Parental Rights Responsibility  

Posted by Benjie in , , ,

I usually don't rant and rave about things politic and hot-button issues here (my rants are usually along the lines of the grammatically incorrect sort), but this story caught my eye and my ear.

I first read about this and commented on a blog or two, then decided that I need to just sound out here. While I'm not a big proponent of homeschooling, neither am I the big enemy of homeschoolers--there was a time when we thought we might have no other choice than to teach our children at home when we were serving as missionaries. The thought that the state can usurp my parental position by telling me how to educate my children is just wrong on so many levels.

I've heard many homeschool supporters talk about "parental rights" but I think that it goes much deeper than that. I believe that the education of children is the responsibility of the parents. With that in mind, I believe it is the born duty of every person who has children to provide for them the best of educational opportunities at their disposal. For some, this means making sure that your child is enrolled in and in class at the local public school--with parents taking an active role in the day to day routine that is school. Other parents will find it necessary to find a reputable private school to place their children in. Even others may find that the very best education can be found at the knees of Mom and Dad at home. Whatever the case, it is each parent's responsibility to make sure that their child(ren) receives the best possible education.

Whoever said that the state knows better than I do how to do what is best for each of my children has gone daft in the head. And again, it is not my "right" to do what is best for my children but my responsibility. What is happening in California (unless higher courts understand it and reverse it) is nothing less than a bold attempt to remove parental influence altogether from young children.

After having read about this attrocity, I heard on radio a discussion of the same. If you would like to voice your opinion click this link and sign the petition to have the court's decision de-published. You needn't be a member of HSLDA to sign, nor a citizen of California (although Californians might have the biggest impact).

Finally, I would invite others to join in the comment section if you'd like to sound out on this issue--be aware that I try to keep a G-rating on this blog so be nice in your comments (whether you agree or disagree with me).

HT: Kevin Bussey, Marty Duren

This entry was posted on 08 March 2008 at 4:35 PM and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

4 Reader Response(s)

Wonderful post brother.
I believe that parents should have rights and responsiblities for their children. I believe that this is a topic that needs to be talked about and on the front burner. Keep up the great blogging!
In Him,
Kinney Mabry

8:53 PM
Tunya Audain  

Rights are not freely granted top-down by some government authority.
It is only when people feel inalienable rights in their bones can they assert them proudly and openly. Parents should not be meek and humble as supplicants and petitioners in face of government heavy handedness.
Parents have choice in how their children are to be educated, publicly, privately, or at home. This ruling in California is so feudal it sticks out as an outrage in a democracy.
Furthermore, it is parents’ duty to educate their children. School laws across the free world state that. Only in totalitarian countries is home education not permitted.
The first School Laws in America (1642) underlie the system to this day: “Universal education of youth is essential to the well-being of the State. The obligation to furnish this education rests primarily upon the parents.”
Parent groups should evolve their own Charter of Parent Rights statements and educate their members about what is decent and proper in this day and age. I am providing a link to such a statement, compiled in 1977 in Canada, and which can serve as a good starting point for others.
I was heavily involved in Home Education causes in the 80’s and do know such statements empower parents to confidently do what is right by their children.
Tunya Audain

1:12 AM

Kinney, as always thanks for stopping by.

Tunya, Welcome. Thanks for your comments.

8:21 AM
Tunya Audain  

As a grandmother of the early home education movement in North America, naturally I was concerned about the recent court ruling in California which basically criminalized about 200,000 home schooling parents lacking teaching credentials. Hopefully, if it is not overturned by the Supreme Court, Governor Schwarzenegger has promised legislative remedy: "Parents should not be penalized for acting in the best interests of their children's education.”

I am very impressed by the extent and depth of feeling and outrage expressed by supporters of home education. But, I am disappointed at the hostility and shallowness of those who are opposed, either out of self-interest (teacher unions) or basic intolerance. (Just Google California home schooling ruling…)

It is because this case even came up in 2008, and because the hostility and threat can be reasserted at any time, that I would like you to read my publication in 1987 which was useful in two ways: 1) to encourage home educators, and 2) to put the education establishment on notice about the legality and imperatives driving this movement. In the article I quote John Holt as saying:

“Today freedom has different enemies. It must be fought for in different ways. It will take very different qualities of mind and heart to save it.”

Published in a prestigious educator magazine, The Canadian School Executive, it carries weight to this day, often quoted.

My history in home education goes back to 1972 when, after being credentialed from a Teachers College, I traveled with my children to Mexico to study under Ivan Illich of deschooling fame.

There I met with John Holt. He knew I had two young children with me, ages 3 and 5, and asked if I would be enrolling them in school soon. I said I might educate them at home.
He thought this was illegal, but I said I found from my readings at Teachers College that the “otherwise” clause in most Education Acts allowed it.
He then commented that at least I would be qualified to do it, having obtained a teaching certificate. Again, I enlightened him with the fact that this was not a requirement.
He then posed the thoughtful but predictable question about socialization, and we chatted about the various community opportunities available and the negative aspects of socialization that parents wanted to avoid.
His parting comment was: “Smart City!”
Using his mailing list which he had used to encourage education reform, he soon embraced home education and in 1975 started a new publication, “Growing Without Schools.
Meanwhile, Dr. Raymond Moore was spreading the word (The Family Report) amongst his mainly Christian audience and paid frequent visits to Vancouver, especially when we held Home Learning Fairs.
You can download the 5 page article: Home Education: the third option to see concerns of 20 years ago reappearing today……

1:05 AM

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