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Religious Freedom: County to Interrogate Children?

Discussion in 'Baptists' started by Avid, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. Avid

    Avid A Pilgrim and a Sojourner...

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    There always seems to be something this world is trying to do to affect freedom of religion in our supposedly free country. In opposition to long-standing state laws, the US Constitution and even in opposition to the law cited as an excuse for this policy, it seems one VA county has formed a policy that puts an unreasonable demand upon those who would homeschool their children, and even the children themselves!


    Virginia County to Interrogate Homeschool Teens
    about Their Religious Beliefs

    By: Matthew Clark | January 14th, 2015 at 12:57 PM | ACLJ

    http://www.redstate.com/diary/matthewclark/2015/01/14/virginia-county-interrogate-homeschool-teens-religious-beliefs/

    The article points to a 25 year old example of a neighboring county attempting something similar. There is not anywhere we can safely say, "This is as far as they would go." We can't say, "At least it stops here." They are not about to stop.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
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  2. miamited

    miamited Ted Supporter

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    Hi avid,

    I didn't read it all, but it seems to me the very foundation of the county 'law' as regards homeschooling is the real issue. Why is it that one can only homeschool their children if they have a 'religious' reason. I haven't done a lot of study on the issue, but I'm pretty sure that in Florida, where I lived for many years, and here in South Carolina, homeschooling is not some path open to only those who have some religious argument against the public school system.

    Homeschooling can be advantageous for a child and it can be disastrous for a child. I know of some very bright adults who were homeschooled by a parent or parents who took the responsibility of that task very seriously. I also know of at least one case of a parent who claimed to be homeschooling their child who, sadly for the child, spent next to no actual time teaching the child anything. He can barely read or write and knows next to nothing of any of the standard curriculum that most students have been taught. As far as I know, his mother just took him around with her on her day to day errands and never taught him anything.

    Seems to me this requirement could be rather easily overturned just on the basis that it isn't how homeschooling is done in the vast majority of our nation.

    God bless you.
    In Christ, Ted
     
  3. Blue Wren

    Blue Wren Well-Known Member

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    How do things operate normally, when schooling teenagers, from the home, in the US? Are there curriculum standards, compulsory testing, check-ups? I'm Swedish, and it is not possible, to home school, minors at any age. It is illegal there, and in many other countries of Europe, unless there is, an exceptional circumstance. If the child has an illness, or such, or the family has taken a sabbatical. My cousin, as an example, he was taught at home, from a tutor, whilst recovering, from burns in a home fire. It is not possible there to home school, permanently, for religious reasons. Here, the city in the US where I'm living, for my internship, it does not seem to be so normal, to school at home. So I am sorry, to have more questions, than I do comments!
     
  4. miamited

    miamited Ted Supporter

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    Hi blue wren,

    I haven't actually done it because my wife and I both worked and so homeschooling was just never a consideration, but...

    It is my understanding that proper homes schooling requires that the parents be enjoined with an organization that supports home school curriculum. In many jurisdictions, home school children are allowed and even encouraged to participate in many 'outside the classroom' activities such as field trips and the like.

    Many parents believe that it allows them greater control over what their children learn, and certainly to some degree that is true. One of the biggest issues is God and creation. However, my personal conviction is that parents can teach these things, and should, right along with public education. The problem, as I honestly understand it, is that most parents, when they send their children through the public education system, abdicate their responsibility to do this. I was able to teach my son a firm foundation of knowledge and understanding of who God is and all that He has done that mankind might have life, despite what public education tried to teach him. I taught him to not accept all that teachers tried to teach him on such subjects as science and the creation beyond what is testable and verifiable and is not in contention with God's truth. To always ask the question: Is that the truth?

    God bless you.
    In Christ, Ted
     
  5. Blue Wren

    Blue Wren Well-Known Member

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    Thank-you for the information, Miamited.
     
  6. Avid

    Avid A Pilgrim and a Sojourner...

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    It is a downside, and I know of people who have a parenting style that did not initially make homeschooling easy. The children did not seem to respond to the parents being in the role of "school teacher."

    In Florida, there seems to be a good set of laws and good support for the idea of homeschooling. In Virginia, however, they may be a little further behind in making it easy for parents to do that. The article in the OP mentioned a successful home schooling venture in Virginia. That should be an encouragement for other parents.

    There was a fellow, who had a talk show on the radio, who insisted on referring to "Public Schools" as "Government Indoctrination Centers." The results, in general, speak to that being a fact, as too many come out with little functional ability.

