Saturday, 26 March 2011

Homeschooled Christian Girl Court-Ordered

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has upheld a divorce court order forcing a Christian homeschooling mom to place her daughter in public school.

The divorced parents share equal rights to the girl's upbringing. The father wanted his daughter in public school full time for socialization.

According to the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), allied with the mother's attorney, the New Hampshire's Supreme Court has previously stated that American home education is a tradition and a right.

The three judges didn't see it that way this time. In this case of The Matter of Kurowski, a "marital master" was called into court to assess whether the girl was too rigidly indoctrinated into her religious beliefs through her homeschool classes.

On the contrary, says ADF, the girl has been in extra-curricular social settings and supplemental public school classes with public school students for years.

The marital master acknowledged that the girl seemed well-adjusted and academically astute (homeschool students consistently average higher than public school students in SAT-ACT testing).

But he/she also found that the girl's Christian beliefs could influence others. On this basis, the judge ordered the mom to pack up her state-approved homeschool curriculum, which included science, math, English and other courses, and enroll the daughter in a government-run school.

This may seem incongruous. If the judges ruled for the father, wouldn't they instead want to keep the girl out of public school so her Christian beliefs didn't influence others?

The solution was to assign a guardian ad-litem who will monitor the girl to make sure she begins reflecting multiple other worldviews.

Several questions need to be asked:

* In whose esteem is one's peacefully conducted religious faith "too rigid?" It's a subjective term.

* Was the marital master's word taken at face value without knowing what his own definition of "rigid" is? Could there be a conflict of interest?

* Who is acting on behalf of this now 11-year-old child's desires? Did someone talk to her without either parent in the room? We're told today that children should decide for themselves what they want. But in divorce cases, states vary on the age a child can be heard.

* Are there double standards at work here? "Morning after" pill makers are lobbying the government to abolish any minimum age limit for purchase. Abortion providers take minor girls across state lines without a parent's knowledge. But this girl didn't have a choice.

* What do the judges personally believe? The Senate Judiciary Committee often votes against judicial nominees on the basis of their personal beliefs, even though it's against SJC regulations to do so. Shouldn't we ask the judges in this case if they're against Christian beliefs, to avoid bias?

As this case stands, the girl needs to stop believing so much in the Ten Commandments: Honor your parents, love God, don't murder, don't commit adultery, Don't lie, don't steal.

And she must be allowed to learn in today's public school curriculum: Do whatever you want, sex is natural at any age, what your parents say doesn't matter, God doesn't exist.

The Homeschool Legal Defense Association's website reflects disappointment with this Supreme Court ruling, but that the court stated their decision was confined to this case, not against all homeschooling. It could still set a precedent.

No comments:

Post a Comment