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California ruling against the Longs

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Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 148
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:02 pm    Post subject: California ruling against the Longs Reply with quote

Preliminary reports are very intimidating; the fuller story is less so.

Alarmist headlines proclaim: "homeschooling made illegal in Ca." and "Ca. antagonistic to Christian homeschoolers" etc.

The facts are these.

These people came to the attention of the courts because of investigation of abuse complaints made to Child Services. The decision is to have only the two youngest children (not the other half-dozen siblings) "being in a place daily where they would be observed by people who had a duty to ensure their ongoing safety."

The decision was *unanimous* by the judges' panel, which indicates to me that the situation was clear-cut. California homeschooling law has been pretty stable and consistent since the 1950s and the state has never made a concerted effort to "attack" homeschooling, Christian or otherwise.

This is a particular, specific case, originating in the Child Welfare arena. Legal pundits say this decision is limited and not binding or precedent-making. The state's Superintendent of Public Instruction says he supports parental choice in homeschooling. The Children's Law Center says this ruling does not change any law.

So, if you hear alarmist rhetoric about it, relax. It's just fear-mongering by people looking to fill their own coffers by scaring you.

I find this part of the ruling especially telling:

Given the history of this family, which we need not discuss here,(7) permitting the parents to educate the children at home by means of a credentialed tutor would likely pose too many difficulties for the tutor.

7. On November 20, 2007, we filed a separate, unpublished opinion for this case that decides consolidated appeals (Nos. B192601 and B195484) filed by the parents and two of the minor children. Those appeals address matters other than the home schooling issue and our opinion sets out a history of the family vis--vis the dependency court.
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