Over the past couple weeks, the country has watched in horror as the Turpin family child abuse case came to light in California.
David and Louise Turpin were arrested for child abuse after their 13 children were found dirty, chained to beds, and malnourished in a house of horrors strewn with animal carcasses and other debris. It was only the bravery of the 17-year-old daughter who was able to escape to call 911 that finally brought the terrible abuse to an end for the siblings.
According to Mike Hestrin, the Riverside County District Attorney, “Victims in these kinds of cases, they tell their story, but they tell it slowly…” and as the children begin telling their story, the details get even worse. However, one detail that’s been getting a lot of air-time with the press is the fact the Turpins were supposedly “homeschooling” these children, although it’s no doubt a very loose interpretation of the word.
Critics of homeschool, typically secular liberals, have grabbed onto that one detail — and they’re using this case to demonize Christians who are participate in the practice.
Damon Linker with The Week talked about the “sickening danger of home-schooling,” and a writer with the New Republic commented that “lax homeschooling laws protect child abusers.” The media has quickly pivoted away from this terrible tragedy and used it to start attacking homeschooling Christians.
While the media makes it sound like there are “no rules” governing homeschooling, California actually does maintain pretty strict guidelines – as do most states.
For example, when Californians register their homes as a private school, the fire marshal is supposed to inspect the home yearly. Surely, a fire marshal would have noticed the chains on the beds and the dead animals throughout the home. Yet the inspections of the home never happened – it was the state that failed to enforce regulations. Unfortunately, it was the children who paid the price for it. Liberals are calling for more regulations on homeschoolers, but it quickly becomes clear that the government isn’t enforcing the regulations already in place.
Homeschooling didn’t make it easier for the Turpin family to hide abuse. They weren’t hiding it. Neighbors were aware of the disturbing behavior going on in this home, but no one took the time to call the police. In fact, one neighbor said he considered talking to authorities but didn’t go through with it because he didn’t want to deal with any “repercussions” from the family.
The Turpins didn’t cover their tracks at all. People suspected there was a problem, yet no one took action. You can’t pass a law that imposes more regulations on homeschooling parents that will fix this problem – incompetence and cowardice.
While liberals are demonizing homeschooling parents, evidence actually shows that it’s public schools that are out of control. One study done in 2004 showed that about 9.6% of students have been a target of sexual misconduct at some point during their years in school. The Associated Press found that within just four years, around 17,000 sexual assaults were committed by students on students in schools. Let’s not forget about the gang activity and drug use that’s become so prevalent in public schools…
Although secularists may continue trying to portray homeschooling as dangerous, there’s no real evidence to show that homeschooling is more dangerous to a child than going to a public school. Once again, a tragedy is being taken and twisted to fit the liberal agenda, with little real compassion for these 13 children who have suffered through unimaginable things.
Christians homeschooling their children isn’t the problem here. Homeschooling is not a “sickening danger.” But what is dangerous is when good people stand by and do nothing. The Turpin case isn’t a sign that we need more regulations for homeschooling families – it’s a sign that more people need to be courageous and take action when they see the helpless being abused. Thirteen children who were abused, starved, and held captive could have been rescued earlier if someone would have taken the time to call the police. People turned a blind eye, and these children paid the price for years.
Edmund Burke said it so well: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” And that’s the real story here!
~ 1776 Christian