There’s a question nagging at me regarding this court case. All the accounts I’ve read suggest that the family in question is indeed a troubled family, and that the children may be victims of abuse. The children’s representatives have sought, first in the lower court and then in the appellate court, to have the children enrolled in a public school so that (to quote the appellate court’s ruling), “(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.”
Is it the court’s opinion, then, that the watchful eye of the public school system is enough to protect these children from abuses they may be suffering at home? (Are no public school students ever the victims of child abuse?) My question is: if the children are indeed at risk, why have they not been removed from the home?
It seems to me this case has nothing to do with homeschooling and everything to do with child welfare (as many other bloggers have mentioned). The court ruling has made it into a broad homeschooling issue, and I just don’t get that. Because the published ruling makes broad statements about the legality (or illegality) of homeschooling under the private school or ISP options as commonly practiced by California homeschoolers, the homeschooling community has had to rally in defense of our rights as parents. But none of us are arguing in defense of the parents in this case, if they have indeed endangered their children’s welfare.
Are these children really safe? If the court doesn’t think so, why stop at removing them from the home during school hours?