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An Octogenerian's Blog | California Home Schooling (Issue 19)

It seems to me that so much of what impacts our lives starts in California, a state that borders the Pacific Ocean. Living on the east side of the United States in Georgia, with parts of it bordering the Atlantic Ocean, we are over a thousand miles apart. I used to think that we were so far apart that what happened there did not affect us here. Needless to say, I was a bit naive to ignore the happenings in California.
 
The good, the bad and the beautiful all affects us here. Whether its fashion, politics, crime, education, medicine, hair styles or whatever, if it starts in California we are usually impacted in some way by the happenings there.
 
The latest is the uproar over home schooling. There are over 150,000 children home schooled in California and over a million nationwide. As I understand it, the judicial supremacy of the California court system has ruled, “parents do not have a RIGHT to home school their children.”
 
California, like most, if not all other states, has a compulsory attendance law but with provisions for home schooling under certain conditions. The guidelines are outlined in each state law. Some of the requirements include the parents having a high school education to be eligible to teach their children, filing reports for things like the number of hours spent teaching and records of student progress, in addition to the requirement of certain subjects that must be taught.

Under the recent California ruling, those thousands home schooled are now truant and their parents are in violation of the compulsory school law.
 
Parents who home school their children usually feel quite strongly about their decision to take their children out of the tax supported socialistic system of public schools. And during the past few years, have a loosely knit contact arrangement. As a result, the powerful tool of citizen activism, waging a fight against judicial supremacy, has appealed the decision in the California Supreme Court.
 
What happens there in the battle of parents versus the courts, relative to home-schooling, is of particular interest to parents across the entire United States. The outcome will no doubt impact other home schoolers.
 
A large percentage of this country’s population is past 50 years old, and one might think since most have children past the age of being home schooled, they have no interest in what’s happening. However, most have grandchildren and great grand-children subjected to the laws relating to education. Therefore, this current event should be of vast interest to them all.
 
Contrary to some news reports, the California ruling is not any strange new chapter in the “annals of judicial imperialism.” It has been present for over 50 years that I’m aware of, and probably even before that time.
 
I personally resisted the compulsory attendance school law in the sixties, back when it was almost unheard of to home school. I faced threatened arrest not only in the state of Tennessee, but again in the seventies in the state of Georgia. I still have the letter from the school board threatening arrest if I did not comply with the mandatory attendance law. I had no support in my determination, and fought the battle totally alone in both cases and won. In the second situation, I filed suit in federal court.
 
I now have grandchildren who are home schooled. They are so far advanced they call me up and speak Latin on the phone and two are even commercial artists at age 10 and 8. I wrote about them in my blog, “Bragging Rights of a Grandparent.”
 
In my opinion, one’s parent is the natural teacher. My own mother, who only had an eighth grade formal education, was smarter about a lot of things than some PhDs I know. Funny that she would not have been eligible to home school according to most state laws today.
 
For those who still have some doubts or are unaware or uninformed of the degree of loss of individual freedom in this country, take a little time to observe what is taking place in the schools and courts. Recognizing that parents face arrest and criminalization for teaching their own children should be a defining moment. And an awakening.
 
Let Freedom Ring!
 
JUST ME,
AC

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