Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Facing Bias from the Bench

The only opposition that most homeschoolers ever face is the occasional question or criticism from well-meaning, but uninformed family and friends. However, when a person's right to homeschool is challenged, it can get a bit more serious.

"Fair and Impartial? Homeschooling and Judicial Bias" explores the problem of judges that allow their own personal bias against homeschooling to affect the judgments that they render. Their assumptions, misconceptions, and outright prejudices can contribute to court decisions that adversely, and sometimes devastatingly, affect a homeschool family. Antony Barone Kolenc's excellent article presents several case studies in which a judge's personal bias effected the outcome of a case involving a homeschool family.

Every homeschooler hopes that this will never happen to us. I'm sure the families involved in each of these case studies had that same hope. Though currently such cases are the exception rather than the rule, homeschoolers SHOULD prepare to be challenged. To that end, Mr. Kolenc also suggests several ideas for how homeschoolers can prepare for encounters with this kind of legal opposition.

Homeschooling parents cannot control the prejudices of other people. But through their own practice of excellence, Godliness, and preparedness, these families can help preserve their right to homeschool both now and in the future.

-Antony Barone Kolenc

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