Thursday, March 01, 2007

Family court judge discovers homeschooling

William Duncan writes:
Last week, a trial court in New Jersey handed down an interesting decision involving divorcing parents who disagree about whether the children should continue to be home schooled. The seven children who live with the mother have been home schooled to date. The court says the father consented to the schooling but is now challenging its continuance. The court eventually says it will not rule on the father's request to end the home schooling, but only after a startling opinion.

The court first orders that the children be tested for the grades they would be in if they were in public school (this portion of the opinion is very confusing since it is not separated from a discussion of an earlier case). The court then opines at length about the perfidy of the school district allowing the children to be home schooled without state intervention. Noting that the school district had not sent officials to the home to check on the children’s progress, the judge said: "This is shocking to the court." The court characterized the children as being "left unsupervised" solely because of the lack of state intervention. (I suspect children who are at home with their mother would not describe themselves as "unsupervised.") The judge also found it shocking that the state Department of Education allows parents to home school without state intervention.
This is an example of a family court judge sticking his nose into a matter where judges would have no role in an intact marriage; assuming the discretion to rewrite the laws as he sees fit; and ultimately showing himself to be incapable of coping with the problem anyway.

The decision doesn't say whether there was a custody dispute, or if the father is willing to do something himself about the kids education.

I say the court should have just ordered joint custody to the parents. If the mom wants to homeschool on her time, that's her business. The dad can send the kids to public school, he should be able to. The public school may not like kids switching in and out, but it should have to get used to it. The school's problem is the least one here.

At any rate, the judge has no business saying that the homeschooling laws are shocking.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just saw a link to your site on Google during a search I was making on there and read this post.

Why is it the government assumes parents are incompetant and clueless about child-rearing and schooling?

Parents are the ones God ordained to HAVE the children. If someone is given into your care, you are responsible for that person. While, of course, there are countless people who ARE incompetant, their idiocy should not be imputed to all the parents doing their job well. And certainly, it's completey stupid to say, instead of parents, government officials are the best child-rearers.

I've been homeschooled all my life, along with my three younger siblings. I'm about to start a Biology major at Grove City College in PA (which has, I believe, the second-worst homeschooling laws in the USA. New York is worse, apparantly), and I'm not ill-socialized, mentally unstable, or likely to want to start any sort of rebellion.

Unless, of course, you count my utter hatred for large-government meddlesomeness and an unreasonable desire to kick the poor minions of PA's wretched public school-system whenever we have to deal with them. Which is often.

The red tape in this country is awful. In the court system, as you obviously know, it causes legal battles to continue for years, and ultimately defeats its own purpose.

To use another law-example, some people want to ban guns. However, banning private ownership of guns is not going to get rid of the problem.

In fact, it will be worsened. All of the law-obiding citizens who are responsible and would be safe gun owners, will obey the anti-gun law, while the scoundrels who don't care and who are the ones wanting to break into homes and businessess, will still find ways to obtain guns.

Then what do we have? We have the baddies with the guns, and the husbands and fathers left with only their teeth and nails to try and defend their homes.

If they do manage to take down the intruder without a weapon, they'll probably get sued for Assault with Primitive Weapons (joke).

Pardon my intruding upon your site and time, but I just thought I'd throw in my two cents worth.