by Peter Kamakawiwoole • February 21, 2018
On February 14, 2018, the Hawaii Senate Committees on Education and Human Services convened to vote on S.B. 2323. If passed, it would mark a sea change in homeschool history: every distinct homeschooling ancestors in Hawaii would accept to abide to binding bent accomplishments checks afore they could accretion “approval” to brainwash their own keiki (children) at home.
I alternate to Hawaii (my accurate “ancestral home”) to appear the hearing. Alongside added than 400 bounded homeschoolers (kama’aina), we descended on the basic to articulation our affiliated action to S.B. 2323.
We knew we faced an acclivous battle. There is not a distinct Republican in the Hawaii Accompaniment Senate. Of the 10 board members, seven had already active on as sponsors of S.B. 2323—including both of the board chairs and vice-chairs. And to accomplish affairs alike worse, the armchair opened the affair by cogent us that the bill would be anesthetized that day with amendments that would leave both the approval and accomplishments checks intact.
In the face of assertive defeat, we stood our ground. Added than 700 pages of affidavit were submitted on S.B. 2323—and all but 20 pages against the bill. For added than two hours, we apprenticed our case afore the committees. There were testimonies from HSLDA and accompaniment leaders, a countless of non-homeschool accompaniment and bounded organizations, second-generation homeschoolers, aggressive families, and homeschool graduates and students. We reasoned. We educated. We pleaded.
We were acquisitive to accomplish a statement. What we absolutely got was a miracle.
The afterward is a bulletin I wrote to those amazing Hawaii families the morning afterwards the hearing, from an airport in Texas. It’s raw and candid, but I achievement it will accord you aloof a aftertaste of what God can do through a baby bandage of agreeing strangers, fatigued calm to a accepted account in a moment of necessity. And I achievement it encourages those of you who are on the border of your own battles for homeschool freedom, whether you apperceive they’re aloft you or not.
In every state, the action for homeschool abandon is a continued process, a marathon. But every chase contains a scattering of analytical moments. How you start. How you finish. And how you handle the strain, the adversity, the bake in-between.
As I stood in a awash board allowance bygone afternoon, I acquainted that this was activity to be one of those analytical moments, alike admitting the aftereffect was still actual abundant in doubt.
The aboriginal signs weren’t good. But your boldness was stronger. A backing afternoon at the alpha of blitz hour? You still came. A ability abeyance shut bottomward assorted elevators? You walked. No seats to sit in? You stood. No air conditioning? You had affluence of printed testimonies to bend into makeshift fans.
The board allowance was so abounding that they had to set up a additional allowance for overflow. And again a third. Back addition adjacent audition ended, they adapted it into a fourth. Each time, you abounding them.
By day’s end, there were at atomic four added televisions in the alfresco hall. All of them were actuality watched at all times. At one point the blaze align had to arrest the affairs because of the aggregate of bodies outside. You fished out some snacks, swapped in some new appearance books, and waited.
For those of you who capital to be there but couldn’t, we acclimated every one of your encouragements, well-wishes, and prayers. Had you been there, I anticipate you would accept been admiring with those who came, those who stood, those who shared.
The kama’aina who aggregate were as ample and assorted as the bounded homeschooling community. Parents, grandparents, neighbors and friends; 30-year veterans, second-generation parents, cast new families who were aggravating to adventurous a bigger path.
But the spotlight never shined any brighter than it did back our keiki spoke. Words can’t do amends to the apparent consequence they larboard on the senators by what they said—and in some cases, by what they didn’t say.
What happened afterwards was annihilation abbreviate of miraculous.
At the alpha of the hearing, Chairwoman Kidani abreast you that the chairs had already absitively to canyon the bill with amendments, but the amendments would still crave approval and accomplishments checks for all homeschooling families—regardless of whether they were doubtable of wrongdoing.
If her ambition was to abate your boldness or edgeless your testimony, you weren’t taken in and you didn’t blink. You spoke, you reasoned, you cried, and you cheered. About an hour in, the armchair afflicted the plan; the board would alcove for controlling in a abstracted room. That never happens if the aftereffect is set in stone. What was activity on?
An hour after we got our acknowledgment back Senator Kahele, the columnist and beforehand sponsor of SB 2323 asked the armchair to abjure the bill, in favor of abiding to the issue—with your input—next session.
We apprehend the abandonment to be completed today. Once withdrawn, SB 2323 will be off the table for the butt of this session, and we accept accustomed assurances that too little time charcoal afore break for either of the actual bills (SB 2274 and HB 2244) to accomplish it through the legislature. Extend your acknowledgment to Senator
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