On the Ten Year Anniversary of H.R.6
Recalling the Week that America’s Home Schoolers Shut Down Washington D.C.
Last month was the ten year anniversary of one of the most historic events in the history of the modern home school movement. In February of 1994, home educators from all fifty states descended on Washington D.C., in person. Meanwhile, those who could not come by car or plane sent hundreds of thousands of phone calls to register their opposition to a bill which could have shut down home education. Thankfully, the only thing which got shut down was Congress itself. In God’s providence, I was the person who received the phone call from the office of Congressman Dick Armey alerting the Home School Legal Defense Association of a threat posed by bill H.R.6. At the time, I was given the honor of serving as Director of the National Center for Home Education and the leader of the Congressional Action Program (a home school based lobbying program).
Under the leadership and direction of HSLDA’s visionary founder and president Michael Farris, I launched a national e-mail alert and physically gathered a brigade of valiant home educators to descend upon the Capitol en masse. For eight days, HSLDA spearheaded a grassroots campaign of homeschool activists which maintained the single most effective barrage of calls in the history of Washington D.C. It would prove so effective that one Chief of Staff told me: “My office has received 600 calls today. We have decided to vote for your amendment. Please tell your people to stop calling. We don’t need any more convincing... Don’t get me wrong, I believe in democracy, it’s just that we have had about as much democracy as we can handle for one day.” Dean Clancy, assistant to Congressman Armey would comment: “Do you realize what you have done? You have shut down Capitol Hill. Nothing is getting done up here because everyone is answering calls from home schoolers.” In the end, home educators were successful.
Ten years later, we must remember the lessons of H.R.6: First, no Christian group has more potential to influence and effect the political process than a well-informed and organized home school movement. Home educators have the time, the focus, the commitment, and the vision to make a difference. Second, the best way to oppose tyranny is oppose it by responding with uncompromising and devastating clarity. Third, forces who oppose the biblical family are always at work. Their influence is significant and we must be prepared to act at a moment’s notice when the future of our children is placed in jeopardy.
These lessons are all the more important as we face the four great crimes against God, the Constitution, and humanity that were perpetrated in 2003: 1) The court’s forbidding our elected officers from acknowledging God; 2) The redefinition of marriage to include grotesque perversion; 3) The incorporation of the laws of foreign nations into our legal decisions; and 4) The continued crimes against the unborn not only by liberals, but by professing Christians who claim to be upholding the “rule of law” by facilitating the vivisection of babies.
Please take a moment and read the blow-by-blow report of the battle of H.R.6 written by yours truly for HSLDA’s Home School Court Report. It is the story of eight remarkable days in February of 1994:
Sincerely, Doug Phillips
Reprinted with permission, Home School Court Report, Vol #10, Issue #2 (March/April 1994)