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Published On: Wed, Dec 25th, 2013

Ohio homeschool background bill tabled for now, goal is to honor Teddy Tedesco

A bill aimed at stopping child abuse in Ohio, but riled homeschoolers, has been suspended after the outrage from critics and media outlets.

Nicknamed the “worst-ever homeschool law proposed,” the bill would have required a background check and deep scrutiny by officials, similar to those reserved for with criminal backgrounds.

Sen. Capri S. Cafaro, D-Hubbard, proposed Senate bill 248, or “Teddy’s law,” in response to the horrible torture and murder of 14-year-old Theodore “Teddy” Foltz-Tedesco at the hands of his mother’s abusive boyfriend, Zaryl Bush.

Teddy’s mother, Shain Widdersheim, had removed the teenager from public school after teachers reported his abuse, alleging that she was going to homeschool her children.

Critics stated that the background checks with in-person interviews conducted by social workers with the parents and the child their civil rights.

Sen. Cafaro announced Dec. 19 that she was suspending the bill after consulting with Teddy’s family members. She explained in a news release that she wanted to strengthen child protections, and not engage in a “policy debate about educating children in the home.” The senator said she was withdrawing the bill in favor of more comprehensive legislation which will not include “any content related to education in the home.”

“Through this process, it is our goal to craft a new bill to honor Teddy’s legacy and to protect vulnerable children like him in the future,” she said.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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