Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Below is this article, Homeschooling Banned in California as State Turns Parents Into Criminals for Teaching Their Own Children, that I just finished reading over at NaturalNews.com. It's a stunner.

(NaturalNews) A California appeals court has ruled that homeschooling of children is illegal unless their parents have teaching credentials from the state.

"California is now on the path to being the only state to deny the vast majority of homeschooling parents their fundamental right to teach their own children at home," said Michael Smith, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association.

The court overturned a lower court's finding that homeschooling did not constitute a violation of child welfare laws.

"California courts have held that ... parents do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children," Justice H. Walter Croskey said.

The decision stunned parents of the state's roughly 166,000 homeschooled children. While the court claimed that it was merely clarifying an existing law and not making a new one, the decision leaves the parents of homeschooled children at risk of arrest and criminal prosecution.

"At first, there was a sense of, 'No way,' " homeschool parent Loren Mavromati said. "Then there was a little bit of fear. I think it has moved now into indignation."

Parents' reasons for homeschooling their children range from religious beliefs to dissatisfaction with the education received at public or private schools. But according to the court, all California children between the ages of 6 and 18 must attend either a full-time public or private school or be taught by a tutor credentialed for their specific grade level.

"A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation," Croskey wrote.

California's largest teachers union welcomed the decision as did the Children's Law Center of Los Angeles.

According to the law center's executive director, Leslie Heimov, children should not be educated at home, because they need to be "in a place daily where they would be observed by people who had a duty to ensure their ongoing safety."

Now, particularly look at those last three paragraphs.

First, I take issue with a primary purpose of the educational system being to train kids in loyalty to the state and nation. I thought the primary purpose was to teach them basic skills needed for life and to think for themselves, but never did I think it was to indoctrinate them into loyalty to the government.

Second, that last sentence implies that teachers have more of a duty to ensure the childrens' ongoing safety than the parents do, and I'm sorry but that is just bullshit. NOBODY is going to be more concerned about the safety of my child than me, and I am insulted by anyone who thinks that teachers are going to be more concerned than I.

Here's another article with more detailed information. Apparently this is fairly old news being reported at Natural News as the appeals court ruling happened this past February and was reported by major news outlets in early March 2008. However, it's one of those stories that gets little press at the time, and since it affects a relatively small minority of people few pay attention.

I don't homeschool, but I don't have anything against it in the majority of cases. To make it illegal across the board unless you have an accredited teacher as a tutor seems to be overly restrictive. I've known accredited teachers I wouldn't trust to teach N much of anything, and I've known wonderfully skilled teachers who weren't accredited that were gifted at it. Yes, we need to accredit teachers who will work in our public school systems, but for homeschooling? I don't think so.


Anonymous said...

You may be Democrat at heart, and I may be Republican at heart, but we totally agree on this issue.

Serenity said...

I know, I know, but i could not keep silent on this topic, i have been a big believer in homeschooling since my oldest son was born, though i never did have the courage to actually try it. School always worked for us, other than middle school, ugh. Anyway, i think it's unbelievable that they have taken away the fundamental right of parents to homeschool. Sure there are some flaky parents who maybe aren't following the curriculum as closely as they should, but there are some pretty piss poor teachers in the school system too.
And this" "A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation" alarms the hell out of me, even as a Canadian. Maybe more so because i am.
You don't have to keep this comment on your blog of you don't want to. I understand i am a pariah! :)

C-Marie said...

Reading that just simply chaps my arse! Why is it that so many of our liberties as parents become ashes at a burning stake?
I'll agree with the above comments;
I know a lot of parents who have chosen to home school their children and I might say - their children might be better for it. Aren't we as parents the first in educators to our children?
I have also known quite a few *teachers* through out various school systems who could give a rats ass to the welfare and education of our students, let alone their safety?

It's called: M.O.N.E.Y!

Man, that just burns me up!

Fusion said...

Nothing that happens in this state surprises me anymore, why do you think I left? One big reason was the 100% fucked up school system here, and I'm sorry if that offends any Californians or CA teachers that read this, but the system COMPLETELY failed my daughter. She had to have two years of special ed to catch back up in Idaho. And all the California school system is concerned with is bodies in the classroom so they get their federal funding, period.
Sorry for ranting on your blog True, but it's been 13 years and I still burn over this...

And pariah or not, Serenity makes a good point, esp with the big brotherly Croskey comment. Loyality to the state? WTF!

BJ said...

I've already got an axe to grind about the educational system in this country and now this! This is insane. This is one issue on which I'm definitely not a leftie.

Desmond Jones said...

We have many friends who home-school, and several of their kids have gone on to terrific success in college (my GF2's daughter was just accepted into med school).

And we did a few months of home-schooling when 3M got 'ejected' from the Catholic school. And, he actually enjoyed it and did better with us than he ever did at a 'real' school, at least after 4th grade or so. . .

I think you nailed it on the head when you called out the quote about 'loyalty to the state'; it has become all too apparent that indoctrination is all too much of the agenda of the 'government schools' (as they are known in the UK). It's the same old impulse of "We're from the government, and we know what you need even better than you do, so shut up and do what we tell you. . ."

It's just that I'm still not quite used to it being stated quite so baldly. . .

Trueself said...

SM - Hmm, bipartisan agreement. . . scary. ;-)

Serenity - You are the only one who considers yourself a pariah here. Feel free to comment to your heart's content here.

C-Marie - Not just liberties as parents, liberties as people I'm afraid.

Fuse - Sorry to hear your daughter was failed so badly by the schools there. Had we stayed in CA I would've sent N to a private school no matter what I had to give up to afford it. No way would I have put him in the CA public school system.

BJ - I think it has more to do with common sense than being left or right wing. Just my humble opinion.

Des - I, too, found it shocking that a judge would so baldly state it in a ruling. It gave me the shivers when I read it.