BOISE – There’s one day that both sides of the aisle agree is marvelous — “Pie Day” at the Statehouse.
Homeschool families from all corners bring signature homemade pies for lawmakers and staff to enjoy between committee meetings and debates. More than 1,000 slices were given to outstretched hands and smiling faces.
At least for a few moments, there was no friction or discord. It was all about pie. Even Elvis’ favorite was on the table: chocolate cream, peanut butter filling, a graham cracker crust and bananas. But legislators by far prefer pecan and apple.
Teenager Rebekah Erwin and her family are fixtures at the pie table. Most years, an Erwin can be found here talking to lawmakers about whip cream or chocolate or sugar-free options.
“It’s really cool just to see who works here and what they do,” Rebekah said.
Lydia Ness, 27, is also a veteran. After a homeschooling education, she earned a pharmacy technician certification and now works in the Treasure Valley.
“I just loved being able to come to the Capitol and meet the representatives. It’s been so much fun,” said Ness, who is one of seven siblings, many of whom own their businesses.
Homeschool Idaho sponsors the annual event. The organization protects and promotes homeschooling in Idaho.
“Homeschoolers from all over the country want to move to Idaho because we have robust freedom,” said Linda Patchin, a member of the organization’s board.
Homeschool Idaho is paying attention to Sen. Scott Herndon’s bill that would guarantee Idahoans’ right to privately educate their children.
“We support that,” Patchin said.
But she’s outraged by the bill’s opponents, who believe it would allow sex offenders to homeschool.
“That is just so offensive,” she said.
She also noted an anti-homeschooling message in the national media, which suggests there’s a correlation between homeschooling and child abuse in the home.
“That’s just not a founded assumption,” Patchin said. “There’s really not a greater risk. “