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California Appellate Ruling- What does it mean?
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Papillon Mom
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Joined: 04 Feb 2007
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Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:17 pm    Post subject: California Appellate Ruling- What does it mean? Reply with quote

I'm surprised to be the first one writing about this. Maybe I've overlooked another post.
What does the recent Appellate Court ruling in CA mean for homeschoolers? HSLDA has a vague summary of the ruling. Anyone know more info???
Thanks,
Amanda
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elliemaejune
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Joined: 30 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HSLDA has now sent out a more complete statement:

Response to California Appeals Court Ruling:
‘Homeschooling is Illegal’
Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

On February 28, 2008, the California Court of Appeals issued a ruling in a juvenile court proceeding that declared that almost all forms of homeschooling in California are in violation of state law. (Private tutoring by certified teachers remains an option.) Moreover, the court ruled that parents possess no constitutional right to homeschool their children.

This case involved a family with a 20-year history of litigation in the juvenile courts over the care of their children. Prior adverse decisions had been rendered by the courts.

This family was not a member of Home School Legal Defense Association. They were represented by court-appointed counsel throughout the proceeding. Since it was by law a confidential proceeding, to the best of our knowledge neither HSLDA nor any other legal advocacy organization had any knowledge that the right of all homeschoolers in California was depending upon the outcome of this family’s case.

There are two appellate options at this time.

First, we have been told that the family is appealing this decision to the California Supreme Court with their California counsel.

HSLDA will file an amicus brief on behalf of our 13,500 member families in California. We will argue that a proper interpretation of California statutes makes it clear that parents may legally teach their own children under the private-school exemption. However, if the court disagrees with our statutory argument, we will argue that the California statutes as interpreted by the Court of Appeal violate the constitutional rights of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children.

HSLDA welcomes other organizations and persons to assist with the amicus process so that a full defense of home education, religious freedom, and parental rights can be given to the California Supreme Court.

The second appellate option is to seek to have this particular decision “depublished.” Depublication is a decision that can only be made by the California Supreme Court. If the Court determines that the decision should stand, regarding this family, on the facts presented, but that the general pronouncements of law for all of homeschooling should not be determined by this case, then the Court has the option of “depublishing” the Court of Appeal’s decision. This would mean that the case is not binding precedent in California and has no effect on any other family.

HSLDA will take the lead in an effort to seek to have this case depublished.

Homeschooling has offered a great opportunity for families to give their children a quality education with a moral and philosophical approach that is consistent with each family’s beliefs.

The ability to homeschool freely in California should not depend upon one family in a closed-door proceeding. All families should have the right to be heard since the rights of all are clearly at stake.

Sincerely,

J. Michael Smith
HSLDA President
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Decrease
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Location: Verona VA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the California case is the most devastating case to homeschoolers in years. If stands, it will virtually kill homeschooling in California.

Dr. Dobson is doing a program on this tomorrow.

There is a good reason for us to unite with organizations like HSLDA. I would not be surprised if this is just the beginning.
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Jazzy
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, if this stands, I suspect more states will try it.
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Lily
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Decrease wrote:


There is a good reason for us to unite with organizations like HSLDA. I would not be surprised if this is just the beginning.


Then I think there would be a good reason for organizations like the HSLDA to keep their political statements to homeschooling and the advancement of, not anything else or creating laws that restrict the freedoms of homeschooling or giving an endorsement to a candidate that has tightened restrictions.

If the HSLDA is truly concerned about their primary mission, that should show through their works. Until such a time, I would strongly encourage others to explore different avenues, like the California Homeschool Network, which provides services even to non-members.
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elliemaejune
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lily wrote:
Decrease wrote:


There is a good reason for us to unite with organizations like HSLDA. I would not be surprised if this is just the beginning.


Then I think there would be a good reason for organizations like the HSLDA to keep their political statements to homeschooling and the advancement of, not anything else or creating laws that restrict the freedoms of homeschooling or giving an endorsement to a candidate that has tightened restrictions.

If the HSLDA is truly concerned about their primary mission, that should show through their works. Until such a time, I would strongly encourage others to explore different avenues, like the California Homeschool Network, which provides services even to non-members.


Wow.

