caught and enough will suspend their driver's license.  Drive without that and eventually one gets prison time.  Then too, if someone gets hurt, there will be more to charge them with.  Those who obey reasonable speed guidelines without signs won't have a problem just because limits are set.

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So no one is addressing how to deal with people going under the radar.  That's the problem.  People who severely abuse will go wherever they can be under the radar.  How do we stop that?

That's just the thing. We can't stop such things. Ever. Just like making drugs illegal didn't stop people from doing/making/selling drugs. Laws cannot stop sin. Nothing can completely stop it. Short of some kind of system that would be much more horrifying than the abuse itself already is. We can only do our best and realize that there is no true solution. There will always be crimes of every terrible kind. 

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That's just the thing. We can't stop such things. Ever. Just like making drugs illegal didn't stop people from doing/making/selling drugs. Laws cannot stop sin. Nothing can completely stop it. Short of some kind of system that would be much more horrifying than the abuse itself already is. We can only do our best and realize that there is no true solution. There will always be crimes of every terrible kind. 

 

So this means you are in favor of giving up all laws - because none, absolutely none, stop ALL problems?  Companies can claim whatever they want to about their products because some ignore the law and make false claims and things like that?

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We put radar everywhere.  That's what most of us in favor of radar are suggesting.  Those on this board shouldn't have problems at all.  Even if they get reported, reporters will investigate and close the case noting all is well - unless - it isn't.

 

 

Unless they don't. And even if they do those records can be used against you in other situations later on, and you can't defend yourself because a) they are the expert and b) they are confidential files you aren't allowed to read.

 

 

The system would work just fine if all members of it were honourable people, but there are a whole lot who aren't.

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So this means you are in favor of giving up all laws - because none, absolutely none, stop ALL problems?  Companies can claim whatever they want to about their products because some ignore the law and make false claims and things like that?

No, not at all. I started to edit to clarify, then figured nobody would pay attention to it anyway, lol. No, I am just stating the fact that no matter how many laws we make, enforcing them completely is just not humanly possible. Laws are good in that they keep honest men honest, as my daddy always said. But just realistically speaking, there will never be an end to these horrible things. There are already laws in place. 

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That's just the thing. We can't stop such things. Ever. Just like making drugs illegal didn't stop people from doing/making/selling drugs. Laws cannot stop sin. Nothing can completely stop it. Short of some kind of system that would be much more horrifying than the abuse itself already is. We can only do our best and realize that there is no true solution. There will always be crimes of every terrible kind. 

 

 

So this means you are in favor of giving up all laws - because none, absolutely none, stop ALL problems?  Companies can claim whatever they want to about their products because some ignore the law and make false claims and things like that?

 

Well, I am kind of in between. I think there should be some regulations/controls and these will stop a certain amount of abuse. But to completely eradicate all abuse you would have to have so many controls that it would seriously impact freedom. Obviously, there will be different ideas about the right amount of controls. But either extreme seems to me less than optimal.

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We put radar everywhere. That's what most of us in favor of radar are suggesting. Those on this board shouldn't have problems at all. Even if they get reported, reporters will investigate and close the case noting all is well - unless - it isn't.

 

 

I doubt one can get that sort of info unless the radar (regs) are set up everywhere. Then those avoiding it can more easily be spotted. It would raise a red flag to be extra cautious.

 

I don't think true homeschooling IS the problem. I think it's folks using homeschooling as a way to dodge the radar, esp in places where it's easy to do so.

 

No system will be perfect, but some are better than others. Speed limits don't stop speeding, but they make it tougher for the driver who always wants to go 100mph to keep getting away with it because at some point they get caught and enough will suspend their driver's license. Drive without that and eventually one gets prison time. Then too, if someone gets hurt, there will be more to charge them with. Those who obey reasonable speed guidelines without signs won't have a problem just because limits are set.

My bold. Wow, no, I don't agree with that. This assumes that an investigation is a neutral experience and that investigators are unbiased and benevolent. I don't tend to assume that humans with power are by nature benevolent...

