Declaring that “parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children,” the Second District Court of Appeal for the state of
There are approximately 166,000 homeschooled children in
In a state that allows minors to have abortions without parental notification and consent, having the court complain about the welfare and safety of children who are homeschooled is laughable. The court also conveniently turned a blind eye to the increasing levels of violence and murder in many
The appellate court reviewed the decision reached by a juvenile court regarding the quality of education provided to homeschooled children of the Phillip and Mary Long family. The children were homeschooled by Mrs. Long with assistance from the Sunland Christian School (SCS), a private religious academy in the
Rather than confine its ruling to the specifics of the Long case, the court of appeals instead chose to considerably broaden the scope of its decision, further strengthen state power over individuals, and deny
Because parents have a legal duty to see to their children’s schooling within the provisions of these laws, parents who fail to do so may be subject to a criminal complaint against them, found guilty of an infraction, and subject to imposition of fines... Additionally, the parents are subject to being ordered to enroll their children in an appropriate school or education program and provide proof of enrollment to the court, and willful failure to comply with such an order may be punished by a fine for civil contempt.
“Breathtaking” judicial activism
The totalitarian impulses of the court were further evidenced by the arguments it used to justify its decision: “A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism, and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare.” As someone who has lived and suffered under a communist regime (I grew up in
Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, got it right when he said that the “scope of this decision by the appellate court is breathtaking. It not only attacks traditional home schooling, but also calls into question home schooling through charter schools and teaching children at home via independent study through public and private schools.” The sentiment was echoed by
The appellate court also chose to ignore the many studies and solid research data showing that homeschooling is a well-established and exceptional method of education that overwhelmingly produces superior academic results and well-adjusted individuals. According to
Similar studies documented by the HSLDA also confirm that the poor “socialization” objection by the court is a red herring. Numerous studies have shown that homeschooled youngsters have excellent social skills, are active in groups and community activities outside the home, engage in many extracurricular activities and sports, are exceptionally prepared to deal with the real world, interact better with adults and a variety of age-groups, and take their civic duties more seriously than their public school counterparts.
Fortunately the people of
Even Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has issued a statement in full support of homeschooling families. "Parents should not be penalized for acting in the best interests of their children's education. This outrageous ruling must be overturned by the courts and if the courts don't protect parents' rights then, as elected officials, we will," he said.
It remains to be seen if reason and common sense will prevail in this latest battle for the individual God-given liberties and freedoms of American families. The relentless march towards full government control of all areas of our lives must be halted. The people must push back. Our children’s lives and their future are too precious to surrender to government bureaucrats and teacher’s unions. For their sake and ours, freedom must prevail.