A column about history, culture, policy, and things in between.
I thought that California politics had lost its ability to surprise me. I was wrong.
Three weeks ago the State Supreme Court of California ruled that "parents do not have a Constitutionial right to home school their children", and if this already challenged ruling stands, parents in the Golden State won't be able to unless first receiving a certification from the State.
Both of our children are in the Elmbrook public schools. But throughout California and this country, parents choose to home school their kids for a variety of reasons. Some are based on spiritual convictions, some are based on educational results, and some are just based on the physical safety of their children. In Los Angeles a primary motivation behind home schooling is to keep kids away from the carcinogen of gangs. But if this ruling stands, these parents won't be able to do so without the certification of some unelected and unaccountable beurocrats in Sacramento.
In one breathlessly arrogant decision, the "California Nine" took on the combined issues of educational policy, judicial activism, and the political rights of individual families to do what they deem best for their children. This is enormously significant and something to keep an eye on. That's because the fate of this gambit in California will determine whether or not this issue grows legs and walks to other parts of the country.
As already stated, the reasons parents choose to home school are many and varied. While Barb and I may not share those motivations, we believe strongly in the right to freely exercise them. This ruling from California's High Court stands as not only an insult to them, but an assault upon them. The assault is even more eggregious coming from an institution whose very purpose is to protect the rights those motivatinos are predicated upon.
This will be an enormous fight - and one to keep an eye on.