The California home-schooling set received a jolt on Feb. 28th when Justice H. Walter Croskey of the 2nd district court of appeals ruled with the two other members of the court that home-schooling was illegal, stating, “Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children”.
According to the article here, the consensus is that there may be no effective way of enforcing this. But this being America circa 2008 where we cannot enforce our own borders, we’re confident that some busy-body wing of the Board of Edumacation will take a jack-booted stab at it.
But that’s not the point…
That this statement that is so narrow in the context of freedoms and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution was agreed upon by 3 people one would think should know better is baffling.
We searched high and low in the Constitution and nowhere did we see anything regarding home schooling. What we did find, though, is a bunch of “shall nots” and “forbids”…. checks not against the citizens, mind you, but against the state. So, the judge has got it all backwards. Instead of there being no constitutional right to home schooling, there is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits home-schooling. In fact, we believe the 14th amendment re-enforces the legality of home-schooling (Several years back, two high school girls in the L.A. area sued their school district under the 14th amendment's “equal protection” clause for not providing them an equitable educational opportunity as other surrounding districts. Not sure how it turned out - we'll dig around for it).
In fact, the entire tone of the bill of rights suggests that our grand experiment in democracy is to be one big unholy mess bounded only by the common decency and good neighborliness of its participants. Equal parts drunken brothel brawl and tent revival meeting. And this speaks to the beauty of it all: that we are granted license to act like complete idiots but expected to exercise our God-given common sense to refrain from acts of idiocy. That is the only way this thing can work.
And because of this very expectation of rational self-interest, we indeed have home schooling as many of us have figured out that this whole public education thing ain’t working. KT, posted a Reason.TV spot hosted by Drew Carey on public education in L.A. The level of naked self-serving rhetoric on display by the teachers’ union is chilling. Its obvious the welfare of the children and the education that we are paying for and which is to be provided to the kids is the last thing on their mind.
And makes us question what the real motivation was behind the court's ruling.
Update #1: We totally forgot Ogre had a take on this matter here. He links to piece that pulls quotes from the court's ruling like this one: "keeping the children at home deprived them of situations where (1) they could interact with people outside the family, (2) there are people who could provide help if something is amiss in the children's lives, and (3) they could develop emotionally in a broader world than the parents' 'cloistered' setting."
The assumption of responsibility and moral high ground the state grants itself in lieu of the parents is staggering.