Reclaim your children
Posted: March 10, 2008
Watch out parents; they’re after your children again, this time in California, but it could spread nationally.
According to the judge in this case: “… parents don’t have a constitutional right to homeschool their children.”
Remember his name: Justice H. Walter Croskey. As he spoke of the 3-0 ruling issued Feb. 28, he added that failure to comply means that parents can be criminally prosecuted.
He’s talking about parents teaching their own children, in their own homes!
Then the judge helpfully explained the primary purpose of the education system: “… to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare.”
This statement, from an earlier, similar ruling, emphasizes “loyalty to the state” but omits loyalty to family and the welfare of the family as a basic right of citizens.
If you ever needed more proof that government and the courts are at odds with individual freedoms, go no further than this.
It’s no surprise the teachers union loves the ruling: It means full employment for teachers, more dues paid and more money for colleges teaching credentialing courses.
It also means pulling homeschooled children back into the system and recouping the millions of dollars of average daily attendance money the schools get from the state – which, of course, comes first from taxpayers.
Big Brother, anyone?
The decision by the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles puts it on the line: Every single child in the state, ages 6-18, must be taught by a credentialed teacher.
Each child must attend school full time, public or private, or be caught by a tutor. The caveat is that each teacher must have a state-issued credential for the grade level of the student.
This means there can be no homeschooling by parents, or even people knowledgeable in a field of study, if they don’t have that state license.
On that basis, Albert Einstein couldn’t teach math. Leonardo Da Vinci couldn’t teach art. William Shakespeare couldn’t teach literature. George Washington couldn’t teach about the Revolutionary War and the founding of our country. Martin Luther King, Jr. couldn’t teach about the civil rights movement.
You get the picture.
California says to be credentialed you must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, complete a credentialing post-grad course, do student teaching, pass the reading, writing and math state tests and complete courses on the U.S. Constitution, computer skills, reading and language.
Silly me. I always assumed that anyone with a legitimate bachelor’s degree would know how to read, do basic math and write. Actually, I thought high school graduates could do that. Apparently not, since California requires extra and separate courses on those skills for would-be teachers.
So much for our education system, which is why so many parents avoid public schools for their children.
It’s estimated there are upwards of 166,000 homeschooled children in California. Under this court decision, all of them would be considered truant.
Their parents would be subject to prosecution, found guilty of an infraction, fined, ordered to community service and civil penalties, including parental counseling.
If “educational neglect” is found, the children could be removed from the home.
This ruling would end homeschooling in California and make it the only state in the union to deprive parents, under court order, from their fundamental human right to teach their own children.
This case came about because of a child welfare investigation in Los Angeles County. Mary and Philip Long were homeschooling their eight children. Mrs. Long is the teacher, but she’s not credentialed. The children were also enrolled in the Sunland Christian School as part of an independent study program.
Apparently, one of the children complained to someone about “mistreatment.” As part of the investigation, a juvenile court judge found the children were being “poorly educated” (because of homeschooling) but made no changes.
However, lawyers appointed for the children after child advocates got involved pursued the issue. The appeals court then ordered the children to state schools, not permitting them to continue with Sunland school because it (Sunland) “was willing to participate in the deprivation of the children’s right to a legal education.”
Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, says there will be an appeal to the state Supreme Court, but at this point, the ruling stands.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is furious, saying if the ruling isn’t overturned in the courts, elected officials will protect parents’ rights.
We’ll see. Teachers’ unions are the most powerful lobbyists in the state.
Living in this country today is like being stranded in the middle of a hail storm. You get hit with chunks of ice coming at you from every direction, and there’s nothing you can do about it. It hurts. It’s damaging. There’s no end in sight, and often there’s nothing that you can do about it.
It seems everything is spinning out of control. The government on every level, from local to national; the judiciary on every level; the bureaucracy in every facet of life, schools, businesses, medicine, social organizations and yes, sometimes even churches: All have spread their tentacles into what used to be our personal lives and taken control to one degree or another.
Sometimes it’s major, sometimes minor, but it adds up to loss of privacy and loss of control of our lives, families, children, homes, property, jobs, medical care, social activities and what ever else they can infiltrate.
Despite the efforts of many, we are still the “home of the brave,” but we’re losing out on being “the home of the free.”
This is the real battle on the home front. It’s a battle we must win. The alternative is totalitarianism, and it’s closer than we realize.
Related special offers:Why homeschooling? New resource gives reasons parent education trumps all other options
Barbara Simpson, “The Babe in the Bunker,” as she’s known to her KSFO 560 radio talk-show audience in San Francisco, has a 20-year radio, TV and newspaper career in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.