On February 17, 2004, NBC's 'Law and Order - Special Victims Unit' - a legal drama produced by Universal TV Productions - aired a show about homeschooling.
It portrayed homeschooling as a cover for child abuse.
Needless to say NBC and Universal were unconcerned about offending hundreds of thousands of honest, law-abiding homeschool families.
For over twenty years modern homeschoolers have fought successfully against negative stereotypes.
Regrettably NBC and Universal have succeeded in perpetuating this latest attack on homeschooling.
It is blatantly unfair to negatively portray a minority and tar every homeschooler with the same brush.
The consequences for innocent homeschool families can be serious. Some people might actually believe the picture painted by Law and Order SVU and use the anonymous tip procedure to report homeschool families for abuse and neglect without any factual basis. Child Protective Services are obligated to follow-up these reports and homeschool families will face unwarranted harassment. This already happens all too frequently to families all across America. More importantly, real abuse will be missed because the system may be clogged with false reports.
The truth is that homeschool families are not havens of abuse but rather the leading edge of excellence in American education.
HSLDA is considering its options in this matter.
You can email NBC at LawOrderSVU@nbcuni.com