March 18, 2009
A North Carolina judge presiding over a bitter divorce case has ruled that three home-schooled children must start attending public school — a decision their mother angrily says was based on her religious beliefs.
[efoods]Wake County Judge Ned Mangum granted Thomas and Venessa Mills joint custody of their children — ages 10, 11 and 12 — and ruled that the children’s “best interest” would be served by sending them to public school this fall, according to a temporary custody order.
But Venessa Mills insists her association with the Sound Doctrine Church played a “big factor” in Mangum’s ruling, in which he also ordered her to undergo a mental health assessment within 30 days.
“He disregarded the facts and said that even though the children are thriving in home school, they’d do better in public school,” Venessa Mills told FOXNews.com. “It’s a clear cover-up by the judge. He made a bad ruling about home schooling and he is clearly covering his tracks.”
Venessa Mills, whose home-school curriculum includes swimming, piano lessons and instruction from Sound Doctrine members via phone and Web cam, claims Mangum showed his bias by not including rebuttals to damaging testimony by her relatives and close friends in his ruling.