Caifornia, a state well-known for it’s progressive laws on virtually everything, is suddenly aiming for a serious regression. A ruling passed down from the Courts on Tuesday could forever change the landscape of homeschooling in California, and as my father-in-law says, “What starts in California ends up nation wide.”
At stake is the right of parents to educate their own children, in a home setting, typically one-on-one. California (as well as the rest of the nation) has long held that parents have a constitutional right to do just that. However, a case in which the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services is alleging a couple was abusing some of their children is threatening to unravel all that.
The ruling (no longer available online) is a knee-jerk reaction to these allegations and, in my humble opinion, has little to do with the original case. What the Appellate Court judge seeks is a way for “authorities” to “monitor” the children’s well-being. He could have taken steps that would have forced the parents to send the children to a public school, or mandated supervision of the family, or even simply put the children in foster care thereby curbing the parental rights; instead he chose to set a precedent that violates already established law. In theory, this should not stand on appeal to Superior court, but then again this is California.
Every single homeschooling list I am on is all abuzz with the news. It is very worrisome, as it could give other states the incentive to drastically change their laws. It will come as no surprise that the HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association), the most well-known and possibly most powerful lobbyists for homeschooling rights, will be heavily involved in making a case on behalf of homeschooling, as will the Pacific Justice Institute and the Home School Assn. of California.
We can do something about it, I’m sure. Stay tuned for more info.