HSLDA might have helped these people if they had contacted HSLDA. They did not.

HSLDA was helping homeschoolers in California long before CHN started up.
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Lily
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

elliemaejune wrote:
Lily wrote:


Then I think there would be a good reason for organizations like the HSLDA to keep their political statements to homeschooling and the advancement of, not anything else or creating laws that restrict the freedoms of homeschooling or giving an endorsement to a candidate that has tightened restrictions.

If the HSLDA is truly concerned about their primary mission, that should show through their works. Until such a time, I would strongly encourage others to explore different avenues, like the California Homeschool Network, which provides services even to non-members.


Wow.

HSLDA might have helped these people if they had contacted HSLDA. They did not.

HSLDA was helping homeschoolers in California long before CHN started up.


I am at a loss as to why you quoted me and what your statements have to do with what I wrote.
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Decrease
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not going to try to defend HSLDA, as I think most of the charges are bogus and some of the charges are politically motivated.

Yet, I will say that there is something to be said about a group of lawyers who specialize in a certain area actually being involved in the court case you are experiencing. Why? There are some lawyers who handle homeschooling cases once or twice a year. Most of the time they are never litigated. Yet, a group of lawyers dedicated to the one topic, they will not make the mistakes of these other lawyers who are more generalists. It is sorta like having a general physician. He is good for general things but the more specific the issue becomes the more you need a specialist.

The good thing about HSLDA is that they are specialists. Sometimes, they have advocating concepts that seem to not make sense to the layman, but legally they were actually protecting homeschooling more due to problems which could arise out of the old laws. It sorta is like giving a cancer patient chemo, it seems at first the person is being hurt more but there it is for their overall good.

The good in supporting organizations like HSLDA is because legislatures listen to you on the basis of how many people you have in your membership. The more you represent the more they will listen to you.
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Papillon Mom
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now isn't the time for in-fighting! I have as much disdain for Mike Huckabee as any thinking person Laughing !!! Go Ron Paul!!! Cool Cool Cool
BUT, let's join together and stop these Government School Power Hungry bureaucrats once and for all!!!! Power in NUMBERS!!!!! Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Yes, I know this was a judge's ruling but it smacks of political maneuvering to me.
Take Care,
Amanda
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lambie
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my humble opinion HSLDA had done a fine job defending and supporting homeschooling families. They have battled for many homeschooling families. As said, however, this is not the question at hand...so back to the California crisis more importantly!!! I sure do feel for the families there. Hopefully we can all ban together to DEBAN this injustice!!! I for one, just signed HSLDA's petition to depublish this ruling!!! We, as a family have treasured our constitutional right to homeschool our child...I couldn't imagine it any other way. My thoughts and prayers are going out to them...this would be a big downfall for all homeschoolers across the country!!!!!Katy
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Lily
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Decrease wrote:


Yet, I will say that there is something to be said about a group of lawyers who specialize in a certain area actually being involved in the court case you are experiencing. Why? There are some lawyers who handle homeschooling cases once or twice a year. Most of the time they are never litigated. Yet, a group of lawyers dedicated to the one topic, they will not make the mistakes of these other lawyers who are more generalists. It is sorta like having a general physician. He is good for general things but the more specific the issue becomes the more you need a specialist.

I agree, which is why joining an inclusive state group would better serve homeschoolers than HSLDA. For one, their mission is focused on homeschooling, and does not deny services or referrals (depending on the state) based on type of home education. You are aware that the HSLDA refuses to supply any service to unschoolers or those not using an "organized curriculum"? A state group would also be able to better direct you to a lawyer who has handled like cases. The HSLDA does not have lawyers in every state and inform you that their mission is to handle things in an advisory role.


Quote:
The good thing about HSLDA is that they are specialists. Sometimes, they have advocating concepts that seem to not make sense to the layman, but legally they were actually protecting homeschooling more due to problems which could arise out of the old laws. It sorta is like giving a cancer patient chemo, it seems at first the person is being hurt more but there it is for their overall good.

