Perris “Torture House” Puts Home School Laws Under Fire

Major debates began regarding oversight of home and private schools after officials discovered that the Perris house, where 13 brothers and sisters were tortured, was registered as a private school.

Earlier this month, officers arrested parents David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin, and charged them with 75 felony charges of torture, false imprisonment and cruelty after discovering and saving their 13 children shackled in the house.

With the oldest victim being 29 years of age, the situation begs the question: “How did this happen for so long?” Many officials blame the incident on the lack of monitoring private and home schools.

California is one of 15 states that only require an affidavit with names and fingerprints of the operators to open a home school or a home-based private school. The father, David Turpin, was able to keep his children indoors by registering his home as ‘Sandcastle Day School’ and himself as the principal.

The state at the time doesn’t require any follow-up on student’s academic achievement or conditions once a school is registered.

Assemblyman Jose Medina, Riverside-D, has stated that there should be more regulations so that this case never happens again ad is in the process of introducing a bill in the Legislature to address the situation.

“I was very disturbed to learn about the horrific violence that has taken place in our community, and am thankful that these children are now in safety,” said Assemblyman Medina. “I am extremely concerned about the lack of oversight the State of California currently has in monitoring private and home schools. I have been in conversation with the Riverside County Office of Education, which agrees that we need to do more to protect our students and validate that they are in safe learning environments. I am looking into introducing a bill this year that would provide a legislative solution and prevent a situation like this from occurring in the future.”

However, there are some that believe that new laws could lead to gross invasion of privacy. The HomeSchool Association of California claims that the vast majority of parents who chose to put their kids in homeschool only have the best interests in mind.

Currently there are 28 schools in Riverside County that has fewer than 10 students and more than 3000 private schools throughout California that registered for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Read more at The Press-Enterprise.