SB 374 has been introduced into the Connecticut General Assembly. The bill states:
“That section 10-206 of the general statutes be amended to require (1) each pupil enrolled in public school at grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 and each home-schooled child at ages 12, 14 and 17 to have a confidential behavioral health assessment, the results of which shall be disclosed only to the child’s parent or guardian, and (2) each health care provider performing a child’s behavioral health assessment to complete the appropriate form supplied by the State Board of Education verifying that the child has received the assessment.”
They state the purpose of the bill is to provide behavioral health assessments to children. The assessments would be carried out by an undetermined health care provider. It doesn’t matter if there is any indication of any behavioral health problems, but every child in the state, in public and homeschool, would be assessed nonetheless.
The assessment includes:
“A review of physical and mental health, intelligence, school performance, employment, level of function in different domains including family situation, and behavior in the community.”
In other words, a state selected person would be required to check out every homeschooler, their home and their family and then report back to the state. So what if one of those home assessors doesn’t believe in homeschooling? Their report could be sufficient enough to cause state agencies to enter the home and take actions based upon a felonious report. The same thing could happen if the interviewer doesn’t share the same religious or social beliefs as the parents of a homeschooler. This bill gives the state the legal right to invade your privacy and make judgmental assessments on your kids, you and your home, based upon the biased opinion of the person conducting the assessment.
The Home School Legal Defense Association, (HSLDA) is also quite concerned about SB 374. Their official position on the bill states:
“This assessment would constitute an unwarranted, gross invasion of family privacy. This bill should be opposed.”
HSLDA Senior Legal Counsel Dee Black told WND:
“It’s outrageous that state officials could come into private homes and potentially remove children if they are assessed as a threat as a result of the investigation.”
“Regardless of what state officials claim, I don’t believe the results [of the investigations] will be held confidential.”
“No question about it. I don’t think people who live in a free society should be forced to give into mental evaluations of their children.”
“Proposed Bill 374 would essentially authorize the state to conduct regular social services investigations of homeschooling families without any basis to do so. This outrageous legislative proposal must be stopped in its tracks before it gains any momentum.”
Their recommended action, if you live in Connecticut is:
“Please call or email as many members of the Public Health Committee as possible with this message or a similar message in your own words:
“’Please vote against Proposed Bill 374, which would require behavioral health assessments for homeschooled children ages 12, 14, and 17 without any indication that they were needed. These comprehensive, invasive evaluations would constitute an unwarranted invasion of family privacy.’”
“When emailing members of the Committee, we recommend that you put in the subject line: ‘I oppose Bill 374.’”
There is a list of the names and contact information for the Connecticut state legislators posted on the HSLDA website for you to contact. They also want everyone to share this information with every person they know that lives in Connecticut and urge them to take similar action. If you don’t live in Connecticut, but homeschool, when is the last time you checked out any proposed legislation in your state that could affect you? If you haven’t, then maybe it’s about time you do.