Monday, May 18, 2009

Homeschool Injustice, Homeschool Discrimination or Just Angry Women Getting A Divorce?

I am probably going to make a lot of enemies with this post, but I am very trouble by the way some bloggers are attempting to manipulate homeschoolers. We have the blogs Homeschool Injustice and Homeschool Discrimination, which given their names one would think dealt with homeschooling issues. But they don't they are both blogs about women who are in the midst of messy divorces. Both women are angry that the courts have ordered their children into public or private schools. Both feel that their parental rights are being violated and both feel the Father shouldn't have any rights, and in both instances the Father has requested that his children be sent to public or private school. I think it's a moot point that in the past the Father was OK with homeschooling, people including Father's are allowed to change their minds about what is in the best interest of their children.

Neither case is a homeschooling issue and as we are not privy to the personal details that may lead a judge to rule in favor of the Father's request to send the children to public school we should stay out of it.

Judges are ruling in favour of homeschooling in divorce cases, we do not need to march, protest, or rally the troops in those instances when judges decide public school is in the children's best interest.

From Court Monitor
Staub V Staub
This decision thereby recognized that home schooling is equivalent in merit to public schooling. While the Court left the ultimate power in the hands of family court to decide the educational fate of children after divorce, this ruling sets an important precedent by placing home schooling on footing equal to public schooling.
Staub v. Staub, 2008 PA Super 251 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2008).

The key to the judges ruling in Staub v. Staub seems to be the Mother's attitude toward the Father and his ability to participate in the homeschooling if he choose.

If homeschooling is on an equal footing with public schooling then homeschoolers aren't being discriminated against and there is no injustice involved. As they should the courts will look at the cases on an individual basis and make the decision they feel is best for the children. The children may not be thrilled with the decision (especially if the parent who loses bleats on and on about how awful the decision is), the parent who loses won't be happy but there is no injustice or discrimination involved.


  1. Examining the individual circumstances seems to me the only fair and prudent thing to do when there is a dispute between divorcing/divorced parents.

  2. I agree.

    It seems that some in the homeschooling community want the judge to automatically choose homeschooling.

  3. I do, however, believe that the heavier burden of proof should be on the parent who wants a change in the child's education. It seems that in many of these disputes, the homeschooling mom is being held to the higher burden of proof by a skeptical judge or court-appointed advocate for the child. IMHO the status quo ought to be considered the best interests of the child unless the other parent can prove otherwise.

  4. I think in the Mill's case Venessa Mills alienation from her own parents and her desire to isolate the children and severely limit their time with the Father played a role in the judges decision to have them sent to public school. I am not familiar with the other case so I do not know what factors led the judge/advocate to decide that private schooling was in their best interest.

    I am not sure we can always assume the status quo is in the best interest of the child. After all the Homeschooling parent is now going through emotional turmoil, this may make it difficult for her/him to continue teaching to the same standard they did before. Sometimes change can be good.

    For instance we always intended for our children to go to public school. When we decided to pull them out to protest public school uniforms the CHANGE was GREAT! I would have hated to miss all the wonderful things we have experienced as homeschoolers because we stuck to the status quo.

  5. Please pass the word, the Carnival of Homeschooling is up (and this post is in it).

    Thanks for participating!

  6. Even HSLDA won't touch these cases.

    They're messy. And interestingly, according to them, this is exactly where most issues of homeschooling come family court as part of a divorce case. They just aren't all reported on by WND.

    When I discussed one of the cases awhile back, I got an interesting comment about considering the "ramifications of this type of judgement before you lose more of your already dying freedoms."

    And I think that is perhaps where the real problem lies. Not that we shouldn't consider how our rights are affected by laws and rulings, but we place ourselves in the defendant's seat every time homeschooling is in any way discussed in a court room for any reason.

  7. That's a good point and I think all to often we read about a homeschooler being forced to attend public school by the courts and we panic. Instead of looking at why the court made the decision it did we automatically assume the worst, homeschoolers are being persecuted merely for being homeschoolers. The danger for all homeschoolers is that we will appear to be fanatics when we defend a homeschooling situation which may not be in the child's best interest.


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