In what appeared to be a case of a divorced family fighting over homeschooling, the judge has ordered the child into school because she held to strongly to her own religious beliefs.
The judgment stated that the girl lacked “some youthful characteristics”, and “appeared to reflect her mother’s rigidity on questions of faith”. The child has been ordered to attend a public school where she “must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief and behavior and cooperation in order to select, as a young adult, which of those systems will best suit her own needs.”
(South Dakota Voice)
Had the battle to homeschool been lost due to parental disagreement, I would have understood. It is clear to me that homeschooling is the underdog where divorce is concerned.
However, the issue of the parents disagreeing was not important. The fact that the child was receiving a great eduction was unimportant. Instead, the judge focused on the fact that the girl had a strong faith that the guardian Ad litem could not dissuade. According to reports, the Guardian ad litem was biased against Christianity and hostile toward the mother and homeschooling. She told the mother “if I want her in public school, she’ll be in public school”, and she refused to look at the homeschool curriculum. The judge backed up the guardian ad litem’s biases with her own.
The decision is being challenged ty the Alliance Defense Fund who are arguing that “Parents have a fundamental right to make educational choices for their children. In this case specifically, the court is illegitimately altering a method of education that the court itself admits is working,” and “The court is essentially saying that the evidence shows that, socially and academically, this girl is doing great, but her religious beliefs are a bit too sincerely held and must be sifted, tested by, and mixed among other worldviews. This is a step too far for any court to take.”
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