Will Barack Obama support parental rights in nation of his
heritage where he spent $23 million in taxpayer funds to abortion
parents' days of being able to educate their own children as they
see fit may be coming to a close. In a last-minute desperation
call, homeschool parents contacted the Virginia-based Home School Legal Defense
Association for help to protect their age-old right.
And why could homeschooling soon be a thing of the past in the
East African nation? The parliament in Kenya now contends that home
instruction could be used by parents to hide abusive and negligent
treatment of children from authorities.
Even though homeschooling is still in its early stages in Kenya
with relatively small numbers, it has the backing of leaders from
one of just a handful of coordinated home education groups on the
continent of Africa ─ the East Africa
Community of Homeschoolers (EACH). EACH serves some 200
homeschooling families around the Horn of Africa and believes that
educating lawmakers about this fundamental right can make
"There are so few of us that it is easy for the parliament to
ignore us," says Thomas Mundia, who serves as a member of the East
African board of homeschoolers. "There are some in parliament who
are open to our ideas, but most are unfamiliar with the concept of
Mundia asserts that if Kenyan lawmakers move forward and push
legislation through with the guise of protecting children, parents
could end up in jail.
"Kenya is drafting a new law after adopting a new constitution,
and this law does not make a provision for home education," Mundia
adds. "This puts Kenyan homeschoolers at risk of criminal
And like an
amendment that Irish voters just approved into their
constitution this month that took away parental rights and gave
them to their children and the government in the name of protecting
children, the Kenyan government is looking to diminish parents'
role in raising their children. Pro-family advocates are
petitioning for help from abroad to maintain their authority over
HSLDA, which fights for parents' rights to instruct their
children without government interference, was the first choice that
Kenyans turned to when battling the government for control of their
children. Mundia believes that the organization's legal expertise
in parental rights can stem the tide of governmental interference,
adding: "I hope that intervention from our international
homeschooling friends could help."
Writing up the rights
To counter this latest attack on homeschooling, EACH drafted the
Basic Education Bill, 2012 [PDF], which
outlines eight basic concerns to the parliament and calls for the
observance of parents' rights in the instruction of their
But are these rights something that parents must ask for, or
something that governments must grant?
According to HSLDA, parents should not have to vie for the right
to make decisions about their children's education, stating that
"homeschooling is a fundamental right and should be protected in
the education legislation now being considered by parliament." The
pro-family rights group is urging its members and other Americans
to contact Kenya's minister of education, the Honorable Mutula
Kilonzo (firstname.lastname@example.org) and remind him of this basic right.
HSLDA also calls homeschool supporters to reach members of Kenya's
parliament and ask them to include home education in its new
The Purcellville, Virginia-based organization sends the reminder
that parental rights are not just recognized on American shores;
they are an inherent right that families should not be denied
across the globe.
"This is essential because parents have a 'prior right' to
choose the kind of education their children should receive," the
HSLDA states. "This was recognized by Article 26(3) of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and also the United
States Supreme Court. While government may have an interest in the
education of their citizens, it should protect this important right
of parents to choose home education."
And the push for homeschooling rights continues around the
Earlier this month in Germany, leaders at the first-ever global
homeschooling conference presented the Berlin Declaration, which
argues that homeschooling is an inherent and universal right
possessed by each and every parent.
A call to Obama?
President Barack Obama, who has Kenyan heritage, has already
shown a willingness to influence how that East African nation is
run, having spent $23 million in taxpayer money to fund a campaign
that worked to pass a constitutional referendum that legalized
abortion in Kenya for the first time.
The U.S. president now can be urged to intercede on America's behalf
and champion the rights of Kenyan parents to homeschool their own
children. The email can also be used to encourage him to support
the protection of these rights in the U.S. as well by removing the
many obstacles and restrictions homeschoolers presently face across