Who is Presumptively in Control of a Child’s Education—Parents or the Government?

If you’re a homeschooling parent and you’re not sure of the answer to that question, then you may want to read what is happening in Nebraska that may answer that question and have an impact on your rights.

Eric and Gail Thacker, have five school aged kids.  They did not enroll them into the local public schools as they were home schooling.  After six weeks, charges were filed against the parents and they were found guilty of truancy, a criminal offense, but they were not fined.

Mike Farris, Founder and Chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), appealed their truancy conviction to clear them of having a criminal record.  Farris argued that the state does not have presumptive rights to force enrollment of kids into the public school system and that it is the responsibility of the parents, not the state to education their children.

They won their appeal, but that was short lived as the prosecutor appealed this court’s decision to the Nebraska Court of Appeals.  In an unusual move, the Nebraska State Supreme Court took the case out of the hands of the Court of Appeals, to hear it themselves.

At the time of this writing, Mike Farris is in the Nebraska State Supreme Court arguing the case on behalf of the Thacker family and all homeschoolers in the nation.  Just prior to the hearing, Farris summed up the case this way:

“What’s at Stake”

“The question that I must wrestle with as I prepare for oral argument is: What is the big principle in this case that justified this move?”

“The prosecutor is trying to establish a legal rule that children are presumptively enrolled in the public schools of Nebraska unless they are excused by the government to attend some alternative school.”

“We contend that the public schools have no prior claim on children. The duty of parents is to see that their children are educated.”

“In short, the central issue in this case is who is presumptively in control of a child’s education—parents or the government?”

State and federal governments have been trying to eradicate homeschooling for years.  The case of the Thacker’s is another one of those attempts.  However, the ruling of the Nebraska State Supreme Court will give strong support to either the state or the parents.  I’m sure that other cases will use this ruling in their judicial arguments in future cases.








Comments

comments

Posted in Education, Family Tagged with: , , , , ,
  • Terry Cornell

    If you home school your children then the liberal social democrats can’t brainwash them and they just can’t have children growing up that can think for themselves!

    • bhudda

      You can home school a liberal .Children drift the direction they choose . Young liberals in most cases become old Republicans .Liberalism is a phase not a pattern in life ,as you mature you become more conservative .

    • http://twitter.com/KayDeeBeau Karen Boswell

      Here is the truth – if you have kids and aren’t doing everything you can and without all the stupid stuff in your life to get them out of public schools you are a failing parent.
      Is a new flat screen, meals at a restaruant, the latest video game, the latest fashion, gym membership, manis & pedis, nikes, new cars, new clothes, vacations, 500 channels on cable or dish, finding yourself, a divorce, not getting married, your love interest – any material thing or pleasure really more important than your children?
      Apparently so since I hear all the time -” I just can’t afford to put my kid in private school or homeschool” I seem to recall a message from the Bible that goes something like – where your treasure is there will your heart be also. Too many parents – and yes I am speaking to you – treasure everything else above your children
      And stop with the sad luck stories about I am a single mother (unless you are a widow – I really have no sympathy for you) Let me ask you this – why is it exactly you are a single Mother? What did you choose to do -Did you decide to get pregnant without a husband (here is a newsflash – if you choose to have sex you ulimately decide that preganancy is a possibility) or did you decide to marry a loser, have a baby and then divorce? Did it ever occur to any of you “hard luck cases” to decide not to have sex? To decide that you wouldn’t sell yourself to the highest or most available bidder? Did it ever occur to you that sex and love (or commitment) are not the same thing?
      Did it ever occur to you that we as humans have the ability to resist our desires? I have a desire to crash my car or pull out my gun and blast the tires of cars I see with Obama 2012 bumper stickers on them- but I resist that impulse because I can think past the 30 seconds to the long term results of acting upon that impulse.
      If you have made stupid decisions in your past (who hasn’t) and have seen the light and are truly doing everything to overcome your past mistakes- good for you and there are those of us who are happy to help you as long as you are willing to do the hard stuff to help yourself.
      The rest who see yourselves as victims of “circumstance” (exactly who is responsible for your circumstance – uh – that would be you and the decisions you made) and keep waiting for “somebody” to rescue you or do “something” about the state we are in as a nation – I suggest you look in the mirror, then look in the Bible, – you will find the “someone” to take action and THE Someone for salvation
      see more

