Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cult not homeschooling at root of decision

According to the News & Observer Judge: 'Cult' factored in ruling.

Contrary to what the Fundamentalist Christians are proclaiming this is not a threat to homeschooling or some horrible injustice against homeschoolers.

The judge even noted that he recognizes the benefits of home schooling. His concern is that after Venessa Mills joined the Sound Doctrine Church of Enumclaw in 2005 she became alienated from her husband and her parents. (Her own parents testified against her) and that she was attempting to alienate the children from their father and their maternal grandparents. I also think it's important to note that he didn't DEMAND they immediately be placed in public school. They will start public school in the fall.

"Based on all of the evidence, the court finds that Ms. Mills engaged in behavior that alienates the minor children from their maternal grandparents, their aunt, and most importantly their father," Mangum wrote.

I don't even think you could call this a religious issue as he was fair to both parents.

Among other provisions, the written order said the parents will have joint custody of the children -- who are 12, 11 and 10 -- and that both parents can "practice their own religion and expose children to same."

Sadly these parents didn't share the same religious views and apparently their religious views were so incompatible it led to divorce. Naturally both parents want to share their beliefs and world views with their children. The judge made it possible for both to do so, there is no injustice in that.

And while hsinjustice vilifies Thomas Mills it was Venessa Mills who filed for divorce.

Even HSLDA says this isn't a homeschooling issue.
Despite the outcry, Ian Slatter, a spokesman for the Home School Legal Defense Association, a Virginia-based group that backs home-school parents, say these kinds of custody cases are more common than people realize

"It's a tragedy of divorce, but we don't see any broad implications,"
Slatter said.

The outcry by some homeschoolers is uncalled for.

Hal Young, a member of the board of Johnston County Home Educators, a support group for home-school parents, said it is upsetting that a judge can so radically alter a family's lifestyle.

Let's get one thing straight the judge didn't alter this family's lifestyle Venessa Mills did when she filed for divorce.



  1. More information is certainly eye-opening.

    Now I'm wondering, though, how many families--public schooled or at home--are alienated from their relatives and even their fathers?

    Sadly, I know a few families like that... and I don't think public school is the answer.


  2. I think the judge made the decision he thought would allow both parents an equal opportunity to be part of their children's life.

    He gave them joint custody and the Mother claims the visitation schedule of equally divided time made it impossible for her to homeschool.

    Which leaves me wondering if Venessa Mills and her supporters thought the Father should be able to spend any time with the kids.

  3. Great post--so glad you kept up with the issue. Are homeschoolers and/or religious homeschoolers such a touchy bunch that everything has to become an us vs them issue--no matter the facts?

  4. To answer Kim's question, yes, religious homeschoolers are exactly that touchy a bunch. And the rest of us parents and kids (even homeschooling?) are just "sluts."

    See the latest antisocial lunatic logic for homeschooling as religion, in World Net Daily.
    It makes their blind touchiness crystal clear and suggests to me we need a whole different word to differentiate non-religious homeschooling from religious homeschooling.

    We're following this case at Snook too, with more than 80 comments already on the side of homeschooling as an education choice, not as religion itself.

    That's not even comparing apples to oranges, more like confusing educational apples with poisonous orange-flavored kool-aid and having the public turn against organic apples as a result.

  5. JJ: It makes their blind touchiness crystal clear and suggests to me we need a whole different word to differentiate non-religious homeschooling from religious homeschooling.


    Or maybe we need a word that helps us differentiate between positive religious beliefs and destructive ones, whether it has anything to do with hsing or not.

    Good analysis here, Alasandra!


  6. Well, that would be for religious bloggers to work out, I suppose, not us EDUCATION bloggers? ;-)

    Unless of course they persist in continuing to confuse the two, in Congress, courts, on campus, in home education support groups and conversations, etc . . .then I guess we'll need to do it from the outside, study the real-world effects of various religious beliefs, and decide on something for public use in self-defense.


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