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  1. #1
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    TX - Homeschooling vs Rapture TX Supreme Court to decide?

    I first thought this was satire, I just couldn't believe this would happen or ever even be an issue but I guess it isn't satire and it is apparently an issue with this family.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/educa...chool-case.ece

    "AUSTIN — Laura McIntyre began educating her nine children more than a decade ago inside a vacant office at an El Paso motorcycle dealership she ran with her husband and other relatives.

    Now the family is embroiled in a legal battle the Texas Supreme Court hears Monday that could have broad implications on the nation’s booming home-school ranks. The McIntyres are accused of failing to teach their children educational basics because they were waiting to be transported to heaven with the second coming of Jesus Christ."
    imo, jmo, imho and all that stuff

  2. #2
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    I feel sorry for these kids as they will be completely unprepared for life in the real world.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairy1 View Post
    I feel sorry for these kids as they will be completely unprepared for life in the real world.
    And there are many more like this family-- read about Unschooling as a "philosophy" of learning.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unscho...d_environments

    There are a number of "fundamentalist religious adherents" in the U.S. who only believe in educating their children enough to ensure they continue to live as adults in the parent's chosen religious beliefs, and the environment the parent chooses for them. Reading, for example, is often only taught (if at all) so that the child can read the chosen religious text or similar religious materials. Sometimes informational texts are permitted, but literature of any kind is often viewed as "of the devil". An independent life outside the parent's religion, marriage outside the religion, or a career, or college/ career training outside of the home religious environment is never the plan for their kids from the moment of their conception.

    Even kids in cloistered sects like the Amish learn more reading, math, science, and social studies than some of the more extremist adherents of philosophies like "unschooling". And the Amish allow their kids to choose whether to remain Amish, or leave and be part of larger society.

    I'm very supportive of home schooling when there is actual education of children taking place, and the outcomes are measured to ensure the kids have the skills necessary to make their own way in the world at age 18. Trust, but verify, IMO. Homeschooling should be a privilege extended to parents that actually educate their kids-- not a "right" to hide behind to justify educational neglect.

    There are a lot of people hiding behind "homeschooling" that are like the family in the thread article, and using "religion" to justify not educating their children to any basic standards. That is completely unacceptable, IMO, and should be considered neglect. I hope the TX supreme court rules against the parents. This would be a very bad precedent to set, IMO.

  4. #4
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    The schooling requirements and lack of requirements in the same state is baffling.

    Teachers need a license to teach. No one needs a license to be a parent, but that doesn't make someone qualified to be a good parent or a qualified sole teacher to the child. Jmo.

    Fwiw, wonder if the vast differences from state to state in many areas of law are really benefiting US society as a whole? Or are they dividing society?

  5. #5
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    I know there are a lot of great parents that home school their kids for all the right reasons and most likely do a great job. I do have concerns with the lack of consistency and oversight and, IMO, home schooling eliminates a vital layer of protection for children who may be in abusive or neglectful environments at home. Sorry, but there's a lot more than religious beliefs that can be hidden behind home schooling.

  6. #6
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    Each state has laws and rules for homeschooling parents. The difficult issue is enforcement and oversight of the laws that are already in place-- which often falls to the local school district. If the parents don't believe in birth certificates, or move to a new area, there is no way to determine how many kids are being home schooled in a given area unless the parents register with the local school district.

    There is often little political "will" to properly oversee the homeschool laws, or hold parents responsible for educational neglect, and there are zealous activist groups who want to keep it that way. Almost no one is charged with educational neglect UNLESS there is some other big social services or legal issue that comes up, and then educational neglect is discovered and "tacked on" to the other issues.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Z View Post
    Each state has laws and rules for homeschooling parents. The difficult issue is enforcement and oversight of the laws that are already in place-- which often falls to the local school district. If the parents don't believe in birth certificates, or move to a new area, there is no way to determine how many kids are being home schooled in a given area unless the parents register with the local school district.

    There is often little political "will" to properly oversee the homeschool laws, or hold parents responsible for educational neglect, and there are zealous activist groups who want to keep it that way. Almost no one is charged with educational neglect UNLESS there is some other big social services or legal issue that comes up, and then educational neglect is discovered and "tacked on" to the other issues.
    Absolutely - and those groups take total advantage of the fact that any attempt to regulate and enforce home schooling would not be a popular stance for any politician to take. Making it even easier for children to be made vulnerable and to slip through the cracks. Or at the very least, to get a poor education.

  8. #8
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    Sometimes well-meaning folks take up banners, such as "unschooling," completely oblivious of who may be following behind. From the perspective of an educator, it may well be possible to ensure a complete and comprehensive education over time by diligently following a child's development and interests. But, I would expect that anyone doing so responsibly would soon find it to be an exhausting set of tasks. Meanwhile, they have laid the groundwork for the irresponsible to jump on the bandwagon of providing no education at all, claiming to be adherents of "unschooling."

    There has certainly been some of that folded into the home schooling movement. We hear from time to time about parents who withdrew their children from public school, claiming to home school, in order to avoid being found out as abusive. Some kids have died as a result. But more insidious, to my mind, has been the growth of religiously-themed curricula for home-school families wishing to deny their children contact with the world as well as any opposing values, or frequently any inconvenient portions of history, science, health and hygiene or other subjects. Texas, btw, is one of the states where such rewritten history text have even infiltrated public education.

