The nation has been horrified for more than a week after reports surfaced of 13 siblings allegedly being neglected, abused, and tortured by their own parents. Claims of once-a-day meals, kids and young adults held in chains for weeks or months at a time, filthy living conditions, and almost complete social isolation have been both sickening and enraging.
No motive has been discovered as the parents, David and Louise, face 75 criminal charges. Yet at least one aspect of their lives has been blamed: homeschooling.
In what seems to have been a move to keep their kids away from society and control their perception of the world, David and Louise not only homeschooled their kids, but it appears they also kept them from making friends and rarely let them outside their Perris, California home.
Many liberals have long looked suspiciously at parents who want to educate their own kids rather than letting the government be primarily responsible for that. Not long after news of the Turpin sibling’s alleged captivity broke, accusations against homeschooling — and even private schools — flooded in.
"I am extremely concerned about the lack of oversight the State of California currently has in monitoring private and home schools," said California Assemblyman Jose Medina (D-Riverside) in a statement, adding that his solution is a new law he’s planning to propose this year.
“Better home-school oversight could have detected Perris child torture,” the Fresno Bee wrote as the headline of their editorial board opinion piece.
The Sacramento Bee published an editorial in a similar tone, calling California’s current homeschooling laws “lax.”
Conservative Catholic commentator Matt Walsh, though, believes those arguments are ridiculous. In an opinion piece for The Daily Wire, Walsh wrote on Tuesday that the government needs to take better care of its own public students before it starts suggesting that homeschooling is a danger to children.
Arguing that there are already a lot of laws in place, Walsh pointed out that parents in California who educate their children at home are required to be inspected by a fire marshal every year. That appears to have not happened in this case, which means the state didn’t apply their own laws. Walsh also blamed neighbors for never reporting the bizarre activity they witnessed.
The bigger point he made, though, is that public schools put kids in far more danger of abuse than homeschools.
“It is estimated that around 10% of students currently in public school have been abused by a teacher or faculty member,” he wrote. “That amounts to 4.5 million kids. Why aren't we hearing lawmakers call for better oversight of public school teachers?”
Statistics vary, but that number is far greater than the total number of kids who are educated at home in America, according to the National Home Education Research Institute.
“And this is to say nothing of student-on-student sexual assault [in public schools],” Walsh continued. “Over 17,000 such cases were reported in a four year timeframe.”
He added that “27% of public school kids attending schools that are ‘gang and drug infected.’”
What do you think of this? In related news, it’s been learned that the oldest Turpin boy has been attending a public community college for six semesters without anyone knowing what his home life was really like. Here is what one of his classmates had to say about him.