Presumably most of us appreciate the idea of freedom, of the liberty to live our lives as we choose. The degree to which we actually live out such an ideal may be questionable. Are You Sure You Believe in Liberty? All we need do is examine how much we have allowed government to infringe on our rights. Sadly, although we may try to teach our values to our children, public education is yet another area where government interferes.
School Laws Diminish Freedom
It should not surprise us that the realm of education has followed the same sort of trajectory as any other area of life. Those who desire to control our lives use the power of government to accomplish that. Government grows and our liberties diminish.
The power of the state to dictate to parents what they must do continues to expand beyond any semblance of being reasonable. As just one example, the latest direction is to inculcate young children with the trendiest sexual propaganda. Of course, before that can happen, the kids must be in class. Rest assured, school officials and politicians are all over that.
There are alternatives to public school, but they are not necessarily easy or affordable to manage. And, depending on the jurisdiction, they may not even be that doable. There are any number of reasons why a public school environment may not be expedient, but a child is forced into the one-size-fits-all template nevertheless.Eliminate state compulsory schooling statutes. Stripping the state of its power to define and control education under a legal threat of force is a necessary step in pursuit of education freedom and parental empowerment. Click To Tweet
Thoughts on Compulsory Schooling Laws
Kerry McDonald, education policy writer and author of Unschooled: Raising Curious, Well-Educated Children Outside the Conventional Classroom, offers some thoughts on compulsory schooling laws.
“Someone asked me recently if I could wave a magic wand and do one thing to improve American education what would it be. Without hesitation, I replied: Eliminate state compulsory schooling statutes. Stripping the state of its power to define and control education under a legal threat of force is a necessary step in pursuit of education freedom and parental empowerment.”
Truancy and Neglectful Parenting
If there is any doubt about the power paradigm between parents and school officials, take a look at the topic of truancy laws.
“Truancy laws, which originate from a state’s compulsory schooling statutes, grant the full power of the state to come after parents whose children may have spotty attendance records. An in-depth article in HuffPost recently revealed the damaging impact these laws can have on families and children, with parents being pulled out of their homes in handcuffs and sent to jail.”
History of Compulsory Schooling Laws
Some of us may remember cartoons of yesteryear portraying the errant schoolkids and the intrepid truant officer hot on their trail. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
“Prior to the 1852 compulsory schooling law, compulsory education laws were common throughout the country…The education laws indicated a state interest in an educated citizenry and compelled cities and towns of a certain size to hire a teacher and/or open and operate a grammar school. It was the town that was compelled to offer schooling, not the parents to send their children there.
“This is a significant distinction. A state arguably has the authority to require its cities and towns to provide certain services, but compelling parents to partake of these services under a legal threat of force—as the 1852 compulsory schooling law ultimately did—crosses the line.”
A state mandating certain responsibilities to the cities and towns in its jurisdiction is appropriate. Commandeering parents’ authority is not.
“Parents, not the state, would decide how and where their children are educated. New possibilities for education innovation would emerge as the shadow of forced schooling waned. Education freedom begins when government compulsion ends.”