An Open Letter To The Harvard Professor Trying To ‘Presumptively Ban’ Homeschooling

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[Editor’s Note:  Elizabeth Bartholet is a professor at Harvard Law School organizing a summit in June 2020 dedicated to discussing problems in homeschooling and ways to restrict it legally. She has called for homeschooling to be “presumptively banned,” arguing that many homeschoolers are “religious ideologues” trying to shut off their children from democratic values that they would learn in public schools, which she says hurts children and hurts the country.]

Dear Mrs. Bartholet,

How sad to read your views of homeschooling. The responsibility of educating the youth lies first and foremost with the parents and secondarily with the public education system. This is made evident especially now as school systems close across the country.

Our country was founded on Christian values.  As I think back on my public school education from first through 12th grade in the ‘50s and ‘60s, Prayer, God and the Ten Commandments were the gold threads woven in the fabric of our lives in and out of school.

When I first started teaching in public schools in the mid-‘70s – where I worked for 30 years, before retiring – we would begin each day with the pledge and a prayer. Today, in 2020, most public schools have put a gag order on any reference to God.  

Today the Ten Commandments have been turned aside in public schools, which instead promote and defend a left-of-center secularist point of view that is not of, by, or for God. These are a few of the new commandments that are honored and promoted in public schools:  Thou shalt allow pregnant females, regardless of age, to kill their unborn child in the womb for any reason at all. Thou shalt celebrate the LGBTQ community to the point where everyone is forced to endorse their beliefs and way of life. And another:  Thou shalt choose thy preferred pronoun, which others will be required to acknowledge, utterly defying science, not to mention common sense.

These are the moral principles that are being taught in present-day public schools beginning in primary grades. Under these circumstances, it makes perfect sense that anyone with a God-fearing moral conscience would want to keep their children removed from public schools.

I speak from personal experience. My daughter homeschools her children, and I have been observing the inspiring work of homeschooling families for the past 10 years. I challenge you to attend a homeschooling speech and debate competition and meet the homeschooling families and students. Better yet, to spend a whole week observing a homeschooling family. I can give you several suggestions.

I can only hope and pray that you are willing to look at education from both sides now and compare and contrast your beliefs with God’s commandments.  May God keep you safe, not only from this insidious virus, but also from your distorted views of homeschooling.


Linda A. Poirier is a retired public school teacher who lives in Derry, New Hampshire.