Thanks go out to Mary, one of the participants at the Homeschooling Rally in Jefferson City yesterday who was kind enough to send these great pictures.
Perhaps this was just a small reminder to us that we should never take our homeschooling freedoms for granted. Here are the details and results of the May 14, 2009 rally and legislative alert on Senate Bill 291 as taken from the FHE Missouri website:
Missouri Senate Bill Amended for Homeschoolers
On May 14, the weather was perfect, and an estimated 2000 home schoolers were on the front lawn of the Capitol at 1 pm. (The Kansas City Star article says “hundreds,” but I guess 20 hundred is “hundreds.” The Star also misrepresents what the final bill does.) After opening with prayer, the crowd was briefed on what the current status was for the bill, then Kerry Messer, FHE’s lobbyist, explained the compromise amendment to which all had agreed. The House sponsor apologized for any problem his language caused home educators, as that was never his intent. He also promised the assembled crowd that if our “fix” was not adopted, he would pull the bill, killing it for 2009. About 1:30 pm, we began a “walk around the legislature.” Parading all 2000 home educators thru the Capitol took over one hour! About 2:45 pm, SB 291 was introduced, amended (as promised) and passed. Later in the evening of the 14th, the Senate passed it, and it is on its way to the Governor’s desk. (We also got language that clarifies that the county prosecutor is the ONLY person who can review home school records.)
Several legislators remarked that they had never seen such a large group, and the capitol police said they had never seen such a respectful protest! Thank you to all who came, to all who couldn’t but prayed, to Sheryl Schmidt, Kerry Messer, Scott Woodruff (of HSLDA) and to all the FHE Directors, support group leaders and faithful supporters who passed the word. You made this happen, and the Lord has blessed your efforts.
Back from Jeff City!
As Brian Neives said to us before the rally began, "I don't know what
sort of communication chain you all have... but whatever it is, 'wow"
Pretty good turn-out for less than 24 hours advance notice! It was so
encouraging to see families of all shapes and sizes attending -
fathers taking a day off of work, mothers with their babies, oodles of
folks with strollers, people from Kansas City, Troy, St. Louis and
beyond - all to stand on the steps of the very building where
government is "made" in our state of Missouri. And even more
encouraging was it to meet with some of our pro-homeschooling
Representatives beforehand and see how there are still Americans in
office that are trying to swim upstream. Later, on the steps of the
capital... well, you know the outcome - it was awesome!
We walked the floor of the second story of the capital - all +1000 of
us, in a circle while our leaders were on the floor, "walking around
the state representative floor like the Israelites" to let them know
Thanks to all those that couldn't go and prayed for the success of
this last-minute call-to-arms!
Enjoy the pictures of real HOPE!