The average bureaucrat does not want trouble. This is a law of bureaucracy. He wants a fat salary, good-looking secretaries, and not much to do. He does not want a moral confrontation. Some humanist leaders want a confrontation, but the people they hire to do their dirty work are not the best quality personnel. They are the C+/B- graduates of their colleges, or worse. Bureaucracy corrupts them. It makes them soft (Gary North).
Homeschooling families that choose not to register with the Department of Education, really do need wisdom about how they go about this. Why? Because unguarded comments made to the wrong people, can easily bring them undone.
How could that be?
Let me give you an example. Mrs Homeschooler is home with her children during the week, and there is a knock on the door. The visitor identifies themselves as being from the Department of Education, and would like to know the names and dates of birth of your children. Perhaps they claim they are entitled to know.
What’s to be done? Mum’s surprised by this visit, and is unprepared for the conversation. The easiest thing to do is to immediately give the person the information they are seeking, but that (in my view) would be highly unwise.
This visitor has a strategy. Visit homes unannounced, and gather information about children, so the Department can get what it wants: important family data which could potentially be used against you in a court of law. Remember: Australia’s compulsory education laws are on the side of the bureaucrat.
Departments of Education don’t want unregistered families to continue like that. They are problem families and they want to stop them, because a movement like this could get out of hand, and bureaucrats could lose control.
You didn’t think that was high on their agenda? Don’t be a dumb bunny. It’s always been high on their agenda, ever since Pharoah said to his people,
“Behold, the people of sons of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come, let us deal wisely with them, or else they will multiply and in the event of a war, they will join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us and depart from the land.” So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labour… (Ex.1:9-11).
Maintaining control, means that each bureaucrat’s job and future is secure. Losing control means they could ultimately lose everything, especially if this movement ever gains political influence. So, they want to stop it in its tracks, because control is everything.
But that wasn’t enough for Pharaoh. This murderous monster (who God later drowned in the Red Sea) then demanded of the Hebrew mid-wives, Shiprah and Puah,
…When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live (Ex.1:16).
But these brave, God fearing women were not going to be part of his evil scheme. When he confronted them about their refusal to oblige him, they came up with an imaginative deception:
…the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife can get to them (v.19).
And the Biblical commentary on their actions?
So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied, and became very mighty. Because the midwives feared God, He established households for them (v.20-21).
What would I do?
If someone comes to the front door and wants information about the children, I don’t care who they say they are or what identification they produce: I won’t spill any beans and tell them anything. I would say, “I don’t give information about my family to strangers.” They can write me a letter, and I’ll deal with that.
There’s something else I’d do. If the visitor claims to be from the Education Department, I’d get the smart phone, and film the conversation.
Your visitor won’t like that. Why? This conversation could be of relevance, in a court of law. Their behaviour is being recorded and monitored. This would make them immediately frustrated, but you permit no further conversation, and require them to leave.
It’s like a game of chess, except this is no game, and you’d better know the rules. The stakes are high, because the godly educational choices you are making for your children are being threatened by this bureaucrat’s unexpected visit. So, you have to outsmart them, by always being one step ahead, knowing what their strategy is.
What is it? To intimidate you, so they can get the information they need, manipulate you, and your families’ education. All of these are deeply religious issues.
Your decision to home school your children is not a light thing, for “Children are a gift of the Lord…” (Ps.127:3). It’s potentially a threat for some people’s livelihood, but that’s their problem, not yours.
You don’t want your opposition to out-smart you in this little chess game, and call, “Check-Mate!” Don’t fall for their strategy. Like those brave Hebrew midwives, stay one step ahead.