Homeschooling, the Culture War, and the 2008 Elections

March 26, 2008
By Virginia Armstrong, Ph.D., National Chairman
Eagle Forum

On February 28, a three-judge California appellate court ruled that under California law, "parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children." This judicial war on homeschooling in California is a particularly egregious example of the threat posed by judges to the Judeo-Christian worldview on which the Constitution and American culture were founded and from which we have grown to greatness.

 

The In re RACHEL L. et al. decision is rooted deeply in Humanism's diabolical desire to take over America, and to seize the education system as a major weapon against the rest of the culture. Humanists have been infiltrating the public schools for decades, and have openly admitted their goals. "Education is thus the most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism." This assertion is not from a 2008 publication by the American Humanist Association. Rather, the statement appears in a 1930 publication, entitled Humanism: a New Religion, by Charles Francis Potter.

Humanistic successes in capturing California public education are evidenced by California's state Senate Bill 777 and Assembly Bill 394. WorldNetDaily reporter Bob Unruh has closely followed this crisis. On February 29, 2008 (just one day after the California Court of Appeals reported its decision), Unruh described these bills as embodying "plans that institutionalize the promotion of homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism and other alternative lifestyle choices." Although this plan still faces a court challenge and possible referendum vote, such measures as these are recognized as reasons why many parents are moving their children into a homeschool setting.

With Humanists now training their guns on homeschooling, the opinion by the Troublesome Trio on the California appellate court in the Long case warrants close scrutiny. This examination reveals several glaring errors. Consider the following.


Talking Points

  1. The California state constitution describes the purpose of public education in this manner: "A general diffusion of knowledge and intelligence being essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people, the Legislature shall encourage by all suitable means the promotion of intellectual, scientific, moral and agricultural improvement." The Troublesome Trio also observes that "A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare."
    But:
  • In view of what has already been said, how can any supporter of California public education contend, with a straight face, that the current state system promotes "moral improvement"? And how many young Californians are being tutored in "agricultural improvement," as the state constitution requires?
  • Why doesn't the California court opinion offer the rest of us unenlightened souls sufficient proof that homeschooling inherently fails to accomplish this stated educational purpose as well as (some would say "better than") the public schools? The judges accuse the Longs of making assertions that are "conclusional, not factually specific." This would seem to be a classic case of the kettle calling the pot black.

  2.   The juvenile court in the initial stages of the Long family controversy described the homeschooling being received by the Long children as "lousy," "meager," and "bad." Agreeing, the Troublesome Trio's opinion oozes with judicial solicitude for the poor deprived homeschoolers of California.

    • Again, we ask, where is the court's proof of the inherently poor quality of home education?
    • The Troublesome Trio contradicts its own expressions of warm, fuzzy concern for the quality of education being received by California's home-educated youths. But at one point in its opinion, the court approvingly quotes an earlier opinion by declaring that "[h]ome education, regardless of its worth, is not the legal equivalent of attendance in school in the absence of instruction by qualified private tutors [emphasis added]." The court dismisses here the very "educational quality" that its whole opinion professes to desire so fervently. And this hypocritical contradiction occurs, not just once, but twice, in the court opinion. The court also opines that "It is clear [courts' declarations of such clarity are not unusual but always raise the question as to why what is so clear to one, three, or nine judges is so "unclear" to millions of the rest of us] that [home education] whatever the quality of that education, [does not exempt students from compulsory public education] [emphasis added]."

      3.   The "quality" of homeschool education is not the judges' greatest concern. If it were, judges   should be expecting the other branches of government more qualified than courts to scrutinize intensely the "quality" of education in the public schools. The Humanistic judges' real objective appears to be expressed in the unproven and excessively broad declaration that "It is clear to us [that home schooling in general is unconstitutional in California]." Forcing students to ingest an educational diet permeated with Humanism is the judges' real agenda, as is indicated by the judicial mandate that "credentialed" teachers or tutors are required in the state. Homeschooling is a major threat to this Humanistic educational monopoly and must therefore be removed from the educational landscape.

    Questions for Candidates

    The significance of the California educational battle cannot be overlooked in this election year. The Long case raises vital cultural and legal questions which should be asked of candidates, including the following:

    • What is/are the purpose(s) of education?
    • Who has the primary responsibility and duty of educating our children?
    • Is homeschooling protected by the U. S. Constitution? Should it be?
    • Do governments have any power over homeschooling? If so, what?
      In the early Twentieth Century, the U. S. Supreme Court answered fundamental questions regarding parents and their children (Meyer v. Nebraska, 1923 and Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 1925). The Pierce Court, quoting from Meyer, forcefully stated this proposition regarding both the rights and responsibilities of "parents and guardians":


    The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excludes any general power of the State to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction of public teachers only. The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations [emphasis added].

    A major challenge facing homeschooling parents is to provide their children with an education that is of the very highest academic quality possible. A major challenge facing all other Americans is to protect the right of homeschooling parents to exercise this responsibility.
    --------------------
    SOURCE: Eagle Forum - leading the pro-family movement since 1972
     Subscribe to Eagle Forums alerts and newsletter, its free HERE


    National Chairman: Virginia Armstrong, Ph.D. * 2438 Industrial Blvd. PMB 190 * Abilene, TX 79605
    325-673-3020 * E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.