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Judge: "Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children"

Justice H. Walter Croskey of the 2nd District Court of Appeals in California wrote those words in a a Feb. 28 opinion is a case involving home schooling. The ruling requires that parents who home school their children have valid teaching credentials. From The Los Angeles Times:

"This decision is a direct hit against every home schooler in California," said Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, which represents the Sunland Christian School, which specializes in religious home schooling. "If the state Supreme Court does not reverse this . . . there will be nothing to prevent home-school witch hunts from being implemented in every corner of the state of California."

The institute estimates there are as many as 166,000 California students who are home schooled. State Department of Education officials say there is no way to know the true number.

Unlike at least 30 other states, home schooling is not specifically addressed in California law. Under the state education code, students must be enrolled in a public or private school, or can be taught at home by a credentialed tutor.

The California Department of Education currently allows home schooling as long as parents file paperwork with the state establishing themselves as small private schools, hire credentialed tutors or enroll their children in independent study programs run by charter or private schools or public school districts while still teaching at home.

What utter garbage... As California is well-known for being revitalizing the use of the voter initiated constitutional amendment process, concerned Californians should immediately start working on an amendment to guarantee the right to home school. I'd love to see that as an issue in the presidential campaign...

Perhaps it's just coincidence that the very same edition of the Times has a story about a special education assistant convicted of stealing the lunch money of an student 57 times over a three month period...


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Comments (16)

In Pierce v. Society of ... (Below threshold)

In Pierce v. Society of Sisters, in 1925, the United States Supreme Court struck down a 1922 Oregon law compelling all children to attend State-run schools. Justice McReynolds, writing for the majority, posited that the fundamental meaning of the word liberty precludes a law mandating any particular style or content of juvenile instruction: "The child is not the mere creature of the State....this law clashes with the fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose."

Perhaps we'll see this battle replayed in California.

As a home schooling parent,... (Below threshold)

As a home schooling parent, I have to say, that I am not suprised, but I am disgusted with the government thinking it knows what is best for our children and they can make better choices than parents. Yet, they are failing miserably at governing our country, both Democrats and Republicans. This goes to the fundamental rights of parents to raise their children without interference from the government.

:..or can be taught at home... (Below threshold)

:..or can be taught at home by a credentialed tutor."

That is pretty clear. This sounds like a bunch of egomaniacs who don't think state laws apply to them.

Just another reason that an... (Below threshold)

Just another reason that any one with any sense should flee the state of Mexifornia as soon as possible. The ones without sense should stay there please.

Thank you to the government... (Below threshold)

Thank you to the government of California for stepping in on behalf of children. I hope more states follow suit. I belong to that group of "silent ones," children forcibly homeschooled and isolated from society for the first 18+ years of their lives.

College and daily life have been a struggle for me since leaving home. It is extremely difficult and painful to seam into a social network without basic social skills. In college and work environments the scheduling laxity of my parents made it difficult for me to keep up with deadline-oriented way the rest of the world operates. My "education" prior to college was mostly a joke; certainly my parents taught me very little aside from demonstrating strongly how I DON'T want to be when I am responsible for young children. Maybe now homeschooling parents will have to get their sh!t together or send their children to environments where the kids will learn basic social skills and important lessons in science, mathematics, and government.

This is a plea to other homeschoolers like me: Speak up. Let your voices be heard. Talk about the downsides of homeschooling instead of covering up your painful past. The Harvard kids are a minority of lucky ones. The rest of us have very different stories.

Ah yes, just because you... (Below threshold)

Ah yes, just because you had a bad homeschooling experience, all homeschooling parents should be punished. That makes total freaking sense. Nevermind that there are many homeschooled kids who do better than kids who went through public education systems. Nevermind that there are some students who, for various physical reasons, cannot go to school and their parents cannot afford special tutors. And let's just ignore the fact that many public schools are intellectually and morally bankrupt. Oh, let's also just shred the Constitution; it's a little outdated anyway, right?

Perhaps instead of whining about it, Maya, you should go do something about your own situation. Oh, that's right; it's so much easier to blame people around you rather than step up to the plate and improve yourself.

Barney is still a contender... (Below threshold)

Barney is still a contender for dumbest comment of the year.

