Saturday, March 08, 2008

A Clarification, If I May

I need to apologize if my recent posts have caused any level of confusion among those who homeschool or are interested in homeschool as an issue. There is much that troubles me these days, and two of those troublesome items have come in back-to-back incidents that have potentially grave consequences both for homeschoolers and those who may wish to homeschool.

Let me attempt to draw up a scorecard of sorts as a way of keeping things straight — if only in my own head.

Item 1: Senate Bill 777. SB 777 was introduced by state senator Sheila Kuehl as a means of forcing public schools to "not discriminate" against any sexual practice or orientation that may be displayed by school children (or anyone else, for that matter). But this "non-discrimination" goes beyond merely not speaking ill of someone's sexual preferences. It creates an atmosphere of indoctrination that will allow educators to establish principles in the minds of our children that are, in many instances, in direct conflict with the spiritual guidance parents strive to provide for those children at home.

Rather than ironic, it is in fact the aim of the supporters of this legislation to not only subject our children to this form of indoctrination, but to deny them any ability to learn opposing perspectives. Especially and particularly if those perspectives are based in faith. This is a deliberate attempt to not only strip God out of the classroom, which they have already managed to do quite effectively, but in fact to teach children to trust not in God (and, by extension, their own parents) but in the misguided philosophies of the political left.

This illustrates one of the primary reasons why we chose to homeschool before our children were born.

Item 2: Hot on the heels of this legislated educational lobotomy is the recent ruling of the 2nd District Court of Appeals. The statement by this court that parents do not, in fact, have a constitutional right to homeschool their children has clearly marked a battleground of educational idealogues. On the one side are parents who have a grave concern over the direction of public education in this state. On the other, those who have created this state's educational direction and wish to deny parents of their rights to decide what is best for their children. No war in history was ever fought over clearer demarcations. A line has been drawn in the sand, and those who wish to school their children have been dared — triple-dog dared, to quote from "A Christmas Story" — to cross over and fight.

And so we will. Whatever your opinions of homeschoolers, Christians, or children in general, you cannot come into this fight as a neutral observer. There can be no such animal. Those who consider themselves neutral do not have children. Those who have children will make a choice; either directly or passively. If you choose to fight, pick your side and your weapon. (This is a metaphorical weapon, of course. I am not advocating violent resistance by any means!) If you choose to ignore, then you have passively chosen to accept whatever the natural consequences of this fight happen to be.

So those are my feelings in a highly compressed nutshell. We who homeschool will not let these issues drop off the radar, because we can't afford to. When a court declares us to be violators of the law, we must fight to change that law at any and all costs. If we lose, then we must find a place in society where our rights are respected. If that place cannot be found in the state of California, then it becomes the Golden State's loss.

If Governor Schwarzenegger is serious about supporting a parent's right to decide how best to educate their child, then more power to him (and us). If this is just another politically expedient aphorism, then his political soul will rot in hell.

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