August 31, 2004

Who Owns the Children?

The state would like to say they do - or atleast the right to own them when they want to. The current battle in Pennsylvania over state monitoring of homeschooling families brings the point home. From a recent Christian Science Monitor article:

"Babette Hankin of Croyden, Pa., likes to show off her home-schooling program. Not only do her seven children stay occupied all day, but the five of school age seem to thrive in her regimented rotation covering earth science, reading, math, and even piano practice.

Yet despite pride in the program, Mrs. Hankin is suing the Bristol Township School District for requiring a yearly review. At dispute is the age-old but not yet settled question of who owns the children, and who therefore should oversee their education - the parents, the state, or God?"

The point to these parents is not whether or not they are meeting the states standards for education - but rather whether the state has the right to push such standards on them and evaluate them.

For a similar case in PA, read this Fox News Story, which brings up similar questions:

The Newborns homeschool their kids and object to the legal requirement that the local district superintendent must have final approval of their children's education, which includes religious studies.

"It's not the paperwork we are objecting to ... because there is no religious objection to paperwork. It is the final approval by the superintendent, a secular institution, over our children's religious education," said Maryalice Newborn.

Then ask yourself who should have final authority over their kids education? I think you can guess what my answer here is.


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