Fortress Ohio: Taking Your Children


Are your kids yours, or are they on loan from the government?  A bill being proposed in Ohio would give the state primary authority over your children.

Ohio Senate Bill 248 would require a social worker’s investigation, criminal background checks, and separate interviews of you and your children, before the state allows you to homeschool. The social worker can disapprove merely because she deems homeschooling not in the child’s “best interests,” which effectively gives her a blank check to deny the request. The family would have to undergo an “intervention” before reconsidering the request.

Because government schools are so successful and free of violence.

imagesCA319VNZThe Home School Legal Defense Association calls this the “Worst Ever Homeschool Law,” for good reason.  When you combine this law with mandatory government-ordered attendance at school, here’s the end result:

The government presumes that all parents are abusers. It forces you to surrender your children to external state-approved supervision and indoctrination outside your home for 35 hours a week. In fact the government essentially defines abuse as parents who want to raise their own children during the bulk of their waking hours.

The government social work bureaucracy is responsible for your child, not you. It has complete discretion to decide whether any exception can be allowed to the state’s hegemony over child rearing. Parents are deemed guilty of abuse by default, for the purposes of their authority to raise their own children, until the social work bureaucracy is subjectively satisfied otherwise, after separate interrogation and criminal investigation of parents and children.

The Ohio bill is eerily similar to Scotland’s proposal earlier this year for the state to designate a social worker for every child upon its birth, to be responsible for that child’s well being.  Rousseau proposed that when a child is born, the first thing it sees should not be its parents, but the state.

Ohio’s proposal was spurred by an abuse situation where the parents claimed homeschool status.  But the government already knew about that abuse and didn’t do anything about it.  That incident is simply an excuse for the bill’s statist Democrat cosponsors to “never let a crisis go to waste.”  This bill makes it easier to buy a high capacity tactical rifle than to homeschool your own children.

Many American parents have heard the horrors of European governments kidnapping homeschooled children and persecuting their parents.  But they think it can’t happen here.  Think again.

As our nation redefines marriage to eliminate its connection to procreation, and as technology commodifies reproduction, why would parents be presumed to have any inherent authority over their children that preexists the state?  As out of wedlock births and social decay continue to soar, the government will rapidly assert itself as the primary authority over children.  The state will consider parenthood a mere privilege granted by government largesse, which it can withdraw at any time.

HSLDA has more information about defeating the Ohio bill.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author

Matt Bowman is a pro-life, religious liberties and constitutional law attorney in the Washington, DC area. He graduated from Ave Maria School of Law in 2003 and clerked for several federal judges thereafter. The Bowmans are involved in homeschooling and classical Catholic education and are rabid fans of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Matt is a member of the Knights of Columbus and his local parish.

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