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Posts Tagged ‘custody cases’

This post reviews Charles J. Russo, “Is Home Schooling ‘in the Best Interests of the Child?’ The Supreme Court of New Hampshire Answers – Not When Divorced Parents Disagree!” in Private School Monitor 33, no. 2 (Fall 2011).

Russo, a prolific scholar on legal issues in education who has had several occasions in the past to turn his attention to homeschooling, here examines the legal status of homeschooling in light of the recent In re Kurowski (2011) case (which I discussed here before it was heard by the State Supreme Court) in New Hampshire that pitted a divorced homeschooling mother against her ex-husband who disapproved of the practice.

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This post links to and briefly summarizes two recent child custody cases where homeschooling plays an important role.  The topic is important for several reasons.  First, these are the kind of cases that homeschooling advocacy groups like HSLDA know better than to get involved in, so they don’t.  Because of this lack of involvement they are not the kind of cases that are generally publicized in the homeschooling community, which is a shame because they get at some important and often painful realities.  Second, these cases help explain why the debate over the competing rights of parents, state, and child is not going to go away.  Third, they offer a window into the real world of homeschooling that one never reads about in the how-to books.  Of course we must be quick to note that the stories recounted in these court cases are by no means typical or normal.  It would be a terrible mistake to generalize about the entire world of homeschooling from these troubling and sordid examples.  But it would be an equally terrible mistake to pretend that such things are not going on as we work out public policy.  These are not isolated instances, as this post from Roscommon Acres and the related posts at the end of it make plain.  Here are the cases: (more…)

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Back on July 14,  New Hampshire family-court judge Lucinda Sadler ruled that the daughter of a divorced couple who had been homeschooled by her mother (Voydatch) must be sent to public school.  This was in accordance with the father’s (Kurowski) wishes, though the girl had resided with the mother since the divorce in 1999, when the child was an infant.  Judge Sadler’s decision was based partly on the socialization issue (which was the father’s main concern) but also at least in part on her opinion that the girl’s Christian homeschooling was too rigid, that she would be better served in life by being exposed a wider range of views than what her mother provided.  [You can read the entire court document here]

Since this case is a custody-related case, it, like the In re Rachel L. case in California, was at first not on the radar screen of the leading homeschooling watchdog groups.  It is now.  (more…)

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