Ohio state senator Capri Cafaro, a Democrat, has withdrawn a controversial homeschooling bill that would have required social workers to conduct a background check on all parents who decide to homeschool their children.
Cafaro withdrew Senate Bill 248, also known as “Teddy’s Law,” late Thursday in the face of intense and mounting opposition, reports EAGnews.org.
“SB 248 was never meant to be a policy debate about educating children in the home,” Cafaro explained. “It was meant to address weaknesses in the law pertaining to child protection. Unfortunately, the true intent of the bill to curtail child abuse has been eclipsed by the issue of home schooling.”
The namesake of Cafaro’s “Teddy’s Law” is Theodore “Teddy” Foltz-Tedesco, a 14-year-old boy who was tortured and beaten to death by a Zaryl G. Bush, man who was dating his mother. The mother, Shain Widdersheim, had removed her son from school after teachers began to suspect abuse. She said she would homeschool him.
Both Bush and Widdersheim are now in prison.
However, because homeschooling was an utterly tangential element in the sick and heinous abuse and murder a teenage boy, the meddlesome Democratic state senator crafted a bill requiring invasive state investigations into the lives of every parent or legal guardian seeking to remove children from public schools, reports the Warren, Ohio Tribune Chronicle.
”Teddy’s Law” would have subjected all prospective homeschooling parents to a massive bureaucratic gauntlet including interviews in their homes, separate interviews with children and background checks. Parents who fail to pass muster according to the judgment of social workers would then be required to face further government scrutiny in their efforts to homeschool.
“After consultation with Teddy’s family, we have collectively decided the best course of action is for me to withdraw SB 248, and instead pursue a more comprehensive approach to address the current challenges in the state’s social service and criminal justice system,” Cafaro’s statement also said, according to EAGnews.
Cafaro, 36, comes from a wealthy local family that owns shopping malls around the country. She was educated at Stanford University and Georgetown University.
She ran for the U.S. Congress twice (in 2004 and 2006) and lost. In 2007, she was appointed to an Ohio senate seat representing a couple counties on the eastern edge of the state.
In 2006, Cafaro’s father, real estate magnate John Cafaro, pleaded guilty to bribing former Democratic Rep. (and convicted felon) Jim Traficant. The elder Cafaro paid a $150,000 fine as a result, according to The Hill.
Additionally, John Cafaro admitted to making an illegal contribution to one of his daughter Capri’s unsuccessful campaigns for Congress, notes The Plain Dealer. Specifically, John Cafaro gave 500 percent more money than federal election laws allow.