The Battle in the Courts
The fight for parental rights is an ongoing battle in which we must constantly be engaged.
Since the Leeper decision, there have been many advances of home schooling freedom, not only in Texas, but throughout the country. Statistics collected nationwide over the last decade have shown that parent taught home education is no longer considered “fringe,” but is more and more accepted as mainstream.
This acceptance is wonderful news for families who have researched curriculum, studied their options, and prayerfully considered the best direction to successfully educate their children.
In recent weeks, however, it is more apparent how far home schooling still has to go. A spotlight was cast on a significant segment of society that is still “evolving” in accepting the parental right to home school–the Judicial system.
Bias Against Home Schooling
Recently, THSC was notified of a Texas family that was separated by divorce a few years ago. The father recently filed a request for the court to intervene and prevent the mother from home schooling. Where there is conflict or a question of how the children are to be educated, the default opinion of many courts is that the children should go to public school because it’s in ”the best interest of the child.”
“The best interest of the child”–What does that really mean? How often is what’s “best” overlooked for the sake of what’s “easiest”?
The father’s petition to the court argued that home schooling would cause his daughter to lack socialization, emotional development, a ”traditional environment,” and diversity. He also claimed that the mother, who is a college graduate and was home schooled herself, is not qualified to home school. His petition concluded that immediate action by the court was necessary because “… our child’s present circumstances significantly impairs her physical health or emotional development.”
Unfortunately, Judge Ronald R. Pope of the 328th District Court in Fort Bend county agreed and ordered the mother to stop home schooling.
In 2016, with a myriad of opportunities available and with home schooled students performing exceptionally well on multitudes of national tests, how does the Judicial system still not recognize the benefits, quality, and “diversity” of home education? Maybe it’s time attorneys, judges, caseworkers, and other related professionals also go back to school.
THSC hosts a Continuing Legal Education seminar every December designed to train judges and attorneys on the law regarding CPS and child custody cases as they relate to home schooling. The Fort Bend case, as well as other recent decisions by the Texas Supreme Court, demonstrates clearly that the fight for home schooling and parental rights has moved into the courtroom.
What You Can Do
Join THSC in the fight for parental rights with 2 simple steps:
- Stay informed by signing-up for email notifications.
- Share this post, especially with any attorneys or judges you know needing CLE.
Thank you for your support as we continue Keeping Texas Families Free.