The purpose of government schools is to train your children to love the government.

And if you don’t like the training that the government is giving them, you can go to prison.

A California appeals court ruling clamping down on homeschooling by parents without teaching credentials sent shock waves across the state this week, leaving an estimated 166,000 children as possible truants and their parents at risk of prosecution.

… The ruling arose from a child welfare dispute between the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and Philip and Mary Long of Lynwood, who have been homeschooling their eight children. Mary Long is their teacher, but holds no teaching credential.

… The Second District Court of Appeal ruled that California law requires parents to send their children to full-time public or private schools or have them taught by credentialed tutors at home.

California courts have held that … parents do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children, Justice H. Walter Croskey said in the 3-0 ruling issued on Feb. 28. Parents have a legal duty to see to their children’s schooling under the provisions of these laws.

Parents can be criminally prosecuted for failing to comply, Croskey said.

A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare, the judge wrote, quoting from a 1961 case on a similar issue.

— Bob Egelko and Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle (2008-03-07): Homeschoolers’ setback sends shock waves through state

I suspect that if I knew the people involved in this case, I would have no particular sympathy for Philip Long, who came under the court’s scrutiny in the first place because one of his own children filed a complaint for child abuse and neglect.

If that individual child wants out of the Longs’ homeschooling, or for that matter wants out of the Longs’ home entirely, she or he should be able to get out, without any danger of being locked up, forcibly returned under the state’s Fugitive Child Laws, or getting beaten up by angry adults. Currently, children in the state of California don’t have that freedom. But the right way to address whatever abuse or neglect there may be in the Long family is precisely to recognize and respect that freedom for each individual child, rather than by forcing the parents to place all their children, regardless of what those individual children may want, under the surveillance, supervision, and power of even more adults — government-approved teachers, social workers, and other professional busybodies — with nothing better to recommend them than political connections and a sanctimonious sense of entitlement.

And the solution is certainly not to issue a general ruling claiming that the government has any business at all making sure that all children are indoctrinated to the fullest extent of the law in the government’s own ideas of patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation. Using the threat of fines and prison in order to force all parents and all children, no matter what their family situation, to participate in a system of government-approved institutionalized schooling, explicitly for the propaganda purpose of training school children to love and serve the existing régime, is a case study in the most vile sort of authoritarian government.

(Via Dan Clore @ LeftLibertarian 2.)

Further reading:

5 replies to The purpose of government schools is to train your children to love the government. Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. Discussed at gregorus.wordpress.com

    Kids Rights: around the blogosphere « Gregorus Minimus:

    […] kids choosing their own schooling: The purpose of government schools is to train your children to love the government by Rad […]

  2. Discussed at www.blagnet.net

    Blagnet.net » Blog Archive » California criminalizes home-schooling:

    […] keep telling you, it IS happening here. Charles Johnson has some excellent commentary, as usual, on […]

· May 2008 ·

  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2008-05-09 – Bow down before the one you serve:

    […] GT 2008-03-09: The purpose of government schools is to train your children to love the government. […]

· August 2008 ·

— 2009 —

  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2009-07-11 – For your reference: Rothbard against the Fugitive Child Act:

    […] GT 2008-03-09: The purpose of government schools is to train your children to love the government. […]

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