Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Well, it has been a long 6 months but the battle for homeschool freedom in the state of California has ended for now…with success!! After following this case closely since not long after beginning this blog, it is nice to see such a positive culmination of events in this important matter. Below you can read more about this victory for parental rights. Praise the Lord for His obvious hand in this fight!

The following case report can be found at this location:

http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/ca/200808080.asp

Here is the text:

A Great Victory for California Homeschoolers

In a unanimous decision, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District today ruled that California statutes permit home schooling as a species of private school education.

Today’s decision stands in stark contrast to the opinion this same three-judge panel issued in February, which would have made California the only state in the union to outlaw home education had it remained in effect.

It is unusual for an appellate court to grant a petition for rehearing as this court did in March,said HSLDA Chairman Mike Farris,but it is truly remarkable for a court to completely reverse its own earlier opinion. We thank you for your prayers and give God the glory for this great victory.

When the court vacated its earlier decision on March 25, 2008, it invited interested organizations to file friend-of-the-court briefs.I have never seen such an impressive array of people and organizations coming to the defense of homeschooling, said Farris, who was one of the attorneys who argued the case on rehearing along with Alliance Defense Fund attorney, Jeff Shafer who represented the father. The father was also represented by Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation.

California’s three largest homeschool organizations, California Homeschool Network, Homeschool Association of California and Christian Home Education Association joined together in one brief to defend the right of all parents to homeschool. HSLDA, Family Protection Ministries and Focus on the Family also joined in a separate brief. Numerous other private organizations came to the defense of home education as did California’s governor, attorney general, and superintendent of public instruction.

We are extremely grateful to all of the organizations who worked tirelessly to protect and preserve homeschooling freedom in California. We are also thankful for you, our members, for your prayers and support during this trying season.

The freedom to homeschool is a precious gift from God. But keeping it free requires vigilance and perseverance. We must continue to work together diligently to preserve this precious freedom in California and elsewhere.

Below are excerpts from the opinion:

We will conclude that: (1) California statutes permit home schooling as a species of private school education; and (2) the statutory permission to home school may constitutionally be overridden in order to protect the safety of a child who has been declared dependent. [FN1: We use the terms home school and home schooling to refer to full-time education in the home by a parent or guardian who does not necessarily possess a teaching credential.]

Although the Legislature did not amend the statutory scheme so as to expressly permit home schooling, more recent enactments demonstrate an apparent acceptance by the Legislature of the proposition that home schooling is taking place in California, with home schools allowed as private schools. Recent statutes indicate that the Legislature is aware that some parents in California home school their children by declaring their homes to be private schools. Moreover, several statutory enactments indicate a legislative approval of home schooling, by exempting home schools from requirements otherwise applicable to private schools.

While the Legislature has never acted to expressly supersede Turner and Shinn, it has acted as though home schooling is, in fact, permitted in California.

While the legislative history of Education Code section 44237 is somewhat complicated, it confirms this interpretation, and also reflects the Legislature’s apparent intent to accommodate home schooling parents.

The most logical interpretation of subsequent legislative enactments and regulatory provisions supports the conclusion that a home school can, in fact, fall within the private school exception to the general compulsory education law.

We therefore conclude that home schools may constitute private schools.

While the interpretation of the private school exemption is ultimately an issue for the courts, we find it significant that education and enforcement officials at both the state and local levels agree that home schools may constitute private schools.

In short, the rule of Turner and Shinn has been discounted as a doctrinal anachronism, and clinging to such precedent would undermine a practice that has been, if not actively encouraged, at least acknowledged and accepted by officials and the public for many years.

Another news story regarding this issue can be found here:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-homeschool9-2008aug09,0,858947.story

The article follows:

Parents may home-school children without teaching credential, California court says

Gov. Schwarzenegger praises the reversal by the 2nd District Court of Appeal as a victory for students and parental rights.

By Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
August 9, 2008

Parents may legally home-school their children in California even if they lack a teaching credential, a state appellate court ruled Friday. The decision is a reversal of the court’s earlier position, which effectively prohibited most home schooling and sparked fear throughout the state’s estimated 166,000 home-schoolers.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had vowed to allow home schooling through legislation if the court did not act, praised the ruling. 
 
“This is a victory for California’s students, parents and education community. This decision confirms the right every California child has to a quality education and the right parents have to decide what is best for their children,” he said. “I hope the ruling settles this matter for parents and home-schooled children once and for all in California, but assure them that we, as elected officials, will continue to defend parents’ rights.”

In February, the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled in a child protection hearing that parents must have a teaching credential to home-school their children. The decision caused a nationwide uproar among home-schoolers, religious activists and others, and the court agreed to reconsider its decision, a move described as unusual but not unprecedented.

