HOMESCHOOLING: Prosecution is waged abroad, while troubling trends abound in US

The following excerpt is from an interview Mike Farris, president of Home School Legal Defense Association, did with the Baptist Press:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–As the practice of homeschooling continues to grow, an expert has noticed a “marked increase” in the scrutiny that parents and students can face when they choose to pursue an education at home.

“I think what we’re seeing is unfortunately a growing trend,” Michael Farris, chancellor of Patrick Henry College, told Baptist Press.

Some of the most severe cases are happening overseas, in countries such as Germany and Sweden where families are being fined thousands of dollars for homeschooling their children and government authorities are removing children from homes.

Germany is one of a handful of nations that bans homeschooling, with a Hitler-era law giving German states the right to take custody of children who don’t attend school, according to the article.

DANGEROUS TRENDS IN U.S.

“So there are trends there, but the more frightening trends for American homeschoolers are the trends in the United States,” Farris said.

In New Hampshire, the state Supreme Court is expected to rule any day in a case where divorced parents could not agree on how to educate their daughter. The father said the mother’s strict Christian homeschool teachings were isolating the child, and a lower court judge ordered the child to attend public schools, which the mother considered a violation of her parental rights. ┬áThe father’s attorney argued before the New Hampshire Supreme Court in January that parents have no constitutional right to homeschool their children.

Farris, who also is chairman and general counsel of the Home School Legal Defense Association, said the New Hampshire case “is an incredibly dangerous development” because the judge who sent the girl to public school was opposed to the mother teaching a belief system that included absolute truth.

In the cover story for the November-December issue of The Home School Court Report magazine, Farris details a third wave of argument that seeks to curtail or crush the homeschooling movement. The first wave, years ago, he wrote, was to accuse the movement of being unable to provide an adequate education. The second wave was to criticize its students for being socially inept. Both were proven wrong, Farris wrote.

“But there is a third wave coming. And I doubt that many of you have any idea of the intensity and breadth of the elitist movement that is taking dead aim at our movement,” Farris wrote. “… Here is their assertion. Christian homeschooling parents are effectively transmitting values to their children that the elitists believe are dangerous to the well-being of both these very children and society as a whole.

To read the full article, please go to http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34699&