Homeschoolers ordered to attend public schools to enhance their socialization skills
Jacksonville Florida – A judge has ordered a Florida family to remove their children from homeschool and place them in public school so they can “socialize” with other children.
The custody case turned political when the judge made the decision to order the children to public school despite no objections or concerns about their homeschooling from their parents .
This action forced the Cano family to contact a nationally-recognized homeschool organization that quickly filed a friend of the court brief in support of the mother.
Therese Cano of Florida has been in an ongoing child visitation battle with her husband, and during the process of arbitration, the court appointed a psychologist and a guardian ad litem to oversee the matter.
The Psychologist appointed stated the children were doing well academically, however the ad litem gaurdian said it was her “gut feeling” that the kids should attend public school.
As this case came to a close and on the recommendation of the Ad litem Gaurdian, the judge ordered the children to attend public school so they could socialize and continued to scold Cano on her decision to homeschool her children.
“When are they going to socialize?” The judge asked the mother. “Is homeschool going to continue through college and/or professional schooling? At which point are these children going to interact with other children, and isn’t that in their best interest?”
The Cano’s contacted the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and sought advice on this subject.
An amicus brief was filed in support of the right to homeschool and to prove that the homeschooled children can and do receive adequate socialization.
“It is truly unfortunate that after decades of homeschooling parents are still fighting a battle against ignorance and ‘What about socialization?’ ” Jim Mason, HSLDA’s litigation counsel wrote