The issue arose in part because California’s laws do not specifically address home schooling, unlike those of at least 30 other states.
Friday’s ruling essentially upheld the position of the state Department of Education and state Supt. of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, who have traditionally allowed home schooling as long as parents file paperwork with the state establishing themselves as private schools, hire credentialed tutors or enroll their children in independent study programs run by charter or private schools or public school districts.

“As head of California’s public school system, it would be my wish that all children attend public school, but I understand that a traditional public school environment may not be the right setting for each and every child,” he said. “I recognize and understand the consternation that the earlier court ruling caused for many parents and associations involved in home schooling. It is my hope that today’s ruling will allay many of those fears and resolve much of the confusion.”

The court also said that the right of parents to home-school their children can be overridden if a child is in danger.

Home-schooling families celebrated the ruling.

“We’re ecstatic, happy and thrilled,” said Loren Gould of Westchester, who teaches her son, Logan, 7, at home. “He gets to keep his love of learning alive. . . . The world is his classroom.”

The case stemmed from the Long family of Lynwood, who were accused of mistreating some of their eight children. All of the children are or had been enrolled at Sunland Christian School, where they would occasionally take tests, but they were taught in their home by their mother.

Lawyers appointed to represent the two youngest children had asked the court to require them to attend a public or private school full time so adults could monitor their well-being. The family court declined, but the children’s lawyers appealed.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled in February that Sunland officials’ occasional monitoring of the Longs’ methods of teaching were insufficient to qualify as being enrolled in a private school. Because Mary Long does not have a teaching credential, the family violated state laws, the ruling said.

The Longs, the Sunland school and others appealed, and the appellate panel agreed to revisit the ruling. That panel heard arguments in June at a freewheeling hearing attended by at least 45 attorneys representing disparate groups. Democratic and Republican politicians, religious and secular home-schoolers, and liberal and conservative legal scholars all weighed in, saying the court had erred.

Phillip Long, who has said the family chose to home-school the children because of their strong Christian beliefs, said Friday that he doesn’t believe the court was swayed by the legal arguments.

“Only one thing swayed this court — politics,” he said. “This court was under pressure. . . . They did it to protect themselves and their reputation. Those judges want to be Supreme Court judges, they want to move up. They’re not going to do anything to upset their careers.”

Though the appellate court upheld the right of parents to home-school, it did direct the family court to revisit whether the Longs should be allowed to continue to home-school their children.

It’s unclear what will happen, because in July the family court terminated its jurisdiction over the family’s children, though the children’s lawyers are appealing that decision. Long is confident he will prevail.

“Educating your children in your own home preexisted these buffoons that sit on the 2nd Circuit,” he said. “It preexisted this state. It preexisted us. Parents have been teaching their own children since the beginning.”

California does little to enforce the education department’s provisions and insists that doing so is the local school districts’ responsibility.

In addition, state education officials say some parents home-school their children without the knowledge of any entity, making them virtually impossible to locate.

Home-schoolers and government officials have largely accepted this murky arrangement, but the court faulted the Legislature for failing to clarify the rules.

“It is important to recognize that it is not for us to consider, as a matter of policy, whether home schooling should be permitted in California. That job is for the Legislature. It is not the duty of the courts to make the law; we endeavor to interpret it,” Justice H. Walter Croskey wrote in a ruling signed by the two other members of the panel. “Our first task, interpreting the law of California, is made more difficult in this case by legislative inaction.”

To that end, the court said additional requirements for home-schoolers in other states such as standardized testing or home visits should be considered by the California Legislature.

“Given the state’s compelling interest in educating all of its children . . . and the absence of an express statutory and regulatory framework for home schooling in California, additional clarity in this area of the law would be helpful,” according to the ruling.

Statements such as those irked some home-school organizations that are weary of regulation, but were supported by constitutional scholar Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of UC Irvine’s law school, who urged the court to overturn its initial ruling that banned most home schooling.

“I believe it’s the right of parents, if they chose, to be able to home-school their children. That’s absolutely their right,” he said. But “the state has an important interest [in] making sure all children are adequately educated.”

seema.mehta@latimes.com


Read Full Post »

The last couple of days I have been breaking out of the typical mold as to how I post entries on this blog. I usually do not delve too deeply into issues that tie to politics, that is not really the purpose of my writings. However, my personal belief system, and consequently this blog, is solidly pro-life. So, I feel like I cannot help but share the following information with you.

Be an informed voter. Please know that if you vote for Barack Obama in the rapidly approaching election for the Presidency, that you are voting for the unrestricted and unregulated murder of innocent children. Obama’s desire should he succeed in being elected President of the United States, is to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. This would destroy every single state law limiting or regulating abortion.

I pray that any voters out there who object to the continued willfull decimation of our country’s innocent unborn babies, will stand up against this evil agenda. We have a long way to go towards fighting the culture of death we currently face, and allowing this man to take office will push our culture into an even more terrible age that COMPLETELY devalues life.

