Friday, March 7, 2008

Petition to Request Depublishing of California Court Case In re Rachel L.

Normally, I do not engage in this type of request. But this case is different. This case personally effects me, my wife and children, and all homeschooling families in the state of California. My wife and I believe so strongly that homeschooling our children is the proper work of the parents and not the state that if this case is allowed to remain on the books, we would have no choice but to leave California.

Depublishing the opinion, in my view, is the best option. It leaves in tact the sanctions against the family involved and addresses the issues of child neglect and etc. whilst sparing the rest of California's legally operating home schools. A single case of child neglect should never have been used to drop the axe on the 150,000+ law abiding parents in the state who choose to home school.

We often hear rhetoric about no child left behind and small class sizes. My wife, with her early childhood education BA from Cal State Northridge, is better suited to educate our children in our very small class. My children are years ahead of their public school peers. Additionally, they are actively involved in the community at a level simply not possible for children who must attend public schools until late afternoon and face hours of home work when they finally get home - often keeping them from getting a proper amount of sleep.

I understand that many parents have no choice but to send their children to public schools. Some parents find themselves both at work to be able to afford the best private schools. The beauty of America is that there are options for everyone. Freedom is the essential ingredient. I pay taxes to support a system that I do not use. If it is all that a parent can do to work 3 jobs and support an entire family, sending his/her children to public school, I am glad that my taxes could help. I pray that the children take every advantage available to advance themselves and their family.

My wife and I can and do provide a first class education to our children at home. In America, the land of freedom and opportunity, the land of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion; the right to educate our children should not even be in question. Sadly, it now is.

Please Sign the Petition to Support Home School Freedom in California

A California Court of Appeal recently decided that homeschooling is illegal in California unless a parent is a certified teacher.

The case arose in a confidential juvenile court proceeding. The family was represented by court-appointed attorneys and HSLDA did not become aware of the case until the Court of Appeal case was published on February 28, 2008.

The Court could have restricted its decision to the facts before it, but instead, it issued a broad ruling that effectively outlaws home education in California. The Court also certified its decision for publication, which means that the decision can now be cited as legal authority by all other courts in California.

The family and their California counsel are planning to appeal to the Supreme Court of California, which could result in reversal.

Another option to keep homeschooling free in California is to petition the Supreme Court of California to “depublish” the opinion. If the opinion is “depublished” then it cannot be used by other California courts and this threat to home school freedom will be neutralized for other California home schoolers.

"The HSLDA will be formally petitioning the California Supreme Court to depublish the opinion. We would like to show that many other people, both in California and across the country, care deeply about home school freedom in California."

Please show your support for this effort by signing the petition today.

Want more information, click here to find out how the HSLDA is defending the rights of parents to home school their children in California.


Jim Hoerricks said...

Great news from our Governor:

Gov. Schwarzenegger Opposes Court of Appeals Home Schooling Ruling

Today Governor Schwarzenegger issued a statement in opposition to recent Second District Court of Appeals ruling on home schooling. He vowed to take action to protect the rights of parents if the courts do not overturn the decision.

Here is what the Governor had to say:

"Every California child deserves a quality education and parents should have the right to decide what's best for their children. Parents should not be penalized for acting in the best interests of their children's education. This outrageous ruling must be overturned by the courts and if the courts don't protect parents' rights then, as elected officials, we will."

Thanks for the supportive comments sent in on e-mail. It's been a nerve racking day. All of a sudden, you're a criminal because a judge with an axe to grind has a beef? Wow! Thanks Gov.

Jim Hoerricks said...

Assembly Concurrent Resolution ACR 115

WHEREAS, Some thirty years of experience with the modern homeschooling movement in California demonstrates that home school graduates take up responsible positions as parents, as students in and graduates of Colleges and Universities, in the workplace, and as citizens in society at large; and

WHEREAS, Homeschooling by California families with diverse backgrounds has historically given children a quality education through proven, independent approaches that nurture valuable family bonds and support successful student development; and

WHEREAS, Private homeschooling has a long and rich history in the State of California, currently estimated as involving 200,000 students in the State of California, and 2,000,000 students nationwide; and

WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court has ruled that parents have a fundamental constitutional right to direct the education and upbringing of their children (Wisconsin v. Yoder, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, Meyer v. Nebraska); and

WHEREAS, On February 28, 2008, the Court of Appeals for the Second Appellate District in Los Angeles issued an opinion in the case of In Re: Rachel L. holding that homeschooling without a teaching credential is not legal; and

WHEREAS, This misguided interpretation denies California parents' primary responsibility and right to determine the best place and manner of their own children's education; and

WHEREAS, The fair opportunity of California families to educate their children should not be undermined; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, By the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, that the Legislature hereby calls upon the California Supreme Court to reverse the opinion.

RESOLVED, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.