Today, the UN’s CRPD was defeated in the Senate to the resounding cheers of the nation-wide homeschool community. This sounds great – but what is the “CRPD?” And who is in support of it? Does this victory guarantee homeschooling rights for the future, or is this a temporary win?
What is the CRPD?
At twelve o’ clock Eastern time today, the United States Senate made a monumental decision. Many expected the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to be ratified, which essentially would restrict parents’ rights to homeschool disabled children. Of course, when this treaty was introduced by the United Nations to its members, the majority of homeschool supporters were outraged at the thought of potential limitations on our right to homeschool, resulting in letters, appeals, and phone calls to state senators. This proposition, defeated just a few hours ago, required 2/3 of the Senate’s approval to ratify it officially. However, the Senate, perhaps due to the opposition of thousands of homeschoolers, said no. This proposition would basically give our government the opportunity to lawfully revoke parental rights to homeschool disabled children – which is a step down the slippery slope of interference in parenting decisions. Obviously, this concerned homeschoolers and organizations in support of homeschooling, such as the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSDLA) with the thought that our government would act even more like “parents” to our children.
In Opposition: the HSDLA
In response to the “CRPD defeat” as some are now calling it, the Home School Legal Defense Association issued an email to its members. I received such an email this morning, which basically said that we might have won a hard battle, but the war isn’t over yet. There will be more propostitions like this in the future, and it will be a hard battle to fight if homeschoolers want to keep their rights. HSDLA president Mike Smith said in the email that we only won this time because so many people protested, and essentially, undecided Senators voted against ratification in order to keep popularity before the next election. Today has been a victory for homeschool advocates. Two thirds of the United States Senators chose to do the right thing, and not to join the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Is this a one-time victory? Will it last?