You can read more about this matter below. Please join me in prayer and deed. Fight against those who wish to destroy the blessings sent to us as children.

You can find this news story at the following location:

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08061010.html

The article follows:

Obama’s Abortion Bombshell: Unrestricted Abortion Over Wishes of Individual States a Priority for Presidency

By Peter J. Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 10, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Barack Obama, the presumptive pro-abortion nominee of the Democratic Party, has plans to reward the allies that helped him topple Hillary Clinton from her throne by making total unrestricted abortion in the United States his number one priority as president.

In light of Obama’s recently achieved status as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink has decided to remind its supporters that almost one year has passed since Obama made his vows to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund that abortion would be the first priority of his administration.

“The first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act,” Obama said in his July speech to abortion advocates worried about the increase of pro-life legislation at the state level.

The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is legislation Obama has co-sponsored along with 18 other senators that would annihilate every single state law limiting or regulating abortion, including the federal ban on partial birth abortion.

The 2007 version of FOCA proposed: “It is the policy of the United States that every woman has the fundamental right to choose to bear a child, to terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability, or to terminate a pregnancy after fetal viability when necessary to protect the life or health of the woman.”

Obama made his remarks in a question-and-answer session after delivering a speech crystallizing for abortion advocates his deep-seated abortion philosophy and his belief that federal legislation will break pro-life resistance and end the national debate on abortion.

“I am absolutely convinced that culture wars are so nineties; their days are growing dark, it is time to turn the page,” Obama said in July. “We want a new day here in America. We’re tired about arguing about the same ole’ stuff. And I am convinced we can win that argument.”

Besides making abortion on demand a “fundamental right” throughout the United States, FOCA would effectively nullify informed consent laws, waiting periods, health safety regulations for abortion clinics, etc.

Furthermore, medical professionals and institutions that refused abortions also would lose legal protections. FOCA would expose individuals, organizations, and governments – including federal, state, and local government agencies – to costly civil actions for purported violations of the act.

“Thirty-five years after Roe, abortion supporters, like Senator Obama, are dismayed that abortion remains a divisive issue and that their radical agenda has not been submissively accepted by the American public,” states Denise M. Burke, vice president of Americans United for Life.

“Rather than confronting legitimate issues concerning the availability and safety of abortion, they choose to blatantly ignore the concerns and interests of everyday Americans, as well as the growing evidence that abortion hurts women.”

Hillary Clinton, once the longtime Democratic front-runner and anticipated abortion president, conceded defeat last Saturday to Obama, who captured the nomination from her after a long and bitter campaign.

Obama has won the crucial endorsement of abortion activist Frances Kissling, who broke from the ranks of other radical feminist leaders earlier this year to endorse Obama, saying Obama, not Clinton, would better use the bully pulpit of the presidency to accomplish their aims and end the culture wars over abortion.

Read Full Post »

Now, I must say, that if you had asked me yesterday if I would have cause to title a blog entry as I have above, than I would have said no, and thought that was a crazy question. Not anymore. Be prepared to be sickened and horrified. I certainly was. I previously posted an entry about this matter last week, but then deleted it due to controversy about the validity of the situation. Now that more details have become available, I have now re-posted about this subject because I think it is important to address. 

Aliza Shvarts, a senior at Yale University has created a whole art project with the subject of murdering her own unborn children repeatedly, and then displaying the results. She claims that she artifically inseminated herself, and then took abortion-inducing drugs repeatedly. A large portion of her “exhibit” includes supposed videotape images of her miscarrying repeatedly. Yale University is displaying her murderous senior “art” project as so much canvas and paint, however they dispute the validity of her claims, stating that she did not actually  carry out the pregnancies and self-induced abortions, calling it “performance art”.

Regardless of where the truth lies in this sordid situation, hoax or not, it is truly reprehensible. And the fact that a major institution of higher learning would participate even in part to such garbage is terrible. Ivy League? Who cares. This is despicable.

I have been left overwhelmed by this most recent development in our current society that de-values life to such a hardened callous place. I lift our country up to our Heavenly Father, who is the only one who can save us from this culture of death that is so rapidly spinning out of control. My heart aches because of the willful killing of our most innocent. Enough is enough. Please join me in prayer to end this terrible holocaust.

You can find the source for this news story here:

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=61970

The article follows below:

BRAVE NEW SCHOOLS
‘Abortion artist’ disputes Yale fraud claim
Student said she repeatedly impregnated self to induce miscarriages for ‘art’

Posted: April 18, 2008
12:46 pm Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily

A “senior art project” publicized by a student at Yale that drew horrified reaction across the blogosphere this week is being called “creative fiction” by school officials, but the “artist” says that’s not accurate.

