Stoni Ann Blair and Stephen Gage Berry were precious children with limitless potential, and their senseless deaths at the hands of their mother have shocked and saddened the entire state of Michigan.
Mitchelle Blair, the Detroit woman accused of killing Stoni and Stephen and then hiding their bodies, is a murderer who deserves, at best, to spend the rest of her life in prison.
This tragic situation is not, and never was, however, a homeschooling problem.
That’s why I am so dismayed by the introduction of a new bill in the state House of Representatives to exploit Stoni and Stephen’s tragic deaths as an excuse to impose new regulations on loving, committed, and law-abiding Michigan families.
Let’s be clear, this legislation would not have stopped Ms. Blair from killing her children. Blair was willing to break every law on the books, and routinely and effectively lied for years to hide her crimes.
Instead, the new bill is a transparent attempt by some in Lansing to bully, threaten, and intimidate parents who choose not to send their children to traditional public schools. The legislation would force every homeschooling family to register with local officials and to open their homes twice yearly for police inspections, to prove that they have not murdered their own children.
Parents have rights. Parents deserve choices. And parents deserve so much better from Lansing.
As the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee I wanted to write you today to assure you that this anti-parent legislation will not see the light of day in my Committee.
Parents who choose homeschooling as the best education option for their children lovingly pour themselves into their kids, and they get great results. Homeschooled children are among the most successful in the state, go on to attend colleges and universities, get and keep great jobs, and help lead our communities.
Every child learns differently, and no one understands the needs of a child like his or her parents. That’s why when it comes to making education decisions for their children, or for choosing the kind of education that will work best, Lansing should trust parents, not bully them.
Senator Phil Pavlov
Chairman, Senate Education Committee