Last night, Megyn Kelly interviewed Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar for a Fox News special that's left many outraged by what they consider to be the desperate rationalization of some criminally negligent parenting.
Jim Bob defended his failure to report Josh Duggar's molestation in part by claiming that parents are "not mandatory reporters," and thus, are under no legal obligation to turn in their children, even when they suspect of them being guilty of sexual abuse.
“The law allows for parents to do what they think is best for the children," said Jim Bob. We sent him down to this [counseling center]. It’s the best decision we made.”
As Radar Online reports today, however, under federal and Arkansas state law, parents who homeschool their kids are legally obligated to report instances of sexual abuse to the proper legal authorities.
Homeschooling is popular in Arkansas, and as such, the Arkansas Child Maltreatment Act specifically cites homeschool teachers on the list of adults who are required to report "abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, sexual exploitation or abandonment of a child."
By not doing so, the Duggars were in direct violation of the same law that they attempted to hide behind during last night's interview.
Of course, millions on the Internet have already reacted in horror to the Duggar interview and accused the famously fundamentalist parents of downplaying and ignoring the ongoing abuse that took place under their roof for over a year.
The revelation that Michelle and Jim Bob were themselves in violation of state and federal laws is unlikely change the minds of the Duggars' millions of supporters, or even convince TLC execs to cancel 19 Kids and Counting.