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No, not at all. I started to edit to clarify, then figured nobody would pay attention to it anyway, lol. No, I am just stating the fact that no matter how many laws we make, enforcing them completely is just not humanly possible. Laws are good in that they keep honest men honest, as my daddy always said. But just realistically speaking, there will never be an end to these horrible things. There are already laws in place. 

 

I think we all agree that there is nothing that will plug all cracks, but it also seems obvious that there are things that can (and should) be done to help protect more people.  We wouldn't have a safer environment here if we dropped all laws, so they are doing a decent amount of good.  I suppose that's just harder to see - the crimes that aren't committed due to laws or consequences from them.  That never makes the news.

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and it only takes one mandatory reporter with an attitude . . . 

 

 

Yes, but that's true of many things. No one says, don't do annual physicals because you might get that one doctor that has an attitude and reports you for something bogus. Don't let your kid go to public school, because it only takes one teacher with an attitude to report you for something bogus. Don't go out in public ever because it only takes one person with an attitude to report you for something bogus. So if we don't say those things, why would we say, "don't have annual homeschool evaluations because it only takes one evaluator with an attitude to report you for something bogus"?

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Yeah, I'm not cool with "radar everywhere"; I doubt most Americans are, either. I don't want CCTV recording everyone's every move all the time, either, and while I don't particularly care whether the government reads my internet history or my nonexsitent cell phone records, I don't think I want them coming into my house once a year just to check to make sure I'm doing things "right."

 

I am fine with yearly or every other year educational testing, and I'm fine with keeping a log (although to be honest I do not keep a particularly accurate or regular one).  If I had a kid for whom the testing were stressful or difficult or an unreliable indicator of whether we were doing homeschool in an acceptable manner, though, I'd be pretty pissed about it and might consider moving to a lower-reg state, because I know I am not failing my kids and I don't need the government to worry about it for me.

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My bold. Wow, no, I don't agree with that. This assumes that an investigation is a neutral experience and that investigators are unbiased and benevolent. I don't tend to assume that humans with power are by nature benevolent...

 

Well, there would definitely be appeals options, of course, but I've personally seen CPS (or equivalent) guess wrongly in favor of the parents too many times locally - then add those reported in this thread and making news, etc.  I haven't seen it happen the other way.  I'm sure it does.  Nothing is perfect.  But I don't think it's common.

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Unless they don't. And even if they do those records can be used against you in other situations later on, and you can't defend yourself because a) they are the expert and b) they are confidential files you aren't allowed to read.

 

 

The system would work just fine if all members of it were honourable people, but there are a whole lot who aren't.

 

Word.

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Yes, but that's true of many things. No one says, don't do annual physicals because you might get that one doctor that has an attitude and reports you for something bogus. Don't let your kid go to public school, because it only takes one teacher with an attitude to report you for something bogus. Don't go out in public ever because it only takes one person with an attitude to report you for something bogus. So if we don't say those things, why would we say, "don't have annual homeschool evaluations because it only takes one evaluator with an attitude to report you for something bogus"?

 

The difference is it is counter cultural to homeschool.

 

It may be just as legal as the other options, but they are not socially equal.

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Unless they don't. And even if they do those records can be used against you in other situations later on, and you can't defend yourself because a) they are the expert and b) they are confidential files you aren't allowed to read.

 

 

The system would work just fine if all members of it were honourable people, but there are a whole lot who aren't.

 

This. So much this.

 

As someone who has worked professionally with kids in the current foster care system, the system isn't currently caring well for the kids already in the system.  Case workers are overburdened, and cut corners. Some have personal agendas.

 

And, on a side note, even if you are homeschooling and you would like help from "the system", it is often onerous to get evaluations and additional services.  In two of the states I have lived in, one had to register the children as public school students because funding was tied so tightly to services.

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Well, there would definitely be appeals options, of course, but I've personally seen CPS (or equivalent) guess wrongly in favor of the parents too many times locally - then add those reported in this thread and making news, etc.  I haven't seen it happen the other way.  I'm sure it does.  Nothing is perfect.  But I don't think it's common.

