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To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

Tell Bureaucrats to Stop Harassing Parents! - Sorr
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JanO    Posted 06-16-2003 at 21:38:43       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I usually wouldn't cut & paste something in here that was so long, and that some may not give a hill a beans about. As a home schooling mom though, this situation really makes me mad.

Just how much control does the government want over us? Please read, and form your own opinion....

Help Save Parental Choice in MA! (copied from Conservative Alerts)

ISSUE: Our friend Chuck Muth ( has just alerted us of an INSANE situation up in Waltham, Massachusetts. This one's so ridiculous, it makes our blood boil just to think of it. Take a look at his message:

Kim and George Bryant have been home-schooling their two kids, George (15) and Nyssa (13), much to the chagrin of the Waltham Public School (WPS) system. The Bryants thus far have refused to force their children to take a government-mandated standardized test to assess their education level.

The WPS empire struck back last year, obtaining a court order giving custody of the kids to the Department of Social Services (DSS), which ever since has been threatening to take the kids away from their parents.

As the MetroWest Daily News reported on Friday, "Both sides agree that the children are in no way abused mentally, physically, sexually or emotionally, but legal custody of the children was taken from Kim and George Bryant in December 2001." They were ruled to be "unfit" for not filing educational plans with the government.

Unfit. For not filing paperwork. With the government school system. Over the education of their OWN children.

In fact, George Bryant was actually ARRESTED six years ago for failing to comply with the government's dictates over the home-schooled education of HIS children.

Arrested. Thrown in jail. Like a criminal. For taking personal responsibility for the education of HIS kids.

This six-year legal battle exploded on Thursday as bureaucrats from the DSS showed up at the Bryants' home with police escorts at 7:45 a.m. and attempted to remove the children from their home and force them to take the mandated tests.

Once again, the Bryants told the government agents to pound dirt, resulting in a seven-hour standoff. "This has been a six-year battle between the Waltham Public Schools and our family over who is in control of the education of our children," said Bryant.

How DARE these parents stand up to the government and defend their right to raise their children as they see fit? Who do they think they are?

At least, that's the attitude of one outrageous government bureaucrat involved in this brouhaha.

"We have the legal custody of the children and we will do with them as we see fit," DSS trooper Susan Etscovitz told the Bryants Thursday morning. "They are minors and they do what we tell them to do."

It is near impossible to describe the rage I feel inside every time I read those chilling words.

WE will do with them as WE see fit. They do what WE tell them to do.

The sheer audacity of a bureaucrat to make such a statement about someone else's children who are in no way abused in any shape, form or fashion is beyond comprehension to me.

Comrade Etscovitz maintained on Thursday that, "No one wants these children to be put in foster homes. The best course of action would be for (the Bryants) to instruct the children to take the test."

One can just imagine her words being delivered with a thick East German accent: "Oon now, all vee need ees dee kidz!"

This isn't about education. It's about control. It's about an imperial government trying to crush a movement in its infancy which could one day spell the end of the public school monopoly over our kids' educations.

Home-schooling means children might start learning again. REAL learning. Not "whole language" and "self-esteem." Learning about radical notions such as freedom, liberty and personal responsibility. Notions such as limited government and the Constitution and the vision of our Founding Fathers.

Yeah, we can't have THAT!

ACTION ITEM: As it appears that DSS is getting its marching orders from the Waltham Public Schools, it seems the best place to start is with the School Superintendent there. Her name is Dr. Susan Parrella. She can be reached via email at or by phone at (781) 314-5400 or fax at (781) 314-5411.

Emails are great... but nothing quite ruins a bureaucrat's day like dealing with a flood of phone calls. I know. I just called. The woman who answered the phone hung up on me when she found out what I was calling about. They do NOT want to answer any questions about this.

Oh, and by the way. I reached Ms. Etscovitz this morning. She was not a happy camper once she found out what I was calling about. Refused to comment on her "we will do with them as we see fit" statement, saying only, "I'm terminating this conversation now," before slamming the phone down.

I think it would really bug her if a lot of people called (781) 641-8500, so please, please don't rattle her cage, OK? That number not to call again to reach Susan Etscovitz is (781) 641-8500. That's (781) 641-8500. (You could also fax her at 781-648-6909.)

-- Chuck Muth

We normally set up a website with a pre-written letter to Congress, etc. However, we thought it would be much more effective for our members to make contact as described above, in their own words. If you get a response you'd like to share, be sure to drop us a note. :-)

NOTE: The situation in Waltham has gotten WAY out of hand. Outraged Americans across the country need to contact these bureaucrats NOW to express their outrage and demand they do the RIGHT thing. Be sure to Click Below to forward this Alert to everyone you know who wants to help preserve the integrity of this bastion of real American values. Thank you!

