Help Us Speak Up For Homeschoolers

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In our system of representative democracy, we rely on our elected officials to represent our interests. Even though this system has limitations, it allows us to attempt to have our voices heard. So, when an elected official indicates they do not wish to be contacted by their constituents, it should raise flags of alarm.

Recently, in support of homeschoolers, Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV) sent their lobbyist to speak with Senator Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) regarding her offensive remarks about homeschooled young people. In response, they were told to stop contacting the senator’s office.

For context, during the discussion of HB-511 regarding the right of homeschool students to participate in interscholastic athletics, Senator Howell commented that “homeschoolers who lie on the couch all day” should not be given the right to compete with students who are required to attend school all day. Regardless of our individual feelings about this bill or the right of homeschooled students to participate in interscholastic athletics, many of us are outraged at this characterization of our children. It is an ad hominem attack.

With her comments, it appears the senator is attempting to polarize voters by painting a picture that homeschoolers are undeserving. To make matters worse, her example has no basis in fact and contributes to a stereotype of homeschoolers that many of us work hard to disprove. In addition, if there are, in fact, homeschool students who lie on the couch all day, shouldn’t the Senator have the best interest of these constituents in mind, and want to encourage their participation in sports? We expect more from our elected officials.

The Board of Directors of VaHomeschoolers would like to encourage you to contact Senator Howell’s office. Her contact information can be accessed by clicking here. Additionally, you can contact your own elected representatives to advocate on behalf of your local homeschooling community. Please visit the VaHomeschoolers website by clicking here to get the relevant contact information.

The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers began with the goal of uniting people of many different backgrounds, beliefs, and methods around one thing they have in common: homeschooling. Senator Howell’s actions present an opportunity for us to join together to advocate on behalf of the diverse tapestry of homeschool families in Virginia and model the inclusivity we wish to have represented in our local government.


Post published by the Government Affairs Team of the Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers.

If you would like to volunteer to help out on this team, please click here

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