 

Ever tried to appeal? When I've tried with various organisations, I've been told I've been treated terribly but really it is my fault I didn't make them treat me properly.

 

I've seen socially accepted narrative beat actual evidence to the contrary many times. Phrases like "the child's best interest" and "fair trial" don't mean the same in legal situations to what they do in the vernacular.

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Ever tried to appeal? When I've tried with various organisations, I've been told I've been treated terribly but really it is my fault I didn't make them treat me properly.

 

I've seen socially accepted narrative beat actual evidence to the contrary many times. Phrases like "the child's best interest" and "fair trial" don't mean the same in legal situations to what they do in the vernacular.

 

 

Or even what they do in standard English!

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Well, there would definitely be appeals options, of course, but I've personally seen CPS (or equivalent) guess wrongly in favor of the parents too many times locally - then add those reported in this thread and making news, etc. I haven't seen it happen the other way. I'm sure it does. Nothing is perfect. But I don't think it's common.

I've seen it go wrong. I've seen people get written apologies and procedural changes because of how wrong it went. Of course the letter did diddly squat to help the children recover from their trauma.

 

It's never going to be perfect but I am very wary of 'more government can fix it!' type of thinking. I just don't think it's at all true, but more than that, it is really a discussion about societal worldview and values.

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Ever tried to appeal? When I've tried with various organisations, I've been told I've been treated terribly but really it is my fault I didn't make them treat me properly.

 

I've seen socially accepted narrative beat actual evidence to the contrary many times. Phrases like "the child's best interest" and "fair trial" don't mean the same in legal situations to what they do in the vernacular.

 

Rosie, I'm not ignoring you. I honestly can't comment on what goes on in your country as I have no first hand knowledge of it.  I only know what I see happening here.  I've seen a lot of bad parenting via the public school - some abuse too - and the only solution that sometimes works is to get the authorities involved.  It never works to ignore it.

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I've seen it go wrong. I've seen people get written apologies and procedural changes because of how wrong it went. Of course the letter did diddly squat to help the children recover from their trauma.

 

It's never going to be perfect but I am very wary of 'more government can fix it!' type of thinking. I just don't think it's at all true, but more than that, it is really a discussion about societal worldview and values.

 

Again, different country so I don't know how your authorities or processes work, etc.

 

But here, so many parents only change their behavior when they MUST.  That can include kids getting to eat, etc.

 

The vast majority of parents are just fine regardless of the parenting style they use.  It's not their style that matters TBH.  But without intervention, so many kids would suffer even more.  It's really sad when you see it in person.

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Again, different country so I don't know how your authorities or processes work, etc.

 

But here, so many parents only change their behavior when they MUST. That can include kids getting to eat, etc.

 

The vast majority of parents are just fine regardless of the parenting style they use. It's not their style that matters TBH. But without intervention, so many kids would suffer even more. It's really sad when you see it in person.

I agree with you.

I just think that the line between autonomous citizen parenting freely and state stepping in to protect abused children needs to be thick and blazingly clear.

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In all honesty, if the children lived like that all of their lives, they may not have been aware that there was anything wrong.  I wouldn't be surprised if there are many people in different abusive situations where the perception of reality is distorted by personal experience. Just having grown up in a home with an alcoholic parent, I had to learn what a "normal" home is like and had to learn healthy problem solving behaviors, etc. as an adult. I imagine abuse survivors may have even more to learn and much more severe damage to attempt to undo. 

 

this.  thank you.  I've tried to explain that to people.  children who grow up in abuse - think it's normal.  they think all those other kids at Disneyland live under the same rules.  they aren't allowed to talk to anyone outside the family without permission - so they are going to let mom or dad talk to the ride worker, or any other worker.    they think it's normal.

 

my grandmother was psychologically abusive.  I was out in public, I attended school, I went to other kids houses to play.  I could see some things  that were different, and I wondered why I couldn't have that in my own family.  but I was an adult before I really comprehended the little social interactions going on within our family that were *NOT NORMAL*.   those "little things" were are grooming behavior for abuse, and leave you open to other people who are bullies or abusive.

