'Fox News has apparently decided to pick a fight with homeschoolers—the vast majority of whom are law-abiding citizens who love their children and are providing a stellar education for them. In an article with the salacious headline "'House of Horrors' child abuse cases reveal how offenders nationwide use homeschooling to hide their crime," Elizabeth Llorente makes the claim that "homeschooling unwittingly also provides a convenient and legal cover for families where children are living in squalor or are being neglected and abused." Even while admitting that most homeschooled children are "properly educated and cared for by their parents or guardians," she goes on to describe harrowing tales of children who were abused, neglected, and killed by parents who kept them isolated at home, ostensibly using homeschooling as a cover.
This happens every few years—someone trots out a collection of child abuse horror stories and blames the abuse on the fact that parents were permitted to keep their own children in their own homes without government surveillance. We expect this kind of rhetoric from left-wing/MSM outlets—it's been going on for decades—but I was surprised to see the tired line of attack coming from Fox News. As is typical of these hit pieces, Llorente employs the "no one knows" logical fallacy: "Because of the lack of oversight in much of the country, experts say, the scope of abuse and neglect among children who are listed as homeschooled is unknown," she writes. In other words, no one knows what's going on in these homes. No one knows if these parents are beating and starving their children. No one knows if the family is keeping vicious man-eating tigers in their homes. No one knows if the children are at risk of being abducted by aliens. (We could go on ad nauseam, getting more absurd as we go, but you get the idea.) The number of homeschooled children who are being abused by their parents may be zero or it may be four million—no one knows, so we are expected to assume the worst — with no data whatsoever to back up the scurrilous allegations.
Until homeschooling parents can prove that they're not abusing their children, it must be assumed, according to these busybodies, that there is something dark and nefarious going on in their homes. But a lack of evidence is just that—a lack of evidence. That doesn't stop critics from employing this silly tactic to make the point that the government needs to step in to monitor families who choose to educate their kids at home.'
Read more: Why Is Fox News Using Left-Wing Talking Points to Take Cheap Shots at Homeschoolers?
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15 June 2019
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