Friday, October 17, 2008
Tell me if President Ezra Taft Benson's words don't ring true today? He gave this speech, not as president of the church, but as a citizen of the U.S. 43 years ago.
I've posted several times recently about prop 8 in California and prop 102 in Arizona. I will use that issue to reinforce Ezra Taft Benson's words on socialism.
It has been widely reported how a first grade teacher in San Francisco took her first grade class to City Hall to watch her marriage to her same sex partner. If you don't know about this just scroll down a few posts where I discuss the issue.
Due to the recent change in California law, i.e. legalizing same sex marriage, the school felt that the field trip was, "Academically relevant."
Here's the kicker. Pehaps you're thinking that you can avoid the issue altogether by just homeschooling your child. If you live in California, think again. Earlier this year a California Court of Appeals ruled that Philip and Mary Long of Lynwood, CA, could not home school their children because Mary (the mom/teacher) was not a certified teacher in CA.
From the above cited article:
"At first, there was a sense of, 'No way,' " said homeschool parent Loren Mavromati, a resident of Redondo Beach (Los Angeles County) who is active with a homeschool association. "Then there was a little bit of fear. I think it has moved now into indignation."
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 parents said they also enrolled their children in Sunland Christian School, a private religious academy in Sylmar (Los Angeles County), which considers the Long children part of its independent study program and visits the home about four times a year.
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.
Now back to my own thoughts:
The government is dictating how our children must be taught. Therefore, they get to decide what is taught.
What's next? Will Sunday School teachers need to be certified by the state? Some might consider that an incredible stretch that the state would never presume to impose. However, the ruling above caught the entire homeschooling community in California by surprise. And now an estimated 166,000 children are potential truants and their parents face possible prosecution.
Socialism typically deals with economic issues. The underlying principle however is that the government should dictate how goods and services are produced and distributed. When the government decides how and what should be taught to our children, regardless of our views on how our children should be taught, we are sliding down a slippery slope that we might not be able to recover from.
Vote yes on prop 8 in California and prop 102 in Arizona. Our children are too important.