Monday, March 10, 2008

California Court of Appeals Strikes Again!

In February, the California Court of Appeals ruled that parents do not have a right to teach their own kids in their own home. The Court of Appeals decided that homeschooling was illegal, and was not protected by the constitution. The Alliance Defense Fund has a few articles up about the decision and has a link to the 18 page decision by the court.


There are a few facts that might be of interest. First, California law does not address homeschooling one way or another. According to the San Francisco Gate, “There is no provision in the California Education Code or elsewhere in state law that addresses the issue of homeschooling.” All the code says is that kids are required to attend school. In California, most parents fill out the proper paper work to have their home designated as a private school. According to the Gate, there are over 18,000 private schools in California with less than five students. However, where there is no law, the California Court of Appeals has taken it upon themselves to act as the Legislative Branch and write their own law.


Second, the original case didn’t deal with the homeschooling issue for these children. Again, in the words of the Gate, “[a]lthough the case did not involve the question of the children’s truancy, the court decision broadly addressed the legality of homeschooling in California.” The original case involved a charge of physical / emotional abuse by one of the parents. Apparently, the courts have decided that the best way to monitor this is to force the kids to enroll in public schools.


Finally, in the words of Bill Bennett, every parent is a teacher, but not every teacher is a parent. Parents are responsible for teaching their children many of life’s lessons. I think very few of my readers would argue for religious instruction in public school. The debate surrounding evolution usually touches many people’s nerves. However, if as a parent, I don’t like the way these topics are treated in school, I always have the right to teach my child at home. Children have been home schooled since before there was a United States. To have the California Court of Appeals decide parents don’t have a right to teach their children shows just how out of touch with reality the court is.

5 comments:

BunGirl said...

Sometimes I really wonder what on earth the judges out there in good old Cali are thinking... /sigh Makes me thankful I live in the great state of Texas!

familyman said...

I love California, but this sounds like a pretty stupid decision.

SomeGoSoftly said...

Interesting post, thanks for educating me!

Andy D said...

No matter what you think of the state, this is a terrible decision. What's worse is that there is now precedent for this type of idiotic decision.

pack04 said...

Californians have nobody to blame but themselves. They voted in these people. Perhaps a case of uninformed voters again. Makes you sort of think that maybe there should be some sort of voting test...