February 8, 2023

Homeschool advocates fight for parental rights

WND Exclusive

Oral arguments heard to decide fate of California educational choice © 2008 WorldNetDaily

Oral arguments were heard today in the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles, with the fate of homeschooling in California at stake.

As WND reported earlier, the court’s decision four months ago to compel two homeschooled children to attend a public or qualifying private school effectively stated that parents held neither a statutory right nor a constitutional right to provide homeschooling for their own children.

HSLDA chairman, Michael Farris

After much public and political outcry, the appeal court agreed to revisit its prior ruling.

Michael Farris, chairman and co-founder of the Homeschooling Legal Defense Association, was one of many attorneys from several organizations urging the court to reconsider, and he presented the day’s final argument.

“Anybody that claims they know which way the court will decide would be wrong,” Farris told WND.

“The judges asked very hard, pointed questions,” he said. “There was no indication that they thought their prior ruling was wrong.”

Specifically, Farris said, the judges asked why they should permit homeschooling when California changed the law to withdraw it from the statutes in the early 1900s.

Attorneys advocating homeschooling argued that when California in 1967 added the singular word “person” to the list of those that can operate a legitimate private school, it opened the door for homeschooling. “If a person can provide education, if one person can operate a school,” argued the attorneys, “then why not a parent?”

“Their questions were about the 1910s; our answer was from the 1960s,” Farris told WND.

Furthermore, said Farris, “I argued that the California constitution requires the state to encourage all education. It’s the court’s duty, rather than banning education, to encourage it.”

He also urged the judges to take into account the thousands of people who have implied from the 1967 law that homeschooling is permissible “and not willy-nilly overturn that practice.”

An estimated 166,000 children are being homeschooled in California, and their parents and advocates have expressed concern that the court’s original ruling would leave parents who educate their children at home open to criminal truancy charges and civil charges for child neglect.

Some grounds for that concern may come from the appeal court’s first ruling, where it said 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.”

Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, a parental rights advocacy organization involved in the case, told WND earlier, “We are looking forward to this opportunity to defend the thousands of families who are making sacrifices to teach their children at home. The state should be applauding, not threatening, these families,” he said.

Though he expressed concern over which way the judges would decide, Farris told WND, “We hope that the court reverses its decision and restores homeschool freedom to California.”

Thank government school for same-sex marriage

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=67422By Olivia St. John
© 2008

Christians get ready: If you think the battle to uphold traditional marriage can be won, think again. It’s over.

The homosexuals and their supporters know it.

Anna Quindlen in Newsweek opined that the day is soon coming when societal acceptance of pansexual marriage will be deemed “ordinary.” Why? Quindlen answers the question spot on: “The younger you are, the more likely you are to know someone who is gay. The more likely you are to know someone who is gay, the more likely you are to support gay marriage. The opposition is aging out.” (Emphasis added.)

In light of California’s recent unconstitutional judiciary legalization of homosexual marriage, the Associated Press reports, “A majority of California voters now support same-sex marriage and oppose amending the state constitution to outlaw gay marriage.”

The Field (California) Poll found that 28 percent of voters approved of homosexual marriage in 1977. In 2006, the percentage of participants approving the action climbed to 44 percent. The latest Field Poll conducted in May shows that today’s same-sex marriage supporters have risen to 51 percent.

The line has now been crossed.

And the numbers continue to grow as children study propaganda under the secular tutelage of government schools actively promoting GLBTQ lifestyles. In case you don’t know, GLBTQ is the acronym for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning. American public school children may lag behind other nations in English and math, but they are light years ahead in Deviancy 101.

A Citizenlink Issue Analysis indicated that pro-homosexual activities sponsored in public schools influence students’ views on GLBTQ issues. For example, a Zogby poll indicates that the vast majority of high school seniors support legal recognition of homosexual relationships. Polls also show that most young people support the right of homosexuals to adopt children.

USA Today reports that American high schools included a “few dozen Gay-Straight Alliance clubs” in the mid-’90s. A major pro-homosexual organization says there are now over 3,500.

Teenagers quoted in the article include one lesbian high school senior who recalled “attending her first meeting at the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance club when she was in the ninth grade.” In suburban Seattle, a 16-year-old said he had “brought boyfriends to several dances at his high school.” According to the article, Anthony D’Augelli with Pennsylvania State University says that “schools are more likely than in the past to have openly gay staff members who can help young people.”

Today’s public school youths are more knowledgeable in deviant sexual variants than their parents are, yet most Christian parents and churches shy away from the topic and pretend homosexual influence is not in their community public schools.

Even more alarming, Christian public school teachers are placing their own job security ahead of the spiritual well-being of children. Many say Christians wield great influence in the public school system, while the statistical fact is that 85 percent of public school children reared in Christian families fall away from the faith by the time they reach college. The argument is that if Christians exit the schools, the children of unbelievers will be abandoned. This is a fallacy since studies show that Christians currently in the schools are making little difference, while falling victim to secularists proselytizing Christian children.

