A new bill has been introduced in the Ohio Senate that would allow social workers to veto parents and guardians’ decisions to homeschool their children. Proponents of home schooling claim the bill is the most comprehensive threat to the freedom of teaching children at home that has ever been introduced to legislation. Supporters of the bill claim that it is aimed at ensuring the safety of children throughout the country.
The bill, Senate Bill 248, was created as a reaction to the murder of 14-year-old home school student Teddy Foltz. According to WMFJ, Teddy was tortured, beaten and killed by his mother’s boyfriend Zaryl Bush, and his mother Shain Widdersheim had allowed the abuse to continue. Both Bush and Widdersheim are serving time in prison for their actions, with Bush serving 33 years for the murder and Widdersheim serving 15 years, according to PJ Media.
Because of the incident involving Foltz, the law is more commonly referred to as “Teddy’s Law.” Supporters believe that Teddy may have been pulled out of public school because those schools are required to report any suspicion of abuse to the authorities.
Ohio State Senator Capri Cafaro, a major supporter of the bill, claimed that it aims to link the public agencies that lookout for the welfare of children with those families that choose the home school option.
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“The bill creates protocols for those applying to educate a child at home by creating a link between the local public service children agency, and the education system. These policies are meant to be a check and balance to ensure that a child’s best interests are,” Cafaro said.
According to HSLDA, a prominent homeschooling advocacy group, Teddy’s Law is the “worst-ever homeschool law,” as it infringes upon the privacy of the innocent individuals that choose to homeschool their children.