Parents of 166,000 Homeschool students could face criminal charges

Posted on March 7, 2008. Filed under: Culture, Education Idiocy, Liberal Idiots, Nanny State, Socialism/Communism |

Help!!!! I’m living in a communist state and I can’t get out!!

If our public schools were offering decent educations and weren’t indoctrinating our kids with their own agenda, people wouldn’t have to homeschool. I hope the homeschoolers win this fight. I understand that there may be a few odd homeschoolers, but 99% of the ones I’ve known have given their kids a better education than any public school could have done.

Parents of 166,000 students could face criminal charges
‘Breathtaking’ decision on homeschooling now moving to California Supreme Court

Posted: March 05, 2008
By Bob Unruh
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

A “breathtaking” ruling from a California appeals court that could subject the parents of 166,000 students in the state to criminal sanctions will be taken to the state Supreme Court.
The announcement comes today from the Pacific Justice Institute, whose president, Brad Dacus, described the impact of the decision as “stunning.”
“The scope of this decision by the appellate court is breathtaking,” he said. “It not only attacks traditional homeschooling, but also calls into question homeschooling through charter schools and teaching children at home via independent study through public and private school.”
“If not reversed, the parents of the more than 166,000 students currently receiving an education at home will be subject to criminal sanctions,” he said.
WND broke the story of the ruling against Phillip and Mary Long of Los Angeles.
The decision from the 2nd Appellate Court in Los Angeles granted a special petition brought by lawyers appointed to represent the two youngest children after the family’s homeschooling was brought to the attention of child advocates. The lawyers appointed by the state were unhappy with a lower court’s ruling that allowed the family to continue homeschooling and challenged it on appeal.
Justice H. Walt Croskey, whose opinion was joined by two other judges, then ordered: “Parents who fail to [comply with school enrollment laws] may be subject to a criminal complaint against them, found guilty of an infraction and subject to imposition of fines or an order to complete a parent education and counseling program.”
The determination reversed a decision from Superior Court Judge Stephen Marpet, who ruled “parents have a constitutional right to school their children in their own home.”
As WND has reported, the Longs had their children enrolled in Sunland Christian School, a private homeschooling program.
But Croskey, without hearing arguments from the school, opined that the situation was a “ruse of enrolling [children] in a private school and then letting them stay home and be taught by a non-credentialed parent.”
Officials with the school said they asked Pacific Justice to work on the Supreme Court appeal because the organization “has been in full compliance with the requirements of the law for more than 23 years.”
“We’ve never been given an opportunity to represent our case in the Court of Appeal,” Terry Neven, the president of the school, said. “Consequently, we are excited that PJI will represent us before the California Supreme Court so that the rights of homeschooling families are preserved.”
The ruling, on which WND previously reported, also issued a further warning of potential penalties for parents, this time in civil court.
It said under a section titled “Consequences of Parental Denial of a Legal Education” that “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.”
The school’s website notes it offers a homeschool/independent study program that is accredited. It began in Los Angeles in 1986 with 24 students and now serves more than 3,000 families.
“While SCS is a Christian program, we enroll any family desiring assistance in teaching their own children at home. All we ask is that each family respect our values,” the school said.
“The future of homeschooling (both public and private) in California requires the reversal of this decision,” Neven said.
WND also has reported on concerns expressed by Roy Hanson, chief of the Private and Home Educators of California, about the way the ruling was issued.
“Normally in a dependency court action, they simply make a ruling that will affect that family. It accomplishes the same thing, meaning they would force [the family] to place their minor children into school,” he said.
Such rulings on a variety of issues always are “done in the best interests of the child” and are not unusual, he said.
But in this case, the court said went much further, essentially concluding the state provided no circumstance that allowed parents to school their own children at home.
Specifically, the appeals court affirmed, the trial court had found that “keeping the children at home deprived them of situations where (1) they could interact with people outside the family, (2) there are people who could provide help if something is amiss in the children’s lives, and (3) they could develop emotionally in a broader world than the parents’ ‘cloistered’ setting.”
Further, the appeals ruling said, California law requires “persons between the ages of six and 18” to be in school, “the public full-time day school,” with exemptions allowed only for those in a “private full-time day school” or those “instructed by a tutor who holds a valid state teaching credential for the grade being taught.”
For homeschoolers in California, Hanson said, “there may be everywhere from concern to panic, just based on not knowing what the [ultimate] results will be.”
The Home School Legal Defense Association, the world’s premiere international advocacy organization for homeschoolers, emphasized that the ruling made no changes in California law regarding homeschooling.
While the decision from the appeals court “has caused much concern among California homeschoolers,” the HSLDA said, there are no immediate changes any homeschoolers need to address.
The Longs earlier told WND they also are considering an appeal to the state Supreme Court because of the impact of the order for their family, as well as the precedent that could be construed.
They have disputed with local officials over homeschooling and other issues for years, they said. In at least two previous decisions, courts affirmed their right to homeschool, they said.
The current case was brought by two attorneys who had been appointed by the state to represent the family’s minor children in a dependency case stemming from accusations of abuse that resulted from the parents’ decision to impose discipline on their children with spankings. The case actually had been closed out by the court as resolved when the lawyers filed their special appeal.
Phillip Long has told WND he objects to the pro-homosexual, pro-bisexual, pro-transgender agenda of California’s public schools, on which WND previously has reported.
“We just don’t want them teaching our children,” he told WND. “They teach things that are totally contrary to what we believe. They put questions in our children’s minds we don’t feel they’re ready for.
“When they are much more mature, they can deal with these issues, alternative lifestyles, and such, or whether they came from primordial slop. At the present time it’s my job to teach them the correct way of thinking,” he said.



