Illiberal Homeschooling: Constitutional Constraints on Homeschooling
I have not yet read this entire article, but it seemed like some good reading for the weekend for those of you so inclined. (You can download it via the link provided at that site.)

I'll preface this with a definition, from the Free Online Dictionary:
a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
c. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
Free from bigotry, and tolerant of the ideas and behaviors of others. That is important. Now I'm just going to pull some quotes from this paper by Kimberly Yuracko of the Northwestern University School of Law.
For decades political theorists have worried and argued about what steps a liberal society must take to protect children being raised in illiberal communities. They have focused their attention on the extent to which a liberal society must permit or condemn such practices as plygamy, clitoridectomy, and child marriage. Virtually absent from the debate has been any discussion of the extent to which a liberal society should condone or constrain homeschooling, particularly as practiced by religious fundamentalist families explicitly seeking to shield their children from liberal values of sex equality, gender role fluidity and critical rationality.
This appears to be the root of the author's concern. Parallel societies springing up from religious fundamentalist teachings. From what she writes later, the liberal value of "sex equality" deals directly with the teaching that women should submit to their husbands in marriage. I think what is meant by "gender role fluidity" is clear. And I'll make the assumption that "critical rationality" refers directly to evolution, but I don't think that is brought up in the paper. Only a certain minimum education that the state is mandated to ensure which includes not only basic skills, but certain liberal values. And this is central to her argument (emphasis mine):
It [the argument about the constitutionally mandated minimum that states must require of homeschools] highlights the distinctness of parents and children and emphasizes that parental control over children's basic education flows from the state (rather than vice versa). States delegate power over children's basic education to parents, and the delegation itself is necessarily subject to constitutional constraints.
This is what I don't really understand. I'm all for a "liberal" society, at least in theory. I live peacefully in a society with atheists, homosexuals, Muslims, pagans and liberals. I don't agree with them. In conversation, I may even tell them that. But I am not about to try to exert any political force against them or what they teach their children as truth. What ideas exactly is a "liberal" society open to, if conservatism is so taboo as to necessitate state oversight of the relationship between parent and child to ensure its extinction?

But more central to the argument, and more concerning to me is the idea that the parent's ability to homeschool is delegated by the state. What happened to "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America?"

We the people gave the power to the state which governs by our consent. That is the most fundamental assertion of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and yet somehow out of that we assert that the parent does not have the right to educate the child, but is only delegated a portion of the state's authority?

I am not saying that parents have the right to not educate their child, but some minimal standard of due process should be necessary to bring the state into my home to oversee what I am doing. And "Christian" shouldn't be enough.

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