Connecticut Homeschoolers Dismayed by Subpoenas Demanding Access to Their Records in Wake of Teen’s Death

A group of Connecticut homeschoolers slammed the state’s child advocate, Sarah Eagan, on Sunday and vowed to fight back after she subpoenaed records of homeschooled children to explore a “framework” to regulate parents, effectively “scapegoating” them in the investigation of the death of a 17-year-old autistic boy.

“It is with true disbelief and utter dismay that we announce today that the State’s Child Advocate, Sarah Eagan, appears to be attacking innocent homeschooling parents with a vengeance never before seen in this state,” said Connecticut homeschool organizations, including the National Home Education Legal Defense, Connecticut Homeschool Network, and The Education Association of Christian Homeschoolers, in a joint statement.

“The Child Advocate has invoked her shockingly broad authority to have ‘unfettered access’ to the records of homeschoolers’, by issuing subpoenas to Public School Districts across the state to provide records of homeschoolers to her, or face consequences ‘under penalty of law.'”

“This is yet another unwarranted intrusion into the rights and lives of law abiding parents. One abundantly valid answer to that question is: She is doubling down and scapegoating homeschoolers in order to deflect attention away from the massive and horrid failures of the Hartford Public School District, the State Department of Education, the Department of Children and Families, the Juvenile Court, and her own agency, which contributed to the very preventable death of Matthew Tirado,” the group added.

Matthew Tirado’s mother, Katiria Tirado, was sentenced on June 5 to 11 years in after the 17-year-old died in 2017 at 84 pounds and showed signs of long-term physical abuse. Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families have come under scrutiny for not intervening despite several warning signs.

According to the Hartford Courant, the Hartford public school system had recommended that the teen get medical and psychiatric treatment. In response, his mother — a high school dropout who gave birth to her son at age 16 — removed him from public school and decided to homeschool him instead.

In a recent interview with local WTIC radio, Eagan suggested that homeschooling children can be a “pretext” or “a guise” to keep children hidden from authorities.

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Source: Christian Post