Maya,Sorry you had a... (Below threshold)

Sorry you had a bad home school experience. We home schooled our five children until they entered a magnet college prep-high school. One received a State of California scholarship for his outstanding grades and test scores in college prep chemistry. My youngest daughter cultivated many enemies who did everything they could to make her life a living hell. The teachers were worse than the students, and her grades fell every year she was at this award winning public school. After three years, they kicked her out, in the middle of finals, saying she was obviously not ready for a college prep program. After she moved to another school some of the girls started to call her new friends so the could, "warn them about the type of person she really was." She had everything going for her and the petty jealousy of her classmates and teachers made her absolutely miserable. She is okay with all of it now, but one size does not fit all when it comes to a child's education choice.

It takes a village to raise... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

It takes a village to raise a useful idiot.

Hold on: The LA Times Stor... (Below threshold)

Hold on: The LA Times Story was wrong

Check out Ace:

This is just ho the NAZI ED... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

This is just ho the NAZI EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION(NEA)wants it and these imperial judges grant them what they want maybe its time to start defying these unelected judicial jerks and tell them to stick it up their gavel

Maya clearly thinks that ch... (Below threshold)

Maya clearly thinks that children are subjects of the state and parents are mere caretakers.

Maya and others,IF... (Below threshold)

Maya and others,

IF you are really a "ex-homeschooled" student and not a member of the local teacher's union I would like to point out that your education served you well. Your writing skills far surpass those of nearly all public school seniors that I have encountered. I suppose you would not bother thanking your dear parents for whatever they did right, so perhaps I can do so for you:

Dear Parents of Maya,

You gave your daughter life and a beautiful name. You educated her to have amazing writing skills and excellent argumentation skills. I don't think you are responsible for teaching her to be ungrateful. That she did all on her own. As a homeschool mom I know what you must have given up to give her protection from a failing educational system where children are NOT taught "social skills". Certainly you understood that the way to "social skills" that Maya bemoans the lack of is not to place her with other UNSOCIALIZED persons. If, perchance, Maya had been a puppy (with less heartbreak for you, I bet) you would not have placed her with 1600 other unsocialized puppies to learn her social skills. Instead, you loved her and took her with you and showed her how you, socialized adults, interacted with others. Chances are you took her to the store, the bank, perhaps even to your own place of work and let her see more advanced "social skills" than she would ever encounter in a school where gang mentality, immaturity and anarchy rule. In school she could have learned how to put up with boys making rude and sexual comments...if you wanted her to learn that you could take her to a construction site where it would be done with more manners than the local school. In school dear Maya could have learned that she was only worth the fashion statement of the clothing she wore. Maya could have been herded, like cattle, from place to place on a campus where she could search each day for someone who cared about her and come back empty. Perhaps Maya could have started acting out...or maybe she would just have dealt with her pain by finding some nice, inexpensive street drugs. If street drugs were unavailable, she could turn to a friend that would sell her Vicodan or some other quality narcotic. Maya, sadly, didn't get the lesson even though you made the sacrifice. Thank you, from the bottom of MY heart for what you did for her. You were brave, and someday Maya may see that when her own children are abused and fall through the cracks of the local school system.

The system, after all, was created on a model to raise future warriors. It wasn't created to raise citizens who think for themselves or have been loved. To be a good warrior you need to know how to follow directions...blindly if possible.

Maya doesn't know how blessed she was.

The public school system: "Usually a twelve year sentence of mind control. Crushing creativity, smashing individualism, encouraging collectivism and compromise, destroying the exercise of intellectual inquiry, twisting it instead into meek subservience to authority."
-Walter Karp

judge Walter Croskey is try... (Below threshold)
lynn wilson:

judge Walter Croskey is trying like many other folks trying to take our God given right to raise our children in a way that we feel is safe, sometimes the best way to see that our children get a good education we have rights and that is the second admendment. if it happen in california it can happen every where

"The Harvard kids are a ... (Below threshold)

"The Harvard kids are a minority of lucky ones. The rest of us have very different stories."

Okay, Maya. Let's see the links and sources to the "rest of us". Social disorders can occur in public and private schools as well.

Maya, I went to a good publ... (Below threshold)

Maya, I went to a good public school in a good district. Guess what? It didn't prepare me for college. Nor did the social opportunities do very much for me. High school was ok, but junior high was vicious. Elementary school was, too. Because it is "extremely difficult and painful to seam into a social network" when you just don't fit in with the others.

I was high-achieving, GT and just didn't really know how to relate. Thus I was fairly ostracized.

But you know what is weird? I never blamed anyone for it...not even the school system that sat silently by, sometimes siding with the "bullies."

Point is, people have good and bad experiences in any environment and you cannot judge the entire community based on the experience of one. Otherwise, you would have to close all the public schools under the same reasoning.






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