Michigan State Board Members Warn State Homeschool Registration List is a Precursor to “Unwarranted Home Entry”

The State Board of Education in Michigan meeting on Feb 13th, 2024 raised concerns about registration lists for homeschooled parents

The government loves putting people on “lists.”  They want a list of the vaccinated.  A list of gun-owners.  A list of individuals who make purchases involving the terms “MAGA” and “Trump”.  And now, in Michigan, legislators and the attorney general are pushing for a list of parents who homeschool their children.  But even more Orwellian, the dog-whistle is the possibility of “warrantless searches” for those who decide to homeschool their children in the Great Lakes State, according to one State Board of Education member.

On February 13th, the Michigan State Board of Education met for their monthly meeting.  Towards the end of the meeting, prior to closing, Board Member Tom McMillin of Oakland Township added his comments regarding a push to require registration requirements for homeschooling.

McMillin’s issue with creating a registration has been a contentious subject in Michigan dating back to at least 2015.  However, recently the proposed “list” idea has thrust itself back into the spotlight after a case in Clinton County, where two couples are accused of adopting “nearly 30 children, some of whom the [couples] are accused of abusing.”

In response to the case, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in an X post that “implementing monitoring mechanisms is crucial to ensure that all children, including those homeschooled, receive necessary protections.”  McMillin believes that “a mere registration, a list of people…will not help prevent what AG Nessel is talking about.”  He believes the list is nothing more than a pathway to monitoring and said that Nessel is “saying the quiet part out loud”:

“She basically said we want this list so we can have…warrantless home entry into this particular targeted group…but we have a legal system that says you have to have a warrant before you go in.

However, because of this one instance, some in the state want to be able to barge in and bust the door down….It’s not hyperbolic.  If they knock on the door and they say “no, I don’t want you to come in”…and there’s all kinds of reasons not to have them in…there’s a book called “Three Felonies a Day”…if the government wants to get you, there going to find something.  Without a warrant, they shouldn’t be coming into your house.

I just think…it’s going to go beyond registration.  They’re either naive or they’re being disingenous for anybody to say ‘all we want to do is have a list.’  It’s going to go significantly further than that.  They’re going to either want to know exactly what’s being taught or they’re going to want entry into the houses.  And so I think that this is a real problem.  I guess I just wish that the debate would be sincere.

…anyone with half a brain realizes it doesn’t stop there.”

McMillin continued before closing the meeting:

McMillin’s argument centers on the fact that a simple registration of students would do little, if anything, to stop any sort of abuse that would occur in a homeschool environment.  Instead, he believes the desired end result is the authority for unscheduled monitoring of homeschooled children.

The Board’s co-vice president, Tiffany Tilley, followed up by arguing that the registration is to track foster students who are being homeschooled.  She said there is a real issue with students who have run away after bouncing from school to homes.

Board Member Nikki Snyder agreed with both Tilley and McMillin stating, “I wish we could separate them so that problem is solved and they do have access to an education like everybody else.”  Snyder went on to say:

“Its oppressive to ask a student that has left the public education system for whatever reason they’ve left to then ask them to register with that same system.  We wouldn’t do that in any other facet of society.  And so to give people the freedom to exercise choices that work best for them is extremely important.  Just because we’re one of eleven states [that doesn’t require homeschool registration] doesn’t mean the other 39 are doing it the right way.”

A majority of parents who homeschool children already have a certain level of discontent with the adequacy of the public education system.  According to a 2019 survey published by the National Center for Education Statistics:

  • 80.3% of parents homeschool over concerns about school environment, such as safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure
  • 74.7% for a desire to provide moral instruction
  • 74.6% for an emphasis on family life together
  • 72.6% over a dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at other schools
  • 58.9% over a desire to provide religious instruction
  • 54.2% over a desire to provide a nontraditional approach to their child’s education

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Thanks for sharing!