 

even these adults kids - were in barbaric conditions.

 

 

For me personally it's because of the way the news handle stories like this. They point to the fact that the garden was unkempt (the lawn looked like ours - maybe hadn't mowed in three weeks), there was rubbish piled up by the front door (there was a bit of scrunched up plastic that could have been police tape from the investigation), and "there were nappies stacked up in the window" (ummm. Yes two boxes of Unopened nappies on a cupboard seems normal). Now clearly the inside of the house was much worse than the outside.

 

While I feel like I do the best job I can providing for my kids physical and academic wellbeing, I'm untidy by nature. We have a farm. I feel like our lifestyle is beneficial to the kids (farm, animals, allowing the kids to be creative). but when I see reports that are so focussed on a very high standard of neat and tidy it does make me a bit paranoid.

 

I recall a thread where a member posted a photo of a house where the children had been seized by state authorities who said they'd never seen such horrid conditions.   the person who posted them said - outside the bathroom (which wasn't functional and was reminiscent of a sewage treatment plant that was broken), she didn't think it was that bad.

 

the rest of us were pointing out the many plates containing remnants of previous meals left lying about.  on the floor, on living room tables, etc., but worse, we were pointing out the feces on the floor, in the living room, in the kitchen, ground into carpet, etc.  she didn't see them.

I guess my point it, it's more than just a lumpy lawn that needs to be mowed.

 

The children wrote journals. Many journals.

 

Those are going to be damning.

 

The mother was 16 when she married her significantly older husband. Makes me wonder if she might be viewed as the first victim--one who then went on to victimize many others.

 

I'm not usually a revenge person, but I admit that a part of me really wishes these "parents" could be made to live for a year at least the way they forced their kids to live.

 

 

the other sister said there was abuse in their family - possibly from their father.   (based on the description. he wasn't named.).   that could leave a girl looking for an older male who would treat her the same way - partly because she thinks that's how a "loving" (I use that word lightly) man treats you.

 

but she's been out in the world - she has to have known it was wrong. she loses the excuse of being a weak child herself when she was 16.  or 20.

 

 

The whole thing is really horrific and in many ways very different than a lot of the other cases.  Super sadistic behavior but of a kind I haven't seen in this particular way.  Just like the extreme religiousity is not usually found in people who keep going to Vegas and doing Elvis wedding re-enactments.  Definite horrible abuse and like so many suspected- one case of lewd behavior.  I don't know if that means the baby was the mom's. 

 

And yeah- tough for all the investigators too.

 

I'm sure they're still investigating.

the neighbors south of fort worth - where they lived for 10 years - said they never saw the mom pregnant.

 

So no one is addressing how to deal with people going under the radar.  That's the problem.  People who severely abuse will go wherever they can be under the radar.  How do we stop that?

 

and there is no way to stop people going under the radar.  not even the Nazi's or stalin could stop people from going under the radar.  and no one wants to live under that type of control.  the more repressive the laws, the more people will go under the radar.

as Rosie said - this is for honorable people.  dishonorable people will find a way and it seems to be more a matter of luck or one brave person (frequently in the face of opposition) that outs them.

 

 

No, not at all. I started to edit to clarify, then figured nobody would pay attention to it anyway, lol. No, I am just stating the fact that no matter how many laws we make, enforcing them completely is just not humanly possible. Laws are good in that they keep honest men honest, as my daddy always said. But just realistically speaking, there will never be an end to these horrible things. There are already laws in place. 

 

this.  unless everyone is honorable - there will always be those looking for loopholes or to go underground.

 

 

Well, I am kind of in between. I think there should be some regulations/controls and these will stop a certain amount of abuse. But to completely eradicate all abuse you would have to have so many controls that it would seriously impact freedom. Obviously, there will be different ideas about the right amount of controls. But either extreme seems to me less than optimal.

 

this.  you simply can't stop it by outside control.

 

things that might help - better mental health care.  more support for helping people to be their best and honorable selves.

 

The difference is it is counter cultural to homeschool.

 

It may be just as legal as the other options, but they are not socially equal.

