In Monday’s post, here on ThreePercenterNation.com, I told you about a family pushing back against a Virginia School Board who didn’t seem to have a very good sense of where their boundaries were in relation to overseeing, or not, the educational aspects of home schooled children in the Goochland County district.
To a standing room only crowd, the school board heard from parents who argued for a repeal of a policy, which required that 14 year old, home schooled children, be brought before the public school board to defend their religious beliefs. It seems the board feels the need to grill kids to see if they are really Christian enough to meet the requirements of a state statute that allows for religious exemption from public school attendance.
Red State reported on the Tuesday Board meeting events of and noted the board policy has basis in Virginia law.
“To be clear this policy has no basis in Virginia law. In fact the policy directly violates Virginia’s religious freedom statutes and the U.S. Constitution. In addition, it directly violates a Virginia statute, also passed in 2013, that clearly and emphatically provides: ‘A parent has a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child.’
So, the bigger question, to me, is why does Virginia need a religious exemption to home school their kids, if they have a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education and care of their kids? What if they want to home school for educational reasons that have nothing to do with religion? Should they have to get the blessing of the government school system?
Perhaps that’s the underlying reason for this entire mess? Maybe there are more and more who want to forego public education? Just speculating here, but if Virginia statute only grants exemption from public school attendance for religious, health and safety reasons, then what are parents to do if they just want to home school because they don’t want their kids in a public school for any reason? Are they required to get the blessing of the public school?
Tweets from Matthew Clark, of ACLJ, note that Virginia statutes for non-religious exemptions are much more stringent.
Having sat on a school board myself, I know a common tactic to temper the enflamed passions of an irate community, is to delay. A vote was taken to repeal the ridiculous policy, but it was not unanimous, so another will be required, and as pointed out in the Red State article, lots of stuff can happen with time, and outside the watchful eye of public sunlight. I’ll keep on top of this story and post updates on ThreePecenterNation.com Stay Tuned.
Catch up on the details of this story and read Monday’s post on ThreePercenterNation.com