Law & Principles

Bill mandating arbitrary DHS investigation of parents should be killed

Staff | February 6, 2024

OKLAHOMA CITY (February 6, 2024)—Legislation that would subject Oklahoma parents to a Department of Human Services background check if they homeschool their children, or even move to another school district, should be killed, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs President Jonathan Small said today.

“DHS investigations should be based on reasonable suspicion of abuse, not anti-parent zealotry by big-government ideologues,” Small said. “Caring enough to homeschool your child is not a sign of abuse. And moving to another district is something that parents across the state do routinely every year. Those parents should not be treated as though they are child abusers simply because they change jobs and move.”

House Bill 4130, by state Rep. Amanda Swope, D-Tulsa, would require any parents who homeschool to notify the state Department of Human Services and those parents would be subject to a DHS background check. The bill would also impose state registration and background-check requirements on any parents who “change school districts, whether a result of a move or otherwise.”

“This is big-government excess at its worst,” Small said. “Some people, like Representative Swope, think government ‘experts’ can do a better job raising children than all children’s parents. But Oklahomans know better. Lawmakers should make clear that this egregious bill, and other bills attempting to regulate non-public instruction, will never see the light of day.”


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