CHEA Rejects HARO Exhibitor Application Over “Philosophical Difference”


By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator

Christian Home Educators Association of California (CHEA), California’s statewide Christian homeschool organization, rejected Homeschool Alumni Reaching Out‘s (HARO) application to exhibit at their July 2015 convention in Pasadena, CA, keynoted by Israel Wayne and Norm Wakefield. HARO had applied to exhibit its free child abuse awareness curriculum as well as provide physical copies of that curriculum free of charge to convention attendees. Gerald McKoy, President of CHEA, cited “duplicative” efforts in the area of child abuse awareness and prevention as well as “a significant philosophical difference between” HARO and CHEA.

The text of CHEA’s rejection letter from McKoy follows:

Thank you for your request to exhibit at our convention. Like you, CHEA is very concerned about all forms of child abuse, and we appreciate your concern in this area.

However, we will not be able to accommodate your request to exhibit your curriculum at our convention. This is for two main reasons: 1) we feel this is duplicative of our current efforts in this area, and 2) we feel there is a significant philosophical difference between your organization and ours.

CHEA is concerned for all victims of child abuse of any kind, whether in a homeschooling family or not. Unfortunately, this is a problem in our culture as a whole, which we believe is a direct result of sin in our world—”all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”—not specific to the homeschooling community. Many studies have been conducted regarding the presence of abuse in our society, and we are grieved that this is a problem that is present in the homeschooling community as well.

CHEA maintains a webpage within the Leadership portion of its website to assist member leaders in this area. We are working to improve and update that area, and we are also in the process of publishing materials for all of our members regarding the problem of child abuse and the signs to be aware of in recognizing it.

We also recognize a significant philosophical difference between CHEA and Homeschool Alumni Reaching Out and its affiliated website Homeschoolers Anonymous.

Again, CHEA remains adamantly opposed to any form of child abuse in families that homeschool and those who do not. CHEA will continue its efforts to educate its members and member organizations in recognizing signs of abuse and the proper response to such signs. We wish you the best in your efforts to protect children.

For the Board of Directors,

Gerald McKoy



While I encouraged to hear the organization aims to make better efforts to educate members about child abuse, I am saddened that McKoy and the other Board Directors of CHEA chose to provide a nebulous “philosophical difference” as reason to reject HARO’s application. No member of CHEA’s board made an effort to contact HARO to discuss what this difference is; thus, HARO is unaware of the content of that objection. Furthermore, my father personally served CHEA for several years as their convention organizer, so I am not unfamiliar with the organization. I fondly remember spending summer weekends at CHEA conventions, helping my father set up and tear down the events. I would have been happy to discuss any potential disagreements.

Finally, it is important to point out that “duplicative efforts” in the area of child abuse awareness and prevention should be more than welcomed in the homeschooling world. This topic has been sorely neglected for decades and we need as many efforts to rectify this silence as possible. It is not a topic that should be relegated to Leadership-only sections on websites. It should be broadcast loudly for all homeschool parents and communities to hear. We must do this work together, as leaders, parents, and — most often neglected — as alumni who understand a different side to homeschooling.

This is the second convention that has rejected HARO’s request to exhibit, following the Great Homeschool Conventions’ retraction last year.

I hope and pray that others will be more receptive in the future.

Full image of CHEA’s letter follows:


Facing Our Fears: How the Voices of Homeschool Alumni Can Help Homeschooling

facing our fears coverFacing Our Fears: How the Voices of Homeschool Alumni Can Help Homeschooling was originally prepared by R.L. Stollar, Executive Director of Homeschool Alumni Reaching Out (HARO) for the 2014 Great Homeschool Convention in Ontario, California. HARO’s mission is to advocate for the well-being of homeschool students and improve homeschooling communities through awareness, peer support, and resource development.

You are free to share or distribute this presentation with proper citation of its source.

To view and/or download a PDF of Facing Our Fears, click here.


Help HARO Present at the 2014 Great Homeschool Convention in Ontario, CA


This is HARO’s first convention opportunity!

Homeschool Alumni Reaching Out (HARO) has a vision: “Renewing and transforming homeschooling from within.” We are a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for the wellbeing of homeschool students and improving homeschooling communities through awareness, peer support, and resource development.

Our hope is to develop partnerships with homeschooling communities and groups to bring awareness to, and empower homeschoolers to address, pressing matters such as child abuse and mental illness. HARO has recently received its first opportunity to present at a homeschool convention — the 2014 Great Homeschool Convention in Ontario, California.

This is an amazing opportunity for us. R.L. Stollar, Executive Director of HARO, will be speaking on “Facing Our Fears: How the Voices of Homeschool Alumni Can Help Homeschooling.” He will also be in the convention exhibitor hall at HARO’s booth for the three days of the convention. Before we can do this, however, we need to raise funds.

What We Need & What You Get

We need to raise $1250 to present at the GHC convention. While GHC does not charge speakers, they do require that speakers are also exhibitors. Their exhibitor fee is $500. We also need to cover lodging, transportation, and printing costs for the 3 days of the event. Every dollar raised from this fundraiser will go towards HARO’s presentation at the convention.

  • Everyone that contributes at least $10 to this fundraiser will receive a free digital download of HARO’s convention presentation, “Facing Our Fears: How the Voices of Homeschool Alumni Can Help Homeschooling.” The presentation will be available to download no later than one week after the convention.
  • If we don’t reach our entire goal, we will use what we have and seek other sources of funding as well.

To learn more, or to donate to our fundraiser, visit our Indiegogo page here!