The proposed legislation includes these three mandates:
- Parents register names and addresses
- Households meet twice a year with an official, such as police officer, clergy member or other member of community
- Record of meeting
The push for a stricter policy comes after two homeschooled children were found murdered in their Detroit home. The bodies of 13-year-old Stoni Blair and 8-year-old Stephen Berry had been kept in a freezer for more than a year before they were discovered by an official conducting an eviction. They'd been pulled from Detroit Public Schools to be homeschooled - and then virtually disappeared.
The daunting question that no one seems to have an answer to, is why did nobody notice the kids were gone?
"As we sadly discovered with Stoni and with Stephen, homeschooling was used as a cover up for abuse and for murder," says Detroit Rep. Stephanie Chang.
"Unfortunately, the tragedy that took place at the King [Apartment] Homes shed light into several problems within our system. One of which is better checks and balances when our children are removed from traditional schools," says Detroit councilmember Mary Sheffield.
"I believe this bill, not only have a part in monitoring children's education, but in some cases, save lives," says John Blair. His daughter, Mitchell, is the mother charged with premediated murder, torture and child abuse.
"As we know, many who homeschool their children do a fine job at educating their children, but we can and must do better to ensure that every single child is accounted for and not leave anyone behind," says Chang.
Most other states do have similar procedures that would at least allow states to monitor what's going on inside homes where homeschooling takes place.