HSLDA
March 2, 2004

HSLDA Sends Letter To Wolf Films

Mr. Dick Wolf
Executive Producer
Wolf Films, Inc.
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608

Dear Mr. Wolf,

By way of introduction, I am the President of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and we represent 80,000 member families nationwide. I'm writing to call your attention to the February 17 episode of Law and Order SVU entitled 'Home.'

As you know, this episode involved a homeschooling family where the mother convinced one of her children to shoot the other. Throughout the show, homeschooling was unrealistically portrayed as a haven for abuse and that children in the public school setting are in a "safety net," which keeps them from the harm which can be inflicted by parents who homeschool. There appeared to be little attempt at balance.

I understand that Law and Order SVU prides itself on using newspaper headlines to formulate its shows, and that several years ago there was a bizarre shooting in North Carolina, involving a homeschool family. But even in that case, the parents were not found guilty of abuse.

You need to understand that homeschooling is a minority that is misunderstood by many people. As such, it is susceptible to easily being stereotyped. Reinforcing a negative stereotype is harmful, not only to homeschooling families, but also to children in real need.

One of the unfortunate consequences of this show is that some people might actually believe it and use the anonymous tip procedures available to make reports of suspected neglect of innocent homeschool families. Child Protective Services are obligated to follow-up these reports and homeschool families will face unwarranted harassment. This already happens all too frequently to homeschool families all across America. More importantly, because of this, the investigation of real abuse can be missed as the system is bogged down with false reports.

In conclusion, Wolf Films have caused much distress to homeschool families. We trust you will address this injustice now and in the future. Please inform us of your actions.

Sincerely,

J. Michael Smith