"And we grovel to the State, begging them to make it stop.
"This is not the profile of a free people."
"The fight against the government’s efforts to teach and promote evil will always exist as long as there are public schools. The evil may be different in degree – it won’t always be critical race theory or the like – but it’ll still be present. The struggle to control curriculum will take place not in the classroom but in the courts, the legislature, the school board, and the agencies.
"And this struggle, this fight against the State, will continue until we address the greater problem. Until we excise the cancer. Until we end State control over families.
"What I mean is this: The State has no authority to compel a child attend public school. It is time to end compulsory education."
"A Brief History
"Mandated education is a relatively new idea in the West. In America, it grew from colonial-era laws requiring towns to appoint teachers or create schools once they got to a certain size. Around that same time in Europe and England, schools emerged within the community and from the churches to provide religious training and practical instruction.
"Public education in America proliferated in the early 1800’s.1 By 1890, “the majority of states and territories had passed mandatory attendance laws,” providing penalties (usually unenforced) for truancy and offering exemptions for equivalent education.2
"By the early 1900’s, compulsory education laws were even more common in the United States. The Supreme Court had endorsed State power to “compel [school] attendance.”3 Save for a few publicly dissenting voices, the authority of the State to “impose reasonable regulations for the control and duration of basic education”4 has gone unopposed.
"One would have to think that this has to do with public opinion. It’s tough to find parents that disagree with K-12 education generally. Every parent wants their child to be educated. Instead, they differ on the specifics: private or public school, the subjects emphasized, secular vs. religious instruction, etc.
"Similarly, the Supreme Court has no appetite for considering laws compelling public schooling. (One of the failures of originalism has been their silence on this issue.) Instead, it takes up cases involving the rights of students. They’ll decide on matters involving the violation of a 13 year-old student’s Fourth Amendment rights after a strip search. They’ll consider whether, under the First Amendment, a school may ban student speech that promotes illegal drug use.
"A young person may be forced to go to a government school – a restraint of their movement and freedom – but at least the Court lets them speak. Their freedom of association might be violated, but at least they can’t be subject to unreasonable strip searches. Even prisoners have rights.
"This gets us to the question of authority.
"By what authority does a State have to compel attendance at a government school?
"The Supreme Court has held that students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate.5 What of the right to not attend school?
"Is the right to not be forced to attend a government school lesser than the freedom of speech?
"To this you might respond that society needs to have an educated populace, for kids to stay off the street. A more discerning mind might say that public education is a babysitter so the parents can work. A true cynic would agree with all of that and add that the public school system is a jobs program. Anyway, those are all State interests; they have nothing to do with State authority.
"A Christian might observe that God created three institutions: the family, the church, and the civil government. Each has a separate jurisdiction. The government enforces civil and criminal laws; the family is governed from within, with parents providing discipline and educating their children as they see fit; and the church has jurisdiction over matters of religion and its members. Under Christian philosophy, then, the State exceeds its jurisdiction when it involves itself in matters reserved for the family. Something to think about.
"But I digress.
"And I’ll rephrase the attendance question in a way that’s more accurate:
“By what authority does a State have to force a child attend a government school, where they are taught poisonous and evil doctrines?”
"I disagree that this is a power inherent to a State. This wasn’t a power accepted at the formation of this country or when the Constitution was drafted. Even where there were laws mandating schooling, they didn’t mandate public education. There’s a big difference there.
"To that you might say it’s the consent of the governed: “The voters gave the State the authority to compel public education.”
"My parents never gave the State that authority. Did yours?
"Oh, you might answer that democracy allows for such laws. The majority – by way of votes – determines the education of the country’s youth.
"Ah, the cliché of democracy. Voters that don’t know your child can control how your child is education?
"Which one of you would give a stranger that power? Do you not see the problem?"
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Last year at the beginning of the so called COVID 19 pandemic, parents, students and even teachers likely had no idea how things would change so dramatically over the following months. One thing the planners probably didn't count on was the number of parents who suddenly find that they were in disagreement with a large part of what is actually happening in the educational system in this country. More and more parents have become keenly aware of what is clearly not just a political bias in the schools but also educational material and curriculums which are by and large a form of indoctrination. This indoctrination isn't only happening in colleges and universities across the nation but is now infiltrating our K-12, need I say, government funded, schools.
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