The REVIEW - November 2013 - page 4

In the 1980s home schooling was still a concept that most people
were not familiar with and with which many elected officials were not
comfortable. In fact, I often quote Texas Attorney General Jim Maddox
who said that he did not believe parents were qualified to raise their
children, much less teach them at home. In that environment, home
schoolers were very happy with an elected official who simply said they
supported the right of a parent to home school.
That was then and this is now. Almost any elected official or candidate
for office today will say that they “support home schooling.” Unfortu-
nately, what that often translates to is not a supportive position on the
home school political, legislative or legal agenda. In fact, that phrase is
often used just before the official tells us he opposes the parental rights
or home school position.
I’ve been corresponding recently with the Chief of Police for the City
of Euless regarding an incident in which Euless police officers stopped
some home school children who were walking to their grandparents
home into custody, took them back to their home, went in to examine
the home, asked to see their curriculum and told their adult brother
they were going to call CPS and report them. This was all done under
the Daytime Curfew Ordinance of the city.
In his first response to my letter asking him to investigate this situation,
the Chief began his letter by telling me he supported home schooling
and his wife taught classes at a home school co-op. Then he went on
to tell me that there must be something else to the story and declined
to investigate. I guess he thinks that because he purportedly supports
home schoolingwe should accept his lack of action regarding the egregious
actions of his officers which violated the policies and procedures of the
city and police department.
During the recent legislative regular session Senator Kel Seliger, R from
Amarillo, opposed SB 929 to allow home schoolers to participate in
extra-curricular activities in public schools. He did everything he could
do to oppose the bill and would give no reason for his opposition. In a
newspaper article however, he said that he supported home schooling
but if they wanted to participate in UIL activities they should attend
a UIL school. Of course, he doesn’t seem to have a problem with the
two affluent private schools which UIL has allowed to participate for the
last decade. Seliger was one of only two Republican Senators to vote
against the bill.
While we’re talking about legislators, State Representative Jimmie Don
Aycock, Chairman of the House Public Education Committee, told me
he loved home schoolers and was supportive and would be open to
giving us a hearing on the Tim Tebow bills if we would make certain
changes. However, in the end he told me he would not allow the bill
a vote and only relented after the Speaker of the House asked him to
do so. Since two of the bill’s supporters were gone it died. So, in spite
of Chairman Aycock’s assurances that he supports home schooling he
killed one of its key pieces of legislation, but when it looked like it might
pass, he wanted credit for making it happen. With this kinds of friends,
who needs enemies?
Many of these elected officials are very “supportive of home schooling”
while they are running for office and seeking the votes and support of
the Texas home school community but their real colors often come out
after the election. A district judge in Houston who was elected with the
help of home schoolers, recently ruled in a divorce case that the mom
would get custody of the children but that the father who for many
years had supported home schooling and was not arguing that it was
not in the best interest of the children, would get to make the educational
decisions for the family. Test scores for the children showed them all
doing very well but the judge ruled the unfaithful father will get to
make the educational decision for the children, which is tantamount
to ruling against home schooling. You can read our letter to the judge
here. This same judge made a ruling in another case in her court that
was obviously wrong and was overturned on appeal. However, she
issued a “gag order” to prevent anyone involved in the case from talking
about it publicly. Sounds like a judge trying to protect herself from the
consequences of her rulings in an upcoming election next year.
As we stated in our video summary of the 2013 legislative session
, we had wins and losses in the legislative session this
year, but it’s over now.That is clearly evidenced by the calls we are getting
from candidates legislative and state-wide office seeking the support of
THSC in their campaigns for election or reelection. So while the 83rd regular
legislative session is over, the campaigns for next year’s elections have
begun and we will have an opportunity to not only educate candidates
on parental rights and home school issues, we may have an opportunity to
oppose the election or reelection of some officials who give mere lip service
to the support of the home schooling and parental rights, because the battle
for freedom is never over and as we say inTexas,“Talk is cheap!”
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November 2013
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