  9. #9
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    Several years ago, my husband worked briefly with a woman who was a product of the type of home schooling we're discussing here. Raised in an fanatically religious environment, home schooled with no exposure to the outside world. Her parents threw her out of the house at 18 with no resources - financial or otherwise. She was literally forced into the streets and made to figure it out with zero frame of reference. Of course, that was when her real education began.

    Somehow, she survived and was able to find employment and build a life for herself. At the time DH worked with her, she was attempting to get custody of her younger siblings so that she could save them from the same fate. We never did find out if she was successful in that. I hope she was.

  10. #10
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    How awful for that woman, Fairy1.

    Reminds me of the "lost boys" forced out of the FLDS.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_b...undamentalism)


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Z View Post
    How awful for that woman, Fairy1.

    Reminds me of the "lost boys" forced out of the FLDS.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_b...undamentalism)
    Very similar. The Lost Boys are another very sore spot for me.

  12. #12
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    Supreme Court sides with family accused of not teaching kids while waiting “to be raptured”

    The couple argued that school district officials violated their 14th Amendment rights by attempting to verify that their children were learning.

    The case then headed to the state’s Supreme Court, where the justices made a 6-3 ruling on technical grounds in favor of the McIntyres.

    But it didn’t answer larger constitutional questions about whether home-schooled children must be properly taught.
    ...
    Detailed explanation via snopes:

    Texas did not declare that all children whose families believe the Rapture is imminent are exempt from schooling, nor did a family argue anything of the sort in a recent court case.

    Although a copy of the ruling isn't publicly available, news reports indicate that the court didn't intervene to compel the McIntyre children to attend school or subject the family to additional scrutiny. But more to the point, the parents involved expressly did not argue that their belief in an imminent Rapture exempted them from following state homeschooling laws.

    The parents instead refuted a relative's claim regarding that religious belief, asserting that a complaint had been lodged against them in retaliation for a familial business dispute. Irrespective of the family's religious beliefs, Texas homeschool regulations are among the least restrictive in the country and require little in the way of enforced curriculum or testing.

  13. #13
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    From the first article: "Justices remanded the case to lower courts, saying its constitutional questions weren’t educational policy matters. But they didn’t issue an opinion on the overall constitutionality."

    So, apparently it ain't over yet. But I'm not entirely clear what question goes back to the lower courts.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Z View Post
    And there are many more like this family-- read about Unschooling as a "philosophy" of learning.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unscho...d_environments

    There are a number of "fundamentalist religious adherents" in the U.S. who only believe in educating their children enough to ensure they continue to live as adults in the parent's chosen religious beliefs, and the environment the parent chooses for them. Reading, for example, is often only taught (if at all) so that the child can read the chosen religious text or similar religious materials. Sometimes informational texts are permitted, but literature of any kind is often viewed as "of the devil". An independent life outside the parent's religion, marriage outside the religion, or a career, or college/ career training outside of the home religious environment is never the plan for their kids from the moment of their conception.

    Even kids in cloistered sects like the Amish learn more reading, math, science, and social studies than some of the more extremist adherents of philosophies like "unschooling". And the Amish allow their kids to choose whether to remain Amish, or leave and be part of larger society.


    I'm very supportive of home schooling when there is actual education of children taking place, and the outcomes are measured to ensure the kids have the skills necessary to make their own way in the world at age 18. Trust, but verify, IMO. Homeschooling should be a privilege extended to parents that actually educate their kids-- not a "right" to hide behind to justify educational neglect.

    There are a lot of people hiding behind "homeschooling" that are like the family in the thread article, and using "religion" to justify not educating their children to any basic standards. That is completely unacceptable, IMO, and should be considered neglect. I hope the TX supreme court rules against the parents. This would be a very bad precedent to set, IMO.
    If parents elect to home school then I am fine with it so long as that is what they do. I would expect them to provide at least a minimum amount of decent education.

    What this topic does is make me feel sad for the kids that are being robbed of a normal decent education by parents that do not follow a normal basic level of education for them.

    Re BBM
    I was watching a few Amish type documentary shows and I can remember hearing some ex-amish who left say that the kids in their particular community were only taught bare basics and the education was purposely stopped at a very young age with a somewhat sinister motive. The motive of the very bare minimum education was so that the kids were too unprepared to ever leave the communities. They would never feel they are prepared to be successful anywhere else so it kept them having to stay whether they really wanted to or not.

    The ones who did break away typically had a rough start because they would have to begin formal education in higher institutions that they were totally not prepared for. And without any funding assistance other than what they could get from the government because they typically were shunned when they left so had no financial support from parents or anyone else.

    So not only did they have to find a place to stay they also needed to find some work to pay for things like food or rent and then the real lucky ones somehow managed to obtain money to get their GED and then begin attending higher education courses. The ones on the show said it was very difficult for them because of their lack of education and some of them ended up going back to their communities because they failed miserably at trying to make it on their own.

    It really was an eye opener for me and it touches on some of the discussion here about other religous fanatical families that purposely would diminish their own childrens education with the motive of keeping their kids dependent on the parents.

    Its a huge form of control and domination of the children that this happens to and the poor kids do not have a lot of options when they are in that situation.

    Its really sad.

  15. #15
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    Agree, Hatfield ^^^

    It's a violation of the rights of the children, who don't have the power to influence the decisions their parents make about their choice of religion and education. By the time they're old enough to legally make their own choices, it's too late to do much to make up for the lack of formal education.
    All statements are my opinion only.

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