Originally Sent: 6/5/2013
|From the HSLDA e-lert service|
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Background Checks and Licensure for Parents? Action Needed!
Dear New Hampshire Members and Friends,
We have recently become aware that House Bill (“HB”) 295 is set for a vote on the Senate floor tomorrow, Thursday June 6, 2013. The bill requires criminal background checks on employees and volunteers at recreation and “youth skill” camps. The bill is a potential problem for homeschoolers because of the overly broad definition of “youth skill camps” that could include homeschool groups.
The Senate Health, Education & Human Services committee amended the bill to define “youth skill camps” as “a nonprofit or for-profit program that lasts 8 hours total or more in a year for the purpose of teaching a skill to minors. Such camps include, but are not limited to, the teaching of sports, the arts, and scientific inquiry.”
Common sense tells us that camps are programs that usually happen over the summer, are confined to a specific location and bound by a certain amount of time. This should not, and apparently according to the House sponsor is not intended to, include homeschool groups. HSLDA recognizes the legitimate intent and purpose of the legislation to protect the safety of children. However, it is also important to limit unintended and negative consequences as is the case here. In our world of ever-increasing government bureaucracy, we cannot rely on a single legislator’s intent. We must make sure that our freedoms are explicitly protected in the law.
The sponsor of the legislation, Representative Donald Lebrun, assures HSLDA that his intent is not to affect homeschoolers, and that he is willing to address these concerns. However, the Senate has not given us any indication that they share this sentiment. We are asking you to take action to protect our freedom to associate and teach our children from unreasonable government interference. We have proposed that the Senate amend the bill to clarify that a “youth skill camp” does not include a group organized by or relating to home education programs.
Please contact your senator and urge him or her to oppose HB 295 unless it is amended to protect homeschool groups. In your own words, give your senator the following message:
“Please amend HB 295 with language that will clarify that homeschool groups are not youth skill camps and do not need to get background checks or be licensed in order to meet or teach children a skill or a class or a sport or anything. While I appreciate the intent of the bill to protect children, children do not need to be protected from their parents. Parents do not need to be licensed by the state or have criminal background checks performed on them to meet together and to teach their children. This bill defines a ‘youth skills camp’ so broadly that it could apply to homeschool groups which usually are just parents teaching their own children. These private, parent-organized groups should not have to get a license or conduct background checks in order to operate. Please oppose HB 295 unless amended to clarify this. Thank you.”
To find your senator and his or her contact information, click here.
Thank you for all your work in defending homeschool freedom!
Live Free or Die!
Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
P.S. We greatly value you and your support—it is a privilege to serve you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>
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