Friday, June 20, 2008

California Homeschool Case Argued On Behalf of Parents and Members of Congress

On Monday, the homeschooling case known as In re Rachel L. v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles will be argued at the California Court of Appeal. On February 28, 2008, the Court of Appeal ruled that parents who lack teaching credentials do not have the right to school their children at home. The decision immediately became the subject of sharp criticism across the Nation, and a U.S. House resolution called for reconsideration of the case. The California Court of Appeal agreed to rehear the case, and oral argument is scheduled for Monday.

Earlier this month, Liberty Counsel filed a
57-page brief in the case on behalf of 19 members of the United States Congress. The brief overviews home education laws of all fifty states and the District of Columbia, where it is legal. In 1925, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the rights of parents to direct the education of their children, stating: "The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excludes any general power of the state to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the mere creature of the state; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations."

Congressional members represented by Liberty Counsel include: Ken Calvert (CA-44), John Campbell (CA-48), David Davis (TN-1), John Doolittle (CA-4), Tom Feeney (FL-24), Randy Forbes (VA-4), Trent Franks (AZ-2), Robin Hayes (NC-8), Wally Herger (CA-2), Jim Jordan (OH-4), Doug Lamborn (CO-5), Dan Lungren (CA-3), Thaddeus McCotter (MI-11), Gary Miller (CA-42), Marilyn Musgrave (CO-4), Ed Royce (CA-40), Pete Sessions (TX-32), Mark Souder (IN-3), and Howard McKeon (CA-25), who introduced H. Res. 1076, calling on the courts to uphold the fundamental and constitutional right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children.

Parents have a fundamental right to decide how to educate their children. The government does not always know best. Parents have educated their children successfully at home since the founding of this country. Some of the brightest minds in American history were homeschooled. As an attorney who was homeschooled until the seventh grade, I know the value of parent-directed education.