In the past several years, the State of Tennessee has gotten home schooling parents up in arms over what the home educators perceive to be unfair treatment of their charges. One mother â€“ who asked to remain anonymous â€“ listed the following proposed inequities:
â€œAll we really want is for the state to recognize our right to educate our children, and treat them equally under the law. I don’t know why that’s so hard to figure out, but I suspect the bulk of our legislators were educated in public schools.â€
Representative H. Olyer Thanthow, D â€“ Union County, is sponsoring HR1899, calling for fair treatment of home school students â€“ with a caveat.
â€œThese parents want equality, and I’m willing to give it to them,â€ said Rep. Thanthow. â€œBut they have to give something in return. Let’s face it, most home school students are more than equal already. If you don’t believe it, look at the results of all those national scholastic competitions over the last few years. Most of them were won hands down by home schoolers.â€
â€œI propose equal treatment in return for one day of open season per semester. What that means is, any public school student â€“ two scheduled days per school year â€“ may verbally or physically abuse home schoolers without fear of reprisal.â€
The current debate in the House is whether it should be legal to allow public school students to randomly scatter advanced algebra texts around public libraries. This would technically be considered hunting in a baited field, which is illegal in Tennessee.
Lobbyists for the home schoolers have been quick to point out that the equivalent of baiting a field would be completely unfair. As it stands, home schooled students are easily recognizable due to certain genetic and clothing-related traits. Providing additional assistance to the publicly schooled students could cause a statewide uprising.