The art major, Aliza Shvarts, told the Yale Daily News earlier this week she wanted to “make a statement” with a  “project” including the blood from her own forced miscarriages. The immediate response ranged from horror and disgust to suggestions it was a fraud.

Yale officials declined to respond to a telephone request from WND for comment but later posted a website statement alleging the claim  was fraudulent.

“Ms. Shvarts is engaged in performance art,” said the statement attributed to Helaine S. Klasky, a spokeswoman for the school. “Her art project includes visual representations, a press release and other narrative materials. She stated to three senior Yale University officials today, including two deans, that she did not impregnate herself and that she did not induce any miscarriages. The entire project is an art piece, a creative fiction designed to draw attention to the ambiguity surrounding form and function of a woman’s body. She is an artist and has the right to express herself through performance art. Had these acts been real, they would have violated basic ethical standards and raised serious mental and physical health concerns.”

Not so fast, Shvarts told the Yale student newspaper.

The university statement is “ultimately inaccurate,” she told the paper, which said she told of “repeatedly using a needleless syringe” to insert semen and taking abortifacient herbs to induce bleeding.

“She said she does not know whether or not she was ever pregnant,” the newspaper said.

“No one can say with 100 percent certainly that anything in the piece did or did not happen,” Shvarts told the newspaper, “because the nature of the piece is that it did not consist of certainties.”

Shvarts said initially that she took a nine-month period of time during which she claimed to have artificially inseminated herself “as often as possible” while periodically taking “abortifacient drugs.”

The student newspaper reported the student showed “footage from tapes she plans to play at the exhibit. The tapes depict Shvartz – sometimes naked, sometimes clothed – alone in a shower stall bleeding…”

The original student newspaper story reported Shvarts wanted to push art into being a medium of politics and ideologies. The newspaper said the display of Shvarts’ project will feature a large cube suspended from the ceiling of a room.

“Schvarts will wrap hundreds of feet of plastic sheeting around this cube; lined between layers of the sheeting will be the blood from Schvarts’ self-induced miscarriages mixed with Vaseline in order to prevent the blood from drying and to extend the blood throughout the plastic sheeting. Schvarts will then project recorded videos onto the four sides of the cube. These videos, captured on a VHS camcorder, will show her experiencing miscarriages in her bathrooom tub, she said. Similar videos will be projected onto the walls of the room,” the report said.

David Codrea, a Second Amendment advocate who blogs at War on Guns, initially raised objections.

“One could make the argument that the exhibit legally should be classified as hazardous medical waste, and without proper handling, storage and spill clean-up/disposal procedures, with training for affected staff and employees, it poses a danger to the public and to all involved,” he wrote. “I wonder if Yale’s risk management department was consulted?”

He said he had e-mailed the Yale risk management office and others that the university’s own guidelines state: “programs implementing University policy have been established to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and meet regulatory requirements that are required by OSHA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health.”

“For the record – has this event been approved … and have all appropriate regulatory conditions been documented as complaint?” he asked.

After the conflicting statements from Yale officials and the student were released, he raised the additional issue of academic fraud and lying.

“Disgusting,” he told Yale officials. “Regardless of what this young head case claims, how can you not think she ‘violated basic ethical standards and raised serious mental … health concerns’?”

“And it looks like she’s betrayed you, too,” he said, citing the student’s own challenge to the Yale statement.

“So she lied to the paper to advance her project and/or she lied to ‘three senior Yale officials today…’ I thought Yale had a policy against academic fraud?” he continued.

“So when do the expulsion hearings being?” he asked.

“It’s clearly depraved. I think the poor woman has got some major mental problems,” Wanda Franz of the National Right to Life Committee told Fox News.

The initial report generated shock.

“First off, I’m a liberal. I frequent WND to keep tabs on how people who disagree with me think. But even I was shocked, appalled and disgusted by this,” wrote a WND reader.

Ironically, Yale was founded in the 1600s when colonial clergy led an effort to establish a school “wherein Youth may be instructed in the Arts and Sciences [and] through the blessing of Almighty God maybe fitted for Publick employment both in Church and Civil State.”

The suggestion of fraud was raised immediately by Yuval Levin, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington.

“Color me dubious about the Yale art project story. In talking to a few knowledgeable docs this morning, the facts don’t add up very well,” he wrote in National Review’s blog, “The Corner.” “Self-insemination of the sort she seems to be claiming is no easy feat, and ‘herbal’ abortifacients are extremely dangerous and not at all reliably effective. It’s highly unlikely that these two improbable elements would both be carried off successfully multiple times, and with no side effects. It’s more likely that her senior art project is to see how many people she can upset with a hoax.

“If it’s a hoax, it’s an abhorrent and disgusting one,” Levin said. “If it turns out to be true, it’s of course all the more so and far worse. Either way, where are the adults at Yale?”

Yale president Richard Levin declined to respond to WND’s request for a comment.

 


Read Full Post »