While the Republic of Irelands constitution guarantees the right to home school, it also gives the state power to require. . . that the children receive a certain minimum education: moral, intellectual, and social.
Based on this power, the Irish Senate recently passed a bill requiring home schoolers to register, submit to periodic assessments by school authorities, and be subject to intrusive home inspections by the education welfare officer. This bill is being debated in the Lower House during November and December.
Irish home school attorney Elisabeth Bruton is organizing parental opposition and lobbying the legislature. At the request of Irish home schoolers, Home School Legal Defense Association attorney Christopher Klicka asked key officials and ministers in Ireland to derail the bill. In September, HSLDA also sent a nationwide e-lert to its members, and hundreds of American home schoolers have since contacted the Irish Embassy. In response, some Irish legislators are asking home schoolers for substitute language.
How You Can Help Irish Home Schoolers
Contact the Embassy of Ireland, 2234 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20008, (202) 462-3939, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, with this message:
We are extremely concerned about a bill passed by your senate that will impose excessive restrictions on innocent home school families in Ireland. Please tell your government to oppose this bill in order to protect one of the most basic and important human rights: the right of parents to control the upbringing of their children. Home schooling works, and it needs to remain free.