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Dayton Boy's Death Prompts Calls For More Home Schooling Oversight

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Vishwanatha Srinivasan

A national home-school advocacy group has joined efforts by Dayton Public Schools to push for more state protections for home-schooled children.

The effort were spurred by the recent death of 10-year-old Takoda Collins of Dayton.

Collins died on Dec. 13, 2019, a year and a half after relatives pulled him out of Dayton Public Schools to for home-schooling. Teachers at Collins’ school had repeatedly called authorities about the matter in 2018, but authorities closed the investigation after their house calls went unanswered.

Police say Collins suffered from years of extreme abuse by his father, and that the boy showed signs of being severely beaten. The father pleaded not guilty in his son's death, and two other adults pleaded not guilty to charges of child endangering.

Rachel Coleman from the Coalition for Responsible Home Education says more state oversight could save lives.

"We generally recommend that the child welfare systems be involved in these discussions because they often know what they see on the ground," Coleman says.

Coleman says Ohio does require a home check every year. She also recommends an analysis before a family begins home schooling to find any risk factors.

A Connecticut study published in 2018 found that 31% of children taken out of school for home schooling were involved in past child welfare reports.

"Home schooling can be a wonderful opportunity," Coleman says. "We just don't recommend it for families that have various risk factors or that are unstable or have a history of abuse."

Debbie Holmes began her career in broadcasting in Columbus after graduating from The Ohio State University. She left the Buckeye state to pursue a career in television news and worked as a reporter and anchor in Moline, Illinois and Memphis, Tennessee.