    • fridihem

      So it is better to have home education by mommie, who was obviously brainwashed by the commie haters in the 50s……………..and continues the brainwashig of her childfren so as to believe in God and hate socialists, muslims and blacks

  • http://www.facebook.com/brandon.cornell33 Brandon Cornell

    My wife homeschools my child and he is ahead of the state’s requirements for his grade. He is technically a 4th grader but reads at least at an 8th grade level. He is also at least a grade ahead in all other subjects. We spend time talking to him everyday one on one. We make everything possible a learning experience. So no one is going to tell me that a teacher teaching 30 or more kids in one class can do a better job than we do. My wife is a full time stay at home mom taking care of that and my youngest son. My son actually went to 1st grade at the public school due to my wife being very sick with her pregnancy. He literally was bored because he would get his work done in 10 minutes and had nothing else to do. He was so far advanced by that point, the teachers couldn’t really teach him. So we gave him a choice to stay with his friends at school or be challenged by homeschooling. He chose to stay home and is one of the smartest kids I have ever seen his age. Also he is not being taught that homosexuality is an alternative lifestyle, he is not taught about sex against our wishes. He will be taught the way we want to teach him. He is a happy kid who is not being brainwashed by the state and exposed to things he shouldn’t know at 10 years old.

    • bhudda

      This is the point the public schools can’t make as they move your child at a slower pace .If you are not challenged in education then you have a tendancy to view school as undesirable .

    • meg903

      Meg
      AMEN!! More should follow your example. If i was still in my younger years with school children, and with them being taught some of the garbage they are today, I would scrape the bottom of the barrel, to either teach them myself, or private school them. The government has no right to try and tell you how your child should be raised. The only stipulation would be when parents are not fit to be parents, then help the children.I think more parents can be responsible for their children’s well being than the government any day.

  • bhudda

    The only dissaproval of home schooling is the social benifits of pubic schools .In public you have to conform and in family the pecking order is set from the beginning .

    • LeSellers

      There are no “social benifits [sic] of public schooling”. Unless you count losing your individualism and being picked on, being forced to pay protection money to the local mob/gang/bully as a social benefit.

      Visit http://www.schoolandstate.org for more information.

      Mr. O’bama, will there ever <b.be any Jobs?

  • gnafuasusual

    Get children out of the public school system as soon as possible. Home Schooling or into Schools that promote decency and the right to learn truthful information. The Government has over-reached as they always do and now the Dept. of Education is proposing that all books be re-written to….do what? We need our youth to be able to think and not be indoctrinated with garbage. It is Parents who must take this stand and demand either the Dept. of Education be eradicated and bring schooling back to the States and Parents or remove their children from the public school system. Those who can’t do this, the children will be brainwashed and they will not be able to function as normal human beings in Society!

  • Charlie

    Prosecuter is a democract more than likely. A freaking robot of big government, hates individualism. This prosecuter is just a big pile of stink that perhaps even hates ownself.

    • Sunshine43

      He’s just pissed, cause he lost…..just another ass!

  • http://twitter.com/KayDeeBeau Karen Boswell

    Here is the truth – if you have kids and aren’t doing everything you can and without all the stupid stuff in your life to get them out of public schools you are a failing parent.

    Is a new flat screen, meals at a restaruant, the latest video game, the latest fashion, gym membership, manis & pedis, nikes, new cars, new clothes, vacations, 500 channels on cable or dish, finding yourself, a divorce, not getting married, your love interest – any material thing or pleasure really more important than your children?

    Apparently so since I hear all the time -” I just can’t afford to put my kid in private school or homeschool” I seem to recall a message from the Bible that goes something like – where your treasure is there will your heart be also. Too many parents – and yes I am speaking to you – treasure everything else above your children

    And stop with the sad luck stories about I am a single mother (unless you are a widow – I really have no sympathy for you) Let me ask you this – why is it exactly you are a single Mother? What did you choose to do -Did you decide to get pregnant without a husband (here is a newsflash – if you choose to have sex you ulimately decide that preganancy is a possibility) or did you decide to marry a loser, have a baby and then divorce? Did it ever occur to any of you “hard luck cases” to decide not to have sex? To decide that you wouldn’t sell yourself to the highest or most available bidder? Did it ever occur to you that sex and love (or commitment) are not the same thing?

