SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Neighbors say the Perris home where investigators found 13 tortured children was “hidden in plain sight.”
“If we would have known sooner, we would have tried to help,” said a neighbor.
But the horrific discovery is putting a spotlight on the homeschool parents David and Louise Turpin operated inside.
“As the law now is, there is no reason for anyone to come into the facility, whether it be homeschool or private school,” said Assemblyman Jose Medina (D–Riverside).
The former teacher is working on legislation, giving state officials the power to check on homeschooled children.
How often would state officials go into these homes?
Medina says, “Those are some of the details we need to work out, but I would think at a minimum it should happen on an annual basis.”
At the Department of Education, the state superintendent says, current law doesn’t go far enough. It only requires that home schools and private schools register with the agency. But it doesn’t approve, monitor, inspect, or oversee them.
“The District of Columbia managed to overcome that and create new oversight in 2008 after a quadruple murder in a homeschool case,” said Rachel Coleman of the Coalition for Responsible Home Education.
Rachel Coleman’s nonprofit, recommends strict oversight for children taught at home.
She says abuse in homeschool is nothing new.
“There were 11 kids kept in cages in Ohio. Just in November, a boy starved to death.”
Critics say child abuse should not be blamed on homeschool.
The Homeschool Legal Defense Association sent CBS13 a statement reading in part:
“Hasty legislation based on one family’s horrific and criminal behavior-behavior that has nothing to do with homeschooling-would be unfair to the thousands of law-abiding families in California who work hard to provide a safe and loving educational environment for their children.”