Homeschooling and Child Abuse, Child Neglect, and Child Fatalities

By Brian D. Ray. Ph.D.

News stories, anecdotes, and some research regarding school teachers and other personnel doing evil things to students and children have become common in the United States (Shakeshaft, 2004; Stop Educator Sexual Abuse Misconduct and Exploitation, 2016). News stories, government data, and research reports on parents harming children is also available (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016).   NHERI-LOGO05

During the past few years, some news stories have implied a special connection between child abuse, child neglect, or child fatalities and homeschooling. This brief paper addresses the following question: Has any research been done that provides any empirical evidence regarding the rates of child abuse, child neglect, or abuse-related child fatalities in homeschooling families compared to the rates in the subpopulations of families who engage in public schooling or private schooling?

Read more here.

Is Homeschooling Unfair to Other Children?

The Context
Do parents unfairly advantage their children by paying for private schooling, reading aloud to them at bedtime, or homeschooling them? Just when you thought you (as a parent) were doing something good, philosophers construe it to be bad.
Professors Harry Brighouse and Adam Swift got themselves into a heap of trouble – with some observers – with their book Family Values: The Ethics of Parent-Child Relationships and articles like the following:
We wrote Family Values because we had both worked on justice in education and argued for strict limits on what parents could legitimately do to purchase advantages for their children (e.g. paying for elite schooling). But we did not object to parents reading bedtime stories or spending time with their children, even though that also creates unfair inequalities. To explain the difference, we needed a general account of parents’ rights, of what parents should and shouldn’t be free to do to, with and for their children. That led us to the fundamental question of why children should be raised in families at all. Why not in communes or state-run childrearing institutions?

Read more here.