    Did it ever occur to you that we as humans have the ability to resist our desires? I have a desire to crash my car or pull out my gun and blast the tires of cars I see with Obama 2012 bumper stickers on them- but I resist that impulse because I can think past the 30 seconds to the long term results of acting upon that impulse.

    If you have made stupid decisions in your past (who hasn’t) and have seen the light and are truly doing everything to overcome your past mistakes- good for you and there are those of us who are happy to help you as long as you are willing to do the hard stuff to help yourself.

    The rest who see yourselves as victims of “circumstance” (exactly who is responsible for your circumstance – uh – that would be you and the decisions you made) and keep waiting for “somebody” to rescue you or do “something” about the state we are in as a nation – I suggest you look in the mirror, then look in the Bible, – you will find the “someone” to take action and THE Someone for salvation

    • Sunshine43

      Karen……I love you!! Finally, someone has spoken with common sense! There should be millions more like you! I’m saving your response!
      Betsy

      • LeSellers

        There are, if not millions, at least tens of thousands of like-minded parents.

        http://www.schoolandstate.org gives names of many of them who have signed a proclamation stating “I proclaim publicly that I favor ending government involvement in education.”

        Everyone here who has objected to the state’s involvement in what passes for education, and especially we who see children as a parent’s responsibility, not the state’s, must sign this proclamation.

        Mr. O’bama, will there ever be any Jobs?

    • katchaturian

      I feel like an outcast. :) Karen et al are correct. Years ago we had a levy failure and lost 19 teachers. At lunch one day the following spring my peers were complaining about class loads. Two months later they were bitterly chipping because folks were removing kids from school for homeschooling. Go figure.
      Please understand that the idiot from Nebraska ( I feel sorry for the great people there) is merely trying to get his federal monies determined by the bus ridership count taken in September and to hell with the kids.
      Sorry to be so abrasive, but federal justification cannot cover the inadequacy of our public schools. I have interviewed 300 exchange students in 40 years. 95% say our curriculum is ‘rediculously’ easy. Most must take another year when they arrive home . . .not juniors, but seniors.
      Another person attempted to justify and boost the quality of U.S. colleges suggesting foreign kids come here to enter higher education. But of course. It is so easy to obtain a degree of any kind in the U.S.. If it was different, we would not have so many d— featherbedding congressional self aggrandizinglawmakers. Lawyers???
      The bright spot in the U.S. is the number of home and otherwise privately schooled kids. Look at the millions the feds have spent on bullying hearings etc.. Homeschoolers beware. The feds might send spies to lurk outside your home. TIC.

  • neomatsu

    Its not the government, they need to get out of our lives!!!! Its because of these liberal democrats that this great country is going to hell!!!!

  • Steve Tanton

    “If it is believed that these elementary schools will be better managed by the governor and council or any other general authority of the government, than by the parents within each ward, it is a belief against all experience.” – Thomas Jefferson (in response to a 1780 bill which proposed placing education in the hands of state officials, The Commonwealth of Virginia)

  • believeroftheway

    The Bible is very clear: the only ones who should be instructing children are their parents. The Government Indoctrination Centers (GIC) quit being schools (which allowed for the instruction in all areas of diverse reasoning) decades ago as the vested political powers decided that forming children to become what the government deems appropriate was more important then teaching children to think independently. This means that children left in a GIC will be godless and love the state more than GOD or their parents. Is it any wonder that the morality exhibited by a majority of Americans is geared toward relativism instead of truth? Until families regain control of what their children are exposed to, the country will continue on this downward spiral of immorality and selfishness, which places the highest value on happiness attained by materialism and sensuality, instead of knowing GOD’S truth.

  • 4Pip

    One more reason we don’t need the D.O.E. Gov’t. should not be involved in our children’s lives.

  • Mary

    the parents are always in control or should be.

  • http://www.facebook.com/adrian.vance1 Adrian Vance

    President for Life Obama, you twit! Don’t you know anything?

    Come see us at the Two Minute Conservative at http://adrianvance.blogspot.com and when you speak fine ladies will swoon and liberal gentlemen will weep.