    So glad, Ted, that you have given your son the right ideas and attitudes toward education. It is a failure on the part of the parents who do not do that, regardless of whether the children are homeschooled or not.
     
  7. Saricharity

    Saricharity Follower of Christ

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    I'm not entirely sure how it works in the US but I believe it varies from state to state. In Canada, it is legal to homeschool your children. In my province, there are no rules. You are free to educate your children how you deem acceptable. There is no compulsory testing or check ups. Homeschooling is a very strong movement and people are homeschooling for many different reasons. My family belongs to the Homeschool legal defence association as well as an active homeschool group. My mom is a licensed teacher but many parents are not. It is not required. Most homeschool families are very involved in their communities. Kids in my homeschool group have parents who are doctors, lawyers and many other professionals. I would also say that possibly 30 percent of the families are not even Christians. More and more families are removing their children from the public schools for various reasons. My family also chooses to have two of us in a private Christian school.
     
  8. Blue Wren

    Blue Wren Well-Known Member

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  9. Saricharity

    Saricharity Follower of Christ

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    It is common where I live. I have attended some large homeschool conferences in my province as well. The problem with the stats are that most homeschool families are not registered and they are not required to register. So while those stats might reflect the ones who have registered with their school board, it can be expected that the numbers are much higher.
     
  10. miamited

    miamited Ted Supporter

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    Hi blue wren,

    Those numbers may be correct. While it is a viable alternative to teaching one's children, for most parents, public or private school is the best alternative for them, their abilities to teach, and time limitations.

    Today, however, public schools in particular are taking it on the chin. Not only do they still have to contend with issues arising over the 'content' of the instruction, especially as regards creation and God, but our public schools here in the US have become dangerous places for children. Our 'everybody should own a fire arm to protect themselves' culture is backfiring on us in many very deadly and disastrous ways. It is reflected in the dozens of instances of both firearms use and firearms confiscation that is happening at the front doors of our schools. Parents have a real fear of their children not being safe in many, many public schools.

    I throw this out there just to give those following along an idea of where I stand on firearms control and not to start a bruhaha over firearms rights. In studying all of the various cultures around the world, on this singular issue of how any government should deal with firearms ownership and use, I find that the Japanese government seems to have the best set of laws. Canada and Great Britain come in as second. I use only the historical data and don't accept all the 'well this could happen' scenarios that many try to throw out against firearms regulations.

    Fact: Firearms deaths in Japan, a nation with one third of our population but 1/100th or our land area (3.8 million sq miles vs 146,000) total firearms deaths reported stands right around 0.05 of the population. In the US we've lost more people than that in the time it's taking you to read this information.

    So, while there are of course exceptions to every rule, which firearm advocates like to hold out as their banner, the overall constant when measuring the 'firearms deaths by country' around the world, is that the more restrictive a nation's laws are in dealing with firearms, the lower the death rate of its people by such weapons.

    Here's a place where you can delve into the nuts and bolts of the facts and figures: Gun homicides and gun ownership listed by country | News | theguardian.com

    I apologize if this derails the thread and I hope that it doesn't, but issues such as this do come into play in a parent's decision on where to educate their child.

    God bless you.
    In Christ, Ted
     
  11. Avid

    Avid A Pilgrim and a Sojourner...

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    Worry not, my friend.

    It is DEFINITELY a reason parents wish to teach their children at home. As you mentioned, some have the valid concern that children are not safe at school. It seems a more widespread danger is the wrong info and ideas taught in schools about guns, and other issues dealing with the US Constitution.

    If anyone wishes to cite another reason to NOT have their child in the public school system, I'd consider that on-topic.
     
  12. Blue Wren

    Blue Wren Well-Known Member

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    I understand, how gun violence, that would be a fear, for many parents, yes. I remember the day after, the terrible shooting at the elementary school, in 2012. We watched the news, from class, and talked about it, many of us, we were crying, it was so tragic. Heart-breaking. There has only been one massacre in Scandinavia in recent years, in Norway, in 2011. That man, sadly, is a self-described Christian fundamentalist. Most people, they know, he was not right in his mind, that it had, nothing to do, at all, with true Christianity, no. Nothing at all. Sadly, some people, they saw it, as a reason, to criticise, Christianity. :( That, was not fair, to the rest of us, who, believe nothing at all, like him.
     
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