On March 16th, 2011 the New Hampshire State Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s 2009 decision to force a homeschooled girl to begin attending public school. The lower court’s decision focused on a divorced couple where the father objected to the girl being homeschooled by her Christian mother. The girl herself was adamant that she wanted to continue being homeschooled, but the judge believed that she needed to be exposed to other viewpoints other than the Christian based homeschool curriculum that her mother was teaching her. Many have seen this as an attack on the mother and daughter’s Christian faith.
The New Hampshire Supreme court’s decision was unanimous and seemed to be careful to frame it’s decision on family law instead of the merits of homeschooling. But by letting the lower court’s decision stand, it sets up a dangerous precedent in my opinion. Homeschooling is an option that all parents should have the option to exercise.
We are not currently homeschooling any of our children, but we have discussed it as an option if we don’t feel that public or private schools can meet our educational needs. I shudder to think of the courts dictating where a child should be educated.
Both the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) were involved in the case and had assisted the mother and daughter in their struggle. Hopefully they will file an amicus with the U.S. Supreme Court and continue to fight for their rights.