Our twins are home-schooled. That is the present educational option we have chosen for them and us. It is our right to do so as parents and American citizens. But increasingly across this Union, private academic alternatives are coming under attack, being legally stripped of their value, and even being labeled unconstitutional and illegal.
Dr. James Dobson calls it "an all-out assault on the family" and "an imperious assault on the rights of parents."
Brad Dacus, the president of the Pacific Justice Institute, said about one recent ruling, "The scope of this decision by the appellate court is breathtaking. It not only attacks traditional home schooling but also calls into question home schooling through charter schools and teaching children at home via independent study through public and private school. If not reversed, the parents of the more than 166,000 students currently receiving an education at home will be subject to criminal sanctions."
These disparaging remarks are the result of a shocking California state appeals court ruling last week, which declared that parents without teaching credentials do not have a constitutional right to home-school their children. Besides statewide consequences, this decision could set a legal precedent for other states, as well.
The reason government courts are cracking down on private instruction has more to do with suppressing alternative education than improving educational standards. The rationale is quite simple, though rarely, if ever, stated. If one wants to control the future ebbs and flows of a country, one must have command over future generations. This is done by seizing parental and educational power, legislating preferred educational materials, and limiting private educational options. It is so simple any socialist can understand it. As Josef Stalin once stated: "Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed."
Is it merely coincidental that home schooling was outlawed by the Soviet state in 1919, by Hitler and Nazi Germany in 1938, and by Communist China in 1949? Will California be next? America? Will we yield control and our educational rights as parents? Such would not only be an American travesty but also a human disgrace.
What can you do to fight educative and legislative tyranny?
-- If we are to sustain private educational options in society, we must rid ourselves of passivity and step into the rings of political activity. The system will get worse, not better, if all we do is complain about it. As Thomas Jefferson once said: "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."
-- Educate yourself on your particular state's legal academic options. Understand your parental and educational rights, and teach them to others. As Thomas Jefferson also said: "Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. … They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty."-- Whether you home-school or not, support an organization such as Home School Legal Defense Association, which protects families who do.
-- Oppose bad or unconstitutional rulings. Petition the Supreme Court of California to depublish the case, which would restrict it from being applied by other California courts to more families. And don't forget to appeal to my old buddy the Governator. Tell him to flex his muscle on this appellate motion, or Texas might have to export a ranger to get 'er done!
-- Petition your representatives to support a constitutional amendment protecting the child-parent relationship from unreasonable government intrusion.
Unfortunately, there are people out there who truly fear traditional family values and particularly the Christian voice taught in private education. We must remind any prejudicial dissenter that our parental rights and educative freedoms also were embedded by our forefathers into the Constitution and even the Declaration of Independence. Therein, government is demanded to "secure" or protect them:
"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
As our Founding Fathers swore to uphold these, so must we. Thomas Jefferson committed, "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." I know others would join me in rightly assuming that in our day, "every" form of tyranny also could include publicly forced educational indoctrination.
Friends, while you keep one eye on our national borders, you might keep the other on your state's. If academic corruption is conceived easily in California, how long will it take to crawl to your state line?
My warning to such creeping companies of corruption is this: Best not to test Texas. If you thought we fought hard for the Alamo, wait until you see what we can do for academia. You can hide your sleaze behind No. 2 pencils, but our branding irons will find your tail sides.