walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

more on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, NOT FLDS -- homeschooling

Reading through (I'm still not done with it) the Convention, a couple of things really jumped out at me. One is the primary education to be free and compulsory and the other has to do with the right of children not to be subjected to violence, degrading punishment, etc. I immediately thought, whoa, one wonders what the homeschooling community thinks of _this_.

The Home Schooling Legal Defense Association is opposed:


Judging by what they choose to emphasize in their opposition, I'd call these people rabidly right wing. (The about us link confirms they self-identify as a Christian organization, and they are the founders of Patrick Henry College altho that is now organizationally separate.) Ignoring their horror at the idea of children having the right to disregard parental authority, their quotes seem to confirm that the Convention is part of the wedge being used to put an end to corporal punishment. They may not be happy about it, but I sure am.

Not only is this being used as a wedge against corporal punishment, it's being used as a wedge in ensuring adequate access to information about sex, according to yet another batch of whack jobs here:


"Farris pointed out that in 1995 the United Kingdom was deemed out of compliance with the convention "because it allowed parents to remove their children from public school sex-education classes without consulting the child."

Go UN! And further reasons why the US isn't a party to this.

Farris then extrapolates that idea: "by the same reasoning, parents would be denied the ability to homeschool their children unless the government first talked with their children and the government decided what was best. This committee would even have the right to determine what religious teaching, if any, served the child's best interest." (That isn't the article author; that's Farris.) Clearly, we're taking a big leap here.

Farris interviewed Dobson on the subject; you can follow-up here. My stomach isn't strong enough for this kind of nonsense, other than at a very high level:


There's some _good_ commentary out there about homeschooling and the Convention (including some references to the black-helicopter types I've quoted above):


which includes:

"In August 2005, the Norwegian Education Minister proclaimed, "Homeschooling is a human right." Homeschoolers in Germany are pressuring the government to give them the same right to home educate that every other nation in the European Union has. They are even looking to appeal to the International Court of Human Rights in order to force Germany to allow homeschooling." (Another source indicates that homeschooling became illegal in Germany in 1938 when Hitler banned it. Wow. It appears to still be illegal, and it isn't just Christian right wingers doing it; there are academic lefties as well, altho it's the conservatives generating the headlines.)

I'm all over the homeschooling, but if T. wanted to go to public school, I would support him in that decision. I really, sorry to say, believe kids _do_ have rights, even when I'm not necessarily overjoyed about how that turns out, and the Convention seems to be startlingly in line with my thinking.

Ultimately, the above blogger is not in favor of the US being a party (altho Clinton signed it, it hasn't gone before the Senate, apparently) because we're sovereign and, in her opinion, we've got it pretty much covered and the language of the convention is sufficiently vague to make one nervous. I can certainly sympathize, but on the other hand, I also look at the Convention and rub my my hands together in maniacal glee thinking, with _this_ tool, I could apply pressure to end violence against children, isolation of the weak by family members with economic and other power who want to be petty tyrants under the guise of "tradition" or "religion". Sure, go after FGM, but I'm radical enough to want to go after _M_GM. And I don't think this blogger's complacency about our ability to protect our children is entirely justified.

But then I look at Germany, and go, hmmmm. The Convention is indeed broadly worded enough to give one pause.

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