How Jacarie Robinson slipped through the cracks of the education system and its lack of oversight

The 12-year-old north Milwaukee boy was found dead in his home last week.
Jacarie Robinson
Posted at 9:41 AM, Oct 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-18 10:41:26-04

MILWAUKEE — New questions are being raised about the death of 12-year-old Jacarie Robinson. He was found malnourished and decomposed inside his family's home last week.

Robinson's father, Romaun Moye is now facing multiple child neglect charges.

jacarie robinson and Romuan J. Moye.jpg
Milwaukee police charged a man in connection to the death of a 12-year-old boy in a home. Authorities say the boy's body was found malnourished and decomposing and that they are investigating the incident as a homicide. Romuan J. Moye, identified as the victim's father, was charged.

Monday, we learned Robinson and two of his siblings were home-schooled by Moye for quite some time.

So, how was Moye able to home-school his kids, and what laws are in place to protect kids like Robinson?

In settings like a public school, teachers and other staff members are mandatory reporters. This means they have to report to the state when they suspect a child is being neglected or abused at home.

In Wisconsin, one in five cases of child abuse is reported by an educator according to the state Department of Children and Families.

A Milwaukee District Attorney's criminal complaint shows Robinson and two of his siblings were home-schooled by their dad for quite some time. So, teachers or school staff didn't have the opportunity to see him and possibly report the alleged abuse.

"Parents are the ones who decide to home school, and under Wisconsin law, they can do that at any point," Amy Buchmeyer said.

Buchmeyer is an attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association.

She said there's no education requirement, no background check or approval process for a parent to home-school their kids. We're told parents just need to submit a form to the state Department of Public Instruction.

"That's when you're saying these are the students that are in my program. You don't actually put any names down, you just say you have a first grader and a fifth grader," Buchmeyer said as an example. "You then have to meet the hours requirements...and then there's required subjects that you're saying 'I'm going to make sure I'm providing'," she added.

After a parent fills out that form, DPI said local school districts and the state do not have the authority to monitor progress of that student.

We asked Buchmeyer who is the checks and balances person to make sure these kids are getting an education in the state.

"That would be the parent in this case. They're the ones who are taking control," she responded.

In the case of Robinson, according to the criminal complaint, no one was looking out for him besides his dad, who's now charged with his death and still on the run.

"Violence against children, no matter if it happens in the house or if it happens from somebody outside the house, is totally unacceptable. So, my call to that father who killed his son is to turn yourself in," City of Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson said.

Moye, Robinson's father, is still on the run. If you know where he may be, please contact Milwaukee Police.