Sen.Courtney Issues Call for Home-School Oversight

A local state senator says a case of apparent child sex abuse in Burlington involving a home schooling family highlights the need to reestablish some kind of oversight of home schoolers.

The education reform package that became law last year got rid of the requirement that home schooling parents register with their local district. Senator Tom Courtney, a Democrat, says that was the wrong move.

He points to the recent arrest of 20-year-old Andrew Wells of Burlington, who told police he had sexually abused his siblings for years. Wells lived in a home where 10 children were allegedly being home-schooled and his parents have been charged with child endangerment.

Senator Julian Garrett, a Republican from Indianola, says it’s “sad” Courtney is using “one isolated incident” to attack home schoolers around the state.
Thirty-three-year-old Troy Rider, Knoxville high school’s football coach, was recently charged with sexual exploitation by a school employee and sex abuse after a teenage girl and her parents reported a series of incidents to police.

Both Garrett and Courtney made their comments yesterday  during a period when senators are able to speak on any subject.