eBay recently decided to prohibit the sale of all teacher’s textbooks on its site. Yes, including homeschooling teacher’s texts.

eBay declared that the selling of Teacher’s Editions of textbooks is “illegal, dangerous, offensive, or potentially infringing”.

eBay commented that this was prompted by several organizations and publishers who want to protect their interests. Guess who one of the organizations was? If you said NEA, or National Education Association, you would be correct, according to one person quoting an eBay employee during a “live chat” on eBay in June.

eBay Leaves Homeschoolers Hanging: an editorial
eBay Leaves Homeschoolers Hanging: an editorial

Unfortunately, homeschoolers can encounter hostile attitudes towards homeschooling from the education community. We are all educators, and should be able to work together and co-exist peacefully. Sometimes the education community is at fault for this broken relationship, and sometimes the homeschooling comminuty. Who is to blame is pointless. What is important is that it can be a problem. If the children are our focus, and for many professional teachers, educators, and homeschooling parents, they are, then we all need to work together to create the best learning environement possible for children wherever they are schooled – public, private, or home.

eBay wants to create the image of a company concerned about children, and the possibility they might buy textbooks with answers and thus cheat. If you stop and think about it, that is ridiculous. If kids were determined to do that, they can get them other places than ebay. Also, parents should be responsible for knowing what their children are doing and buying off the internet.

More likely, eBay was leaned on by political groups and organizations (concerning Education and Publishing alike)to stop the sale of these texts, even if they will not confess.

This is hitting homeschoolers where it hurts – the pocketbook and time. eBay provided a valuable service to the homeschooling community. Many homeschooling families are on a tight budget, and knew they could always go to eBay to find a textbook. All I know is – Shame on eBay! Hopefully, the homeschooling community will raise its voice and get this issue resolved. Until then, I better put a lock around all those “dangerous” texts in my home!