A Republican lawmaker in Utah is calling on his state to put an end to the requirement that children go to school.
Osmond argues that requiring children to attend school has caused some parents to “completely disengage themselves from their obligation to oversee and ensure the successful education of their children.”
“As a result, our teachers and schools have been forced to become surrogate parents, expected to do everything from behavioral counseling, to providing adequate nutrition, to teaching sex education, as well as ensuring full college and career readiness,” he writes. “I believe the time has come for us to re-evaluate what we expect of parents and the public education system.”
Osmond recommends “restoring the parental right to decide if and when a child will go to public school” to uphold the “the principles of personal freedom and unalienable rights.”
Part of the solution, he believes, is to “stop dictating the number of hours a child must be present in a classroom.”
“[I]f a parent decides to keep their child home or to go on a family vacation, it’s the responsibility of that parent to ensure their child completes the assignments and stays current with their class,” Osmond says. “Similarly, if a child consistently misbehaves, it’s the teacher’s right to send that child home to their parent until he or she is ready to respect and appreciate their opportunity to be educated.”
State School Board member Leslie Castle told Deseret News that ending compulsory education was not realistic at a time when so many children need the services that schools provide.
“We live in a society where some children require help beyond the ability of their parents,” she explained. “Those students don’t deserve to be punished, they don’t deserve to be disqualified.”
“The same could be said about the Legislature that [Osmond] is saying about parents, that the Legislature has completely disengaged themselves,” Castle added.
Osmond plans plans to introduce legislation in the upcoming state Senate session to modify compulsory education requirements.
The second-term lawmaker is the nephew of musician Donnie Osmond and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Watch an incredibly slanted puff piece on the freshman legislator and his famous relatives, courtesy of local station KSL, broadcast March 8, 2012.