Homeschooling has never been illegal in any state. The only problems that arose were out of interpretation of the old laws. Tightenng the noose for the sake of clear definitions should not be the role of any organization claiming to represent homeschoolers. Quite honestly, though, it's having their fingers in everything else that makes me stay far away from them and pursue other options. I don't need their "religious" beliefs interfering with the basic rights of humanity and segregating homeschoolers who should be brought together.

Quote:
The good in supporting organizations like HSLDA is because legislatures listen to you on the basis of how many people you have in your membership. The more you represent the more they will listen to you.


Exactly! Since hsing does not have any federal laws, let's support our STATE groups! That's where we can make a difference!
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Decrease
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Few state groups have lawyers but use HSLDA, for one. Even in inclusive homeschooling groups, they refer to lawyers. Which is good on small issues but once you get into issues of more specialized nature, most lawyers are incapable of doing all the research necessary.

Secondly, there are federal ramifications on homeschooling issues. For one, state organizations often make laws in accordance to Federal Department of Education ideals and regulations. Thus, while much of the battle has raged on the state level, no one has been more apt to provide and support homeschoolers on the state level by influencing the federal than HSLDA. Like with the case of abortion, it only takes one case to move the issue from a state issue to a federal issue.

Thirdly, that is true that HSLDA is not involved in certain activities they feel are wrong or short-sighted legally. That is not only their right but that is also done in the long run to help all Homeschoolers. I remember in NY with the Attorney General went after all these Pregnancy Care Centers. We were intimately aware of what was going on for a variety of reasons. Yet, one of the centers we were very closely in touch with told us that because of some centers who were foolish in how they treated the law, it endangered their centers. The other centers refused to take the necessary legal precautions and common sense steps to ensure they could do their thing legally. Such issues exist in the homeschooling realm.

Fourthly, the legal issue. First, you are not in the HSLDA and obviously do not know much about the HSLDA. Yet, let me give you something about why some of the laws were done the way they were done. The laws had vague language in which in one person's hand it could mean more freedom and in another person's hand it could mean very tight restrictions. HSLDA did seek to make the laws more clear in order to protect freedom for all. Let's say, you get a judge who views the vague language as unconstitutional and the Supreme Court, which it has ruled in other situations in America law, that because the law is so vague that the law is thus nullified. Then, you have a case when everyone in the United States who homeschool is threatened for the vagueness of one law. Their view, and mine as well, is that I would rather a more specific and legally sustainable law that is restrictive than a more loose law that in the long run that could end up threatening Homeschooling everywhere by a legal precedent on a law that is poorly written.

Finally, yes HSLDA does not have lawyers in every state, but they do have experts for every state. There is a difference. You are not buying "pre-paid" legal services. You are purchasing expertise on legal matters that will prevent you from falling prey to bad legal advise over general practitioners.

This is a legal organization. State organizations are good and have their place. Yet, most are not equipped to handle the legal issues HSLDA handles daily.
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Miss_Kristy
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jazzy wrote:
Yes, if this stands, I suspect more states will try it.


Am I the only one freaking out here? The thought of being told to send my kids back to PS is terrifying!
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Jazzy
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lily wrote:
Decrease wrote:


There is a good reason for us to unite with organizations like HSLDA. I would not be surprised if this is just the beginning.


Then I think there would be a good reason for organizations like the HSLDA to keep their political statements to homeschooling and the advancement of, not anything else or creating laws that restrict the freedoms of homeschooling or giving an endorsement to a candidate that has tightened restrictions.

If the HSLDA is truly concerned about their primary mission, that should show through their works. Until such a time, I would strongly encourage others to explore different avenues, like the California Homeschool Network, which provides services even to non-members.


Different organizations appeal to different people. HSLDA's members largely agree with their political positions and statements. Those who do not agree can seek services elsewhere. However, that doesn't mean the different groups have to war against one another. They can disagree in other areas, yet unite on the cause of advancing homeschooling, even if it looks different from one organization to another.
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Rhodes Family
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just found out about this today. For anyone needing quick access to the info. links maybe these will help.....

Link to the California ruling:
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=58137

If you're interested here's a radio broadcast about it:
http://www.oneplace.com/Ministries/Focus_on_the_Family/

Click on this link to sign on the petition to protect parental rights: http://www.hslda.org/ . You don't have to become a member to sign.
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