Hal/WA    Posted 06-18-2003 at 21:35:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
It sounds like George Bryant could have been a lot more reasonable in how HE dealt with the situation. What would it have hurt for his children to have taken the tests and been done with it? The tests I have seen are really quite basic and easy, and I am betting that the compromise could have been made for the general information on the tests to have been delivered to the Bryants a reasonable time before the tests. The tests would only prove that the children were, in fact, receiving a minimum level of education during their "home schooling".

But George Bryant went to jail instead of cooperaing in this minimal way. That makes me wonder if his choices are in the best interests of his children.....Do they have something to hide?

When the easy choices didn't work, the officials took the more significant steps of removing the parents guardianship. It would be interesting to learn how the children did on the tests and if they were being educated as required by law and good sense.

I have known a number of young people who were home schooled, for many reasons. Many of those kids were very well educated in the academic subjects that children of their age level were supposed to have learned and I believe that they would have not only passed the tests, but would have got almost perfect scores. Then there was the boy who was being "home schooled" so he could baby sit his little brothers. He still reads like a third grader.

But what really concerns me about many of the home schooled children I know is that they really do not know how to get along with people their own age:::THE REAL WORLD. They have been too sheltered and do not have the experiences in dealing with relationships and conflict. These naive kids are really at a disadvantage when they finally do leave home. Lots of what you learn at school is not taught in a classroom.

Of course there are good reasons to home school, like if the available school is just too dangerous or their system too inept, or if the student is unable to function there because of physical or emotional problems. Or if there is no school available where you live. But if you want your child to really be educated in all the things they should be learning, considerable contact with other children is, in my opinion, essential.

I would wonder if Mr. Bryant believes that the choices he has made have been the best for his children. Just like I would like to ask Randy Weaver if the choices he made about staying on the mountain a few years ago were the best choices for his family and if he would make them just the same again.

Please always do the best you can for your children.

screaminghollow    Posted 06-17-2003 at 12:09:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sorry mam but to an extent I have to side with the Bd of Ed. not because of mindless adherence to paperwork, but because my own experience with some of the misfits that can be created by parents who are unfit to home school. I recently represented a young woman who was home schooled. She couldn't add and subtract three figure numbers and couldn't multiply single digits. When asked how far she got in school, she replied that she didn't know, she quit school at age 13. When asked where she went to school before she quit, she replied that she was home schooled. This gal is intelligent, but has no concept of history, science or mathematics. Another homeschooler I knew was a young international athlete. (an ice skater) When she was 17, I paid her for private skating lessons. When we made small talk about current events, music even TV shows, she had no idea what I was talking about. She was polite and spoke with the vocabulary of a fourth grader. I doubt seriously she could read and comprehend a normal newspaper article. Yes, there are spelling bee champions and geography bee champions who are home schooled. But, I am very much afraid of the kids who are just staying home, not really schooled, who just vegetate. While there's no guaratee the public school education will make a person fit for adulthood, some kids aren't getting a real education at home under the term "home schooled." Sorry, but there has to be some control to make sure the kids are learning

JanO    Posted 06-17-2003 at 16:06:09       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Screaminghollow, I respect your position. It sounds like you have tried to assist some kids that for whatever reason fell through the cracks. I don't think it's home schooling that let them down though, but their parents for allowing it to happen.

I'm posting the link to an article that explains my reasoning a little clearer though. I'm not going to try to change you views, I appreciate your honesty too much for that. I just hope that you can understand mine a little, that's all......

God Bless

janO    Posted 06-17-2003 at 16:07:19       [Reply]  [Send Email]
OOPS.... let's try this again.....

Clipper    Posted 06-16-2003 at 21:54:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
Putting some heat on the politician's won't hurt either...Congressmen/Senator's.....

Cindi    Posted 06-17-2003 at 03:17:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
I took my son out of public school last year from January through the end of March. I homeschooled him. His grades were terrible. What I found, when I gave him the same material that was being taught in school, was that not only did he know it, but he learned new steps with ease.

I followed the same regimmen that was being taught in the school, using the materials my daughter, same grade, was being taught. When he re-entered PS I provided his portfolio. He went back because he missed the social interaction of the other kids, but he still hates the school. This year, despite the fact that he knows the material, he will be repeating the grade. He never got credit for his homeschool grades.

JanO    Posted 06-17-2003 at 08:08:52       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Cindi, doesn't it make you angry that your son's time and energy is wasted on re-taking the grade, and same material that you know he is proficient at? Why shouldn't he get the credit he's already earned by taking the classes at home?

Cindi    Posted 06-17-2003 at 12:05:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
I don't know, I keep calling the counselor and she keeps saying she'll get with the school board. It's a great big vicious circle. I'm thinking if I can talk him into it I may try to teach him at home next year. Both seventh and eighth grade. Get him caught up and then let him go back. I don't know.

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