March 8, 2008
“Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children,” Justice H. Walter Croskey wrote in a Feb. 28 opinion for the 2nd District Court of Appeal.
Noncompliance could lead to criminal complaints against the parents, Croskey said.
The parents in the case had argued that they had a First Amendment right to home-school their children, but the appeals court rejected that argument.
“The parents in the instant case have asserted in a declaration that it is because of their ‘sincerely held religious beliefs’ that they home school their children and those religious beliefs ‘are based on Biblical teachings and principles,’” Croskey wrote. “[T]hose assertions are not the quality of evidence that permits us to say that application of California’s compulsory public school education law to them violates their First Amendment rights. Their statements are conclusional, not factually specific. Moreover, such sparse representations are too easily asserted by any parent who wishes to home school his or her child.”
The immediate impact of the ruling was not clear. Opponents said they would appeal.
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