 

 

this.   I got dudeling into testing, and the lead dr was absolutely horrified I was trying to homeschool him.  she lumped all homeschoolers in that ultra-conservative-religious-extreme-not-actually-educating-potentially-abusive group.

I put him into our local school because of the services I could get for him.

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Rosie, I'm not ignoring you. I honestly can't comment on what goes on in your country as I have no first hand knowledge of it.  I only know what I see happening here.  I've seen a lot of bad parenting via the public school - some abuse too - and the only solution that sometimes works is to get the authorities involved.  It never works to ignore it.

 

no one is advocating ignoring it.   what some of us are saying is - no matter what laws and regulations you have in place, no matter how onerous and repressive, there will be people who slip through the cracks.  unless you give the state 100% control (which I'm not), there are people who will find a way.   and then you're dealing with workers who are tired, overworked, angry, see so much bad- they start jumping at shadows because they can come to think every thing is bad.

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So no one is addressing how to deal with people going under the radar.  That's the problem.  People who severely abuse will go wherever they can be under the radar.  How do we stop that?

 

"If you see something say something."   

 

Forget about "If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all."   

 

And as awful as this is to write, this case sounds more and more like the news stories about animal hoarders.   

The people who moved into their old house saw scratches and even vents put into closets and thought they had done this to animals...so that makes it NOT a bad thing because it was probably just animals??? 

http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/abuse_neglect/facts/hoarding.html

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To my mind, one major benefit of having moderate, as opposed to no, regulation in place is that it can help keep things from getting horrible. No, of course a yearly portfolio review with the child present won't stop something as heinous as this case, but it can give a reality check to the mom who has been trusting in "better late than early" a little too long and may need to pursue evaluations, or the overly relaxed mom who needs to get more organized, or the stressed mom whose kids are actually doing well but not as well as she thinks they should be doing based on news reports of prodigy home schoolers. Ideally, this would also help struggling families find resources and community, reducing stress and thereby reducing the likelihood of an abusive situation arising. While most families can go through tough situations but keep things under control, for many families abuse can come out of living under difficult circumstances for a prolonged period. We can't do much to stop evil people bent on torture, but there's lots we can do to improve situations to avoid the more "typical" kinds of abuse.

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I said in the other thread that I can see both sides of the argument over more regulation. The thing is... While I'd be willing to deal with more regulation than we currently have in Virginia, even if I was grumpy when it came to review time....

 

I tend to think the best way to prevent abuse is more long-term, easily-available mental health treatment. Just like I think it would help prevent shootings, even though I'd also be willing to see more sensible regulation there. Just like I think providing birth control and sex education do more to prevent abortions than outlawing abortion does.

 

Long-term education and treatment that gets to root causes would get my vote. Something that helped the mother in this family when she was fifteen, coming from a family which had experienced abuse, before she went off with David Turpin. I think that's when her abuse of her own children might have been prevented.

 

So, the agencies struggling to look after children now need support. Children and teens who are struggling need diagnosis and treatment. And so on.

 

Have I knocked down enough hornet's nests yet? ;-)

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Rosie, I'm not ignoring you. I honestly can't comment on what goes on in your country as I have no first hand knowledge of it.  I only know what I see happening here.  I've seen a lot of bad parenting via the public school - some abuse too - and the only solution that sometimes works is to get the authorities involved.  It never works to ignore it.

 

Oh, I agree that it never works to ignore it. 

 

I am very aware of how strong the cult of the expert is and how much more damaging it can be than leaving well enough alone.

 

One of the pitfalls, I think, is deciding how abusive is too abusive and how abusive is okay abusive. Most forms of abuse are legal and need to stay legal.

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Oh, I agree that it never works to ignore it.

 

I am very aware of how strong the cult of the expert is and how much more damaging it can be than leaving well enough alone.

 

One of the pitfalls, I think, is deciding how abusive is too abusive and how abusive is okay abusive. Most forms of abuse are legal and need to stay legal.

And doesn’t that just stink. I agree with you, but I wish it wasn’t so.

