Parents who homeschool their children in California’s San Benito Unified School District recently informing them they were breaking the law.
According to the Home School Legal Defense Association, the world’s largest homeschool advocacy organization, the letter from the district claimed, “Under California law, a home school is not a private school, nor is it a lawful alternative to public school.”
However, it was eight years ago when a senior level court in the state concluded that state law permits homeschooling “as a species of private education.”
That ruling came in a case in which the court first ruled the other way and essentially ordered homeschoolers into a government-approved program. But when WND broke the story, a coalition of homeschool interests joined to ask for the judges to reconsider, which they did.
Of the latest ploy from the San Benito district, the HSDLA said, “We cannot understand or explain how a school district today, so many years after the Jonathan L. case, could still be sending official correspondence that is so clearly wrong.
“When we learned of San Benito’s letter, we quickly responded on behalf of our member families, explaining that homeschooling is indeed a legal exemption to public school attendance pursuant to the private-school exemption.”
The organization cited the 2008 case that set the legal precedent.
HSLDA said the original ruling came out before it had been notified of the dispute.
“Because HSLDA was not involved in the underlying case, the appellate court was not properly briefed about the many ways the legislature had made provision for parents to teach their own children under the private-school option,” the group said.
HSLDA jumped into action when the opinion was released, and eventually, “The same three judges who had said back in February (before we were involved) that homeschooling was illegal now reversed course and held that ‘California statutes permit home schooling as a species of private school education.'”
At the time, there were more than 166,000 homeschooled children in the state’s whose education was at risk by the earlier ruling.
The case had been brought to the appeals court by the Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles, and the father’s request for rehearing had been handled by Gary Kreep, then of the United States Justice Foundation, lawyers with the Alliance Defense Fund, HSLDA and others.
Participating on behalf of Sunland Christian School, which oversaw the children’s home education, was the Pacific Justice Institute.
The court found specific provisions in state law that support the legitimacy of homeschooling.
“We therefore conclude that home schools may constitute private schools,” the opinion said.
The parents of the children in the case talked with WND as the case developed about the situation over the education being provided to two of their eight children.
The father said the family objected to public school because of the pro-homosexual, pro-bisexual, pro-transgender agenda of California’s public schools, on which WND previously has reported.
“We just don’t want them teaching our children,” he told WND. “They teach things that are totally contrary to what we believe. They put questions in our children’s minds we don’t feel they’re ready for.
“When they are much more mature, they can deal with these issues, alternative lifestyles, and such, or whether they came from primordial slop. At the present time it’s my job to teach them the correct way of thinking,” he said.