For it is by grace you have been saved...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Homeschool Freedom

Dear Reader,

I don’t know if you consider yourself the activist type or not, but I would encourage you to read and sign this petition being offered through the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).

I mentioned in an earlier post about the recent decision in a California Court of Appeals which basically decided that homeschooling is illegal in California unless a parent is a certified teacher.

According the HSLDA:

The Court could have restricted its decision to the facts before it, but instead, it issued a broad ruling that effectively outlaws home education in California. The Court also certified its decision for publication, which means that the decision can now be cited as legal authority by all other courts in California.

One option to keep homeschooling free in California is to petition the Supreme Court of California to “depublish” the opinion. If the opinion is “depublished” then it cannot be used by other California courts and this threat to homeschool freedom will be neutralized for other California homeschoolers.
Regardless of the particulars of this specific case, the court has obviously gone too far in issuing such a broad reaching decision. As someone who enjoys the freedom to homeschool, and furthermore considers this freedom to be a basic right that should be available to all in all 50 states without interference from the government, I want to stand alongside our California brethren. Signing a petition is the very least I can do.

I would urge you to join me in signing the HSLDA’s petition, as well as to pray for homeschoolers in California, and the rest of the nation for that matter. We are living in a day when the freedom of individuals, especially Christian individuals it seems, is slowly being eroded right from under our feet. Forgive the alarmist sounding note, but we need to unite and stand firm against such erosion if we want our children to enjoy the freedoms we take for granted.

So please, commit this to prayer and consider signing this petition.


COD said...

There is absolutely no threat to homeschoolers from the proceedings there. One family with a long and documented history of runs ins with child welfare in CA was homeschooling without properly registering their home as a private school in CA. They got caught. They tried to hide behind homeschool laws that don’t exist and the judge called them on it. So now they are crying religious persecution.

This is a child welfare issue, not a homeschooling issue. More details are available at

Scott said...

Thanks for the comments and the link. I'm sure others have different takes on all this, just as folks have a variety of opinions on homeschooling to begin with (as one can tell from the comments on the link you mention).

As I stated in the previous post, I don't know the details of this case, and if there are legitimate "child welfare" issues here, then by all means deal with them. My concern is the impact this will have on others.

I'm not a lawyer or the son of a lawyer, but I think some have misunderstood. HSLDA is not saying that the threat is clearly defined in the ruling itself; only that the broad language of the ruling and the fact that publishing it will make it legal precedent for future litigation is a cause for concern. That's why the petition is not to overturn the case; we'll let the appeals process deal with the merits of this individual case. The petition is seeking to keep the ruling on this one unfortunate case become citable precedent for other cases where the details might be different.

Again, I'm not a legal expert, but I still support the petition effort, while at the same time allowing you the freedom not to. That's the way it works, as long as we have those freedoms anyway.

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks again for your comments.

COD said...

Actually, I think HSLDA thinks this will be a good test case to try and establish a constitutional right to homeschool in CA on religious liberty grounds. The problem with that is that they risking drawing the ire of authorities who very well may decide to retaliate by actually doing something to make homeschooling more difficult. They are playing games with the ability to homeschool easily in order to score political points, and throw some fear around that will bolster HSLSA membership renewals.

scott said...

Seems very cynical to me. I would guess you don't care much for HSLDA. They've been a blessing to us and to many others that we know, so I guess I'm a little more trusting of motive, etc. We've had personal contact with several of their key attorneys, etc. and they seem like godly people who truly want to help homeschool families.

Nevertheless, we all know that at times we have to play the political game. Here in Missouri we continue to fight the ongoing battle against cloning, and we have to do it through the political process. There are always risks and rewards, but that's the way the system works.

Thanks again for your comments. BTW, are you in CA? Is this something that directly impacts you? Just curious.

Applied Christianity said...

I find this case very troubling. I don't think that I would be concerned if the ruling was written to apply just to this one family. But from what I understand, it was written to affect every family in California. I don't live in California and I praise God that I don't have to make the terrible choice that now faces the homeschoolers in that state. I think I would have to flee the state if it came down to my children being forced to attend CA's public schools.

scott said...

Applied Christian
I agree, I think I would have to leave the state. I pray that the outrage expressed accross the nation might have some effect, but this is CA after all, so I'm not overly optomistic.

Thanks for stopping by. We lived in the Ft. Worth area for one year (at SW Seminary) and didn't care much for Texas (sorry, nothing personal!) But I did enjoy your blog and you're welcome here anytime.

Pro-family folks have to stick together, even if some of you are Texans (that's a joke, I hope you know).