Judge Sheri Y. Dean, who presides over the 309th Family District Court in Harris County, ordered a home schooling mother of four to move from San Antonio to Houston and instructed her to place her children in public school. This family found themselves in court after the father filed for a divorce in 2011. The father was found to be at fault in the divorce, and the suit for disillusionment of marriage was granted.
Early on in the case Judge Dean allowed the mother and the children to move from Houston to San Antonio, where they have made a home over the last two years. Near the end of the proceedings Judge Dean changed her mind and sided with the father by saying that the children could no longer be home schooled, nor could they live in San Antonio.
Once a case affecting the parent-child relationship is brought before a judge, It is the judge’s responsibility to make a ruling that is in the child’s best interest, but at no point does the law give a judge authority to overturn a child’s way of life unnecessarily. These children’s scores on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills illustrate this families home schooling success. The 10th grader scored in the 83rd percentile, the 8th grader scored in the 99th percentile, the 5th grader scored in the 87th percentile, and the 1st grader scored in the 58th percentile. There was no evidence that the children would have been better off in public school. In fact, the children were doing so well that the test scores for both of the older two children scored at college level.
Fortunately, after many prayers, thousands of calls and emails from family and friends, and a letter from THSC’s President Tim Lambert, Judge Dean has allowed for the possibility of home schooling. We at THSC continue to pray for a successful conclusion to this drawn-out case. However, Judge Dean was going to and, as the case remains, may still force the children to enter public school. Judge Sheri Y. Dean is not acting in the best interest of the children and is ignoring parental rights in this case.