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To my mind, one major benefit of having moderate, as opposed to no, regulation in place is that it can help keep things from getting horrible. No, of course a yearly portfolio review with the child present won't stop something as heinous as this case, but it can give a reality check to the mom who has been trusting in "better late than early" a little too long and may need to pursue evaluations, or the overly relaxed mom who needs to get more organized, or the stressed mom whose kids are actually doing well but not as well as she thinks they should be doing based on news reports of prodigy home schoolers. Ideally, this would also help struggling families find resources and community, reducing stress and thereby reducing the likelihood of an abusive situation arising. While most families can go through tough situations but keep things under control, for many families abuse can come out of living under difficult circumstances for a prolonged period. We can't do much to stop evil people bent on torture, but there's lots we can do to improve situations to avoid the more "typical" kinds of abuse.

 

This.

 

As someone in a high-regulation state, I have seen our regulations help. I have seen parents, who were ready to yank their kids over the bus stop being moved 100 feet, pause and reconsider when they found out they had to go online and register with the dept of education. I have seen multiple families make huge changes to their homeschooling approach or their curriculum choices when those standardized test scores came back lower than expected. I know one mother, who was depressed and overwhelmed, who was able to use those standardized test scores to convince her husband that it would be better for the kids to go to school. And, although it isn't the solution for every parent with mental illness, it has been a huge help to her to have that alone time during the day when her kids are gone to school.

 

And as I have seen these things over the years, I always have to wonder how it would have been different in a no-regulation state. Would the kids have been yanked because the bus stop was moved? Would the parents have ever figured out that their plan to let their elementary kids self-teach math wasn't going so well? Would my friend with depression still be struggling to homeschool? Would her mental health be getting worse? I do think our regulations help.

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We put radar everywhere.  That's what most of us in favor of radar are suggesting.  Those on this board shouldn't have problems at all.  Even if they get reported, reporters will investigate and close the case noting all is well - unless - it isn't.

 

 

You're not suggesting anything specific, you're relying on subtext when you say "put radar everywhere." That's a metaphor.  What will you do when people choose not to register as homeschoolers even though state laws require them to and to have someone enter their home?  What are you suggesting people do about that?  The not registering. Please, be every specific.  Mr. and Mrs. Jones have never sent their kids to an institutional school. They have never registered as homeschoolers in their state.  They are abusing their kids behind closed doors. They don't go out in public.  You are aware that's the situation we're talking about, right?  Now what do you think should be done to address that specific scenario?

Edited by Homeschool Mom in AZ
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You're not suggesting anything specific, you're relying on subtext when say "put radar everywhere." That's a metaphor. What will you do when people choose not to register as homeschoolers even though state laws requires them to and to have someone enter their home? What are you suggesting people do about that? The not registering. Please, be every specific. Mr. and Mrs. Jones have never sent their kids to am institutional school. They have never registered as homeschoolers in their state. They are abusing their kids behind closed doors. They don't go out in public. You are aware that's the situation we're talking about, right? Now what do you think should be done to address that specific scenario?

And let's add that the children were homebirthed and don't have birth certificates, or social security numbers.

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When people talk about regulations in response to this family situation in CA, they're talking about regulations that prevent something like it (physical, mental, and spiritual abuse) from happening to children in other families.  Let's keep that in mind and not get distracted by states that mandatory test for reading and math scores so the space cadet homeschool moms can get a reality check.  Those are completely different situations.  The only regulation that matters in this discussion is the regulation that prevents the kind of abuse we're seeing.  Focus, people. Focus.

What will the actual regulation be?
Who will evaluate each situation?
How will the evaluation be done?
Who will be evaluated? (Just people with school aged kids?  What about people with preschoolers?)
Who will have the authority to remove the children?
Which government agency/ies will be responsible? 
How will that/those agency/ies get the funds it/they need/s to do this?
What will the appeals process be?

Edited by Homeschool Mom in AZ
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Sorry if this has already been discussed, but the mom had to have been in a hospital two years ago when she had her last.

 

Which hospital was it and didn't they see/notice anything?

 

Alley

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