A lack of backbone was noticeably demonstrated when the Southern Baptist Convention or SBC, recently rejected a resolution confronting the impact of California legislation giving GLBTQ public school teachers freedom to discuss their own sexual preferences with students, while charging any child who objects with discrimination.

Children of all ages in California’s public schools are being taught that homosexual marriage is good. By state mandate, they are learning to accept as normal different family constructs consisting of lesbians, transsexuals, transvestites, polygamists and others.

Still, the convention leadership spurned the SBC pro-family resolution by claiming the issue of children being taught deviancy in public schools is irrelevant because it has no bearing on the current homosexual marriage issue.

Yes, you read that correctly. The Southern Baptist Convention rejected a resolution encouraging California churches to voluntarily educate their parishioners regarding deviancy in the public schools and consider an exodus from the system, while at the same time offering viable educational alternatives.

Janet Folger, WND columnist and president of Faith2Action, recently pinpointed the core issue: “It’s really not about ‘marriage’ for same-sex couples as much as it’s about furthering a homosexual agenda.”

The homosexual agenda is thriving in the nation’s public schools. This is what is driving the proliferating acceptance of homosexual marriage. Ron Wilson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Thousand Oaks, Calif., describes public schools as the “main training grounds for the teaching of same-sex marriage.”

Bruce Shortt, author of “The Harsh Truth about Public Schools,” says that even if the legalization of California’s same-sex marriages is overturned, K-12 students are still being taught that such marriages are good. As a result, the acceptance of the homosexual agenda is incubating within the hearts of thousands of children in California. And ultimately, millions are infected with mind poison as public schools across the country allow perverse dogma to proliferate.

Describing the spiritual carnage left by the SBC leadership, Shortt writes, “… they now bear part of the responsibility for every little girl and every little boy who is spiritually and morally defiled by the teachings of the sexual deviants in control of the school system.” Shortt says this includes children who will be sexually molested, or whose lives will be destroyed due to being led into “a lifestyle of gross sexual sin” resulting in potential death from AIDS.

Unless or until Christians remove their children from public school warehouses, pansexual marriage will one day be legal in all 50 states. Americans can fight laws passed by legislatures. Lawyers can battle rulings unconstitutionally legislated from the bench. Parents can continue feeble attempts to reform public school policies set by the pro-homosexual National Education Association. But they will one day wake up to find that America’s children, dumbed-down and educated in deviancy in the nation’s public schools, have grown to adulthood and created a different nation.

They will vote against the traditional values their parents once voiced, but never sacrificed for. Currently, most pastors will not sacrifice monetary gain derived from two-parent incomes, public school teachers and the IRS so that children can be protected. Many Christian parents will not sacrifice bigger homes, newer cars and more expensive vacations to provide education alternatives for their children.

Perhaps 20 years from now when the majority of churches have lost enough members to necessitate ministerial layoffs, Christians will turn away from their government-school idolatry.

When that happens, let’s pray there are still educational alternatives left.

Related special offers:

“The Harsh Truth About Public Schools”

California-Court Filings Complete

From: “Home School Legal Defense Association” <hslda@hslda.org>
Date: Thu, 22 May 2008 17:33:15 -0400
Subject: California–Court Filings Complete


From the HSLDA E-lert Service…

California–Court Filings Complete

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

On May 19 all the filings of the legal briefs to re-hear the case In
re Rachel L. were completed.

The Court of Appeal, which made the fateful decision on February 28,
2008 to declare all homeschooling illegal unless the parent is a
certified teacher, will now begin the process of considering the
arguments. The current schedule anticipates oral arguments to begin
this June.

HSLDA has been at the forefront of the process to defend the right to
homeschool in California and across the country. In this case, we
were able to successfully help Gary Kreep of the U.S. Justice
Foundation, who represents the father at the center of this case, Mr.
L., to prepare the arguments to grant the petition for re-hearing.
When the Court of Appeal granted the petition for rehearing, the
original opinion was vacated and no longer has any legal effect.

Furthermore, in the latest round of filings, we have also been able to
provide substantial assistance to the Alliance Defense Fund, which is
partnering with the U.S. Justice Foundation in order to make the
strongest argument possible to preserve homeschool freedom in
California. So much is at stake, and all parties involved have shared
their unique perspective to present the best case possible.

HSLDA has also filed a friend-of-the-court brief in conjunction with
Focus on the Family and Family Protection Ministries to show the
benefits of a home education. These arguments draw on the extensive
development of homeschooling and the successful track record of
parents educating their children at home.

Also, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has filed a brief
(http://gov.ca.gov/pdf/press/051908Brief.pdf) in conjunction with the
Attorney General of California, which supports a parent’s right to
homeschool. Their brief begins with this statement: “Recognizing that
home-schooling has a long and positive history in California and
across the nation, the State of California provides a broad statutory
framework that authorizes and regulates the practice.” In other
words, the Governor and Attorney General are strongly arguing for no
changes to the current law.

While we do not know what the court will decide, you can be confident
that hundreds of hours were spent by many different organizations to
defend your right to homeschool.

We hope and pray for a successful outcome in this case.