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4 Responses to “Parents of 166,000 Homeschool students could face criminal charges”

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Rights are not freely granted top-down by some government authority.
It is only when people feel inalienable rights in their bones can they assert them proudly and openly. Parents should not be meek and humble as supplicants and petitioners in face of government heavy handedness.
Parents have choice in how their children are to be educated, publicly, privately, or at home. This ruling in California is so feudal it sticks out as an outrage in a democracy.
Furthermore, it is parents’ duty to educate their children. School laws across the free world state that. Only in totalitarian countries is home education not permitted.
The first School Laws in America (1642) underlie the system to this day: “Universal education of youth is essential to the well-being of the State. The obligation to furnish this education rests primarily upon the parents.”
Parent groups should evolve their own Charter of Parent Rights statements and educate their members about what is decent and proper in this day and age. I am providing a link to such a statement, compiled in 1977 in Canada, and which can serve as a good starting point for others.
I was heavily involved in Home Education causes in the 80’s and do know such statements empower parents to confidently do what is right by their children.
Tunya Audain

Home schooling is illegal in California. Most home schoolers are Christians and all they know to do is fearmonger. Just look at this as an example!

Larry, apparently you have a thing against Christians. I personally don’t homeschool, but 99% of the homeschoolers I know have a much better education than public school kids. If our public schools were doing their jobs, parents wouldn’t feel the need to homeschool.

As a grandmother of the early home education movement in North America, naturally I was concerned about the recent court ruling in California which basically criminalized about 200,000 home schooling parents lacking teaching credentials. Hopefully, if it is not overturned by the Supreme Court, Governor Schwarzenegger has promised legislative remedy: “Parents should not be penalized for acting in the best interests of their children’s education.”

I am very impressed by the extent and depth of feeling and outrage expressed by supporters. But, I am disappointed at the hostility and shallowness of those who are opposed, either out of self-interest (teacher unions) or basic intolerance. (Just Google California home schooling ruling…)

It is because this case even came up in 2008, and because the hostility and threat can be reasserted at any time, that I would like you to read my publication in 1987 which was useful in two ways: 1) to encourage home educators, and 2) to put the education establishment on notice about the legality and imperatives driving this movement. In the article I quote John Holt as saying: “Today freedom has different enemies. It must be fought for in different ways. It will take very different qualities of mind and heart to save it.”

Published in a prestigious educator magazine, it carries weight to this day, often quoted.

My history in home education goes back to 1972 when, after being credentialed from a Teachers College, I traveled with my children to Mexico to study under Ivan Illich of deschooling fame.

There I met with John Holt. He knew I had two young children with me, ages 3 and 5, and asked if I would be enrolling them in school soon. I said I might educate them at home.
He thought this was illegal, but I said I found from my readings at Teachers College that the “otherwise” clause in most Education Acts allowed it.
He then commented that at least I would be qualified to do it, having obtained a teaching certificate. Again, I enlightened him with the fact that this was not a requirement.
He then posed the thoughtful but predictable question about socialization, and we chatted about the various community opportunities available and the negative aspects of socialization that parents wanted to avoid.
His parting comment was: “Smart City!”
Using his mailing list which he used to encourage education reform, he soon embraced home education and in 1975 started a new publication, “Growing Without Schools.
Meanwhile, Dr. Raymond Moore was spreading the word amongst his mainly Christian audience and paid frequent visits to Vancouver, especially when we held Home Learning Fairs.
You can download the 5 page article: Home Education: the third option to see concerns of 20 years ago reappearing today……

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