Wednesday, January 26, 2011

No Christianity Allowed in Home Schooling

The New Hampshire Supreme Court just declared that a home-schooled child must now be sent to public schools. It did not start as an uncommon story. The child's parents are divorced. Custodial Mom was doing the home schooling, Dad preferred public school.

Often divorced parents don't agree on how children should be treated in any number of ways. It would not be too surprising to hear a judge side with the notion that a home-schooled kid was too sheltered, or did not get a quality education. In this case, though, the student was doing very well academically and all agreed she was happy and doing well socially.

No, this time the objection was that the mom was too "Christian" in her approach. The court said:

"It would be remarkable if a ten year old child who spends her school time with her mother and the vast majority of her other time with her mother would seriously consider adopting any other religious point of view. Amanda’s vigorous defense of her religious beliefs to the counselor suggests strongly that she has not had the opportunity to seriously consider any other point of view."

That statement assumes that the courts have the right to say the custodial parent does not have the right to teach her own religious beliefs to her child. Can someone point to the clause in the U.S. or New Hampshire constitution that gives the state the right to determine what is a proper religious upbringing (assuming no laws are being broken and no harm comes to the child). In fact, the U.S. Constitution specifically says it is not the government's business at all, which is expressed by saying that the government shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

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