J. Michael Smith
HSLDA President
The HSLDA E-lert Service is a service of:

Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, Virginia 20134
Phone: (540) 338-5600
Fax: (540) 338-2733
Email: info@hslda.org
Web: http://www.hslda.org


The Governor has weighed in with an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief, saying that existing California law gives three different ways that parents can legally home educate. He says the only reason to consider constitutional issues is if specific cases fall outside of those three avenues.

Nineteen members of Congress also filed an amicus brief in favor of home education rights. CHEA and the other two statewide support networks joined together in their own amicus brief.

And other groups, including HSLDA, have submitted amicus briefs.

In case you have not seen the good summary on the status in California from HSLDA’s perspective, I’m including it below.

Gov. Arnold: Let homeschooling continue
‘State provides a broad statutory basis for education by parents in California’

Homeschool Groups Submit Appeal to Court

Will Smith Homeschooled his two children until they were 9 & 7


Will Smith Pays $1M to Lease School For His Kids



Hollywood superstar Will Smith has taken hands-on parenting to a whole new level. The actor is reportedly investing more than $1 million in a new school near his California home. According to reports, Smith has paid $889,000 to lease the Indian Hills High School, after failing to find a suitable institute for his two young children – nine year-old Jaden and seven year-old Willow.

Until now the blockbuster actor and his wife, fellow actor Jada Pinkett Smith have been homeschooling the two children. The school, located in Calabasas, CA, has been renamed the New Village Academy of Calabasas

“Will is leasing the campus for three years, plus he’ll cover all costs such as utilities,” said a Smith family spokesman. “The academy will be run privately, and will include prekindergarten through grade six.”

Son Jaden starred opposite his famous father in the movie “The Pursuit of Happiness.” Willow, for her part, made an appearance in Smith’s blockbuster hit “I Am Legend.”

HSLDA on California-Home schooling and smacking


The Washington Times
April 28, 2008

Washington Times Op-ed—California May Ban Spanking

by J. Michael Smith
HSLDA President

It’s often said that California is a trendsetter. Ideas that begin in California have a habit of making their way across the country.

Currently, many families have been alarmed at the recent California Court of Appeal ruling that prohibits homeschooling unless the parent is a certified teacher.

In just 10 days, more than 250,000 people signed the Home School Legal Defense Association petition opposing this decision. Not all these families were homeschoolers. James Dobson of Focus on the Family says the ruling was an “all-out assault on the family.”

The good news is that the Court of Appeal has granted a request for a rehearing of its decision on homeschooling, which by law, automatically vacates the decision, meaning it’s no longer binding.

The court has solicited a number of public school establishment organizations to submit amicus briefs, including the California Superintendent of Public Instruction, the California Department of Education, the Los Angeles Unified School District, and three California teachers unions.

Although there is no guarantee the outcome will be different after the rehearing, The homeschool community welcomes the opportunity to file an amicus brief advocating that the court retain the current method of homeschooling in California through the private school exemption.

Just when things seemed to be settling down in California, on April 3, Assembly Bill 2943 was introduced by assembly member Sally Lieber. This bill would have the practical effect of making a noninjurious spanking with an object such as a ruler, folded newspaper or small paddle illegal in California. The bill is identical to Assembly Bill 755, which failed to pass the assembly last year.

This bill amends Penal Code section 273(a), which makes it a crime to cause unjustifiable pain, harm or injury to any minor child. If the bill passes, spanking with an object such as a stick, rod or switch would be lumped in with throwing, kicking, burning, or cutting a child.

Striking a child with a fist. Striking a child under 3 years of age on the face or head. Vigorously shaking of a child under 3 years of age. Interfering with a child’s breathing. Brandishing a deadly weapon upon a child. These are all factors that a jury could use to conclude that a defendant in a criminal case has inflicted unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering.

What the bill would do is to equate discipline administered via an implement with the above conduct, which obviously is abusive behavior toward a child.

This likely will have several negative unjustifiable consequences in California. Prosecutors could end up filing criminal charges against parents for simply spanking their children with an object even though reasonable, age-appropriate corporal discipline is a protected right of parents in every state.

Secondly, by the mere fact that jurors in criminal cases would be instructed that they could consider spanking with an implement to be criminal conduct would imply that the legislature believes that this type of conduct is abusive conduct. Finally, if this law passes, it will have a chilling effect on parents who reasonably exercise discipline through the use of spanking with an implement.

Although this is not a homeschool issue, it is a parental rights issue. One of the foundations for the right to homeschool is based upon the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children.

The erosion of parental rights is a dangerous trend. If California continues to push to have homeschooling parents be certified teachers and limit heretofore well-established disciplinary tools of parents, it will be asserting the view that the state knows what’s best for children, thereby limiting the authority of parents to raise their children in a responsible way.

Defending parental rights is apparently going to be an uphill battle in California. Now is the time to take a look at amending the U.S. Constitution to protect parental rights.

Michael Smith is the president of the Home School Legal Defense Association. He may be contacted at (540)338-5600; or send email to media@hslda.org.