California Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger has weighed in on the homeschooling fracas in our state:
"Every California child deserves a quality education and parents should have the right to decide what's best for their children," the governor said in a statement. "Parents should not be penalized for acting in the best interests of their children's education. This outrageous ruling must be overturned by the courts and if the courts don't protect parents' rights then, as elected officials, we will."
Go, Arnold! (Although with our current state legislature, he's going to have major arm twisting to do. But if anyone can twist arms (to the point of compound fracture), it's Arnold.)
Here's part of the statement from our ISP, Heritage Christian School, written by our principal, Mary York:
"HCS will continue to function as normal until all of the legal actions resulting from this decision have been completed, which could be years [emphasis mine].... As with any trial, there is an opportunity for growth. There is tremendous speculation about home schooled families, much of it incorrect. As this case winds its way through the courts, the reasons for choosing to home school our children will be on full display; low test scores, disrespect for authority, immorality and vacuous instruction in the public schools will be high-lighted. Additionally, the sceptics will see all of the benefits that are associated with home schooled children: academically superior, socially adept, confident, well spoken, ambitious, respectful, thoughtful students. This court decision could actually result in an increase in the numbers of families that decide to home school their families."
With the governor on our side and the massive efforts underway at the local, state, and national levels, I doubt that homeschooling is at serious risk in California. But the brou-ha-ha over a single decision regarding a single family demonstrates how tenuous all of our freedoms currently are. Trusting in the Lord rather than in men is the only way to truly experience the "peace that surpasses all understanding" which "guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4). His ways are the best ways, and He certainly has shaken national the home schooling community out of its complacency and to its core -- a wake-up call was definitely needed to avoid taking the freedom to home school for granted. As Mr. Weasley tells Harry in the fifth HP film, "The truth will out."
If you haven't already, please sign the HSLDA PETITION BELOW to "depublish" this decision (make it legally applicable ONLY to the family in question, not to all CA homeschooling families). It will therefore protect the children of this family (whose parents are abusing the trust given them) and also NOT apply this decision to the tens of thousands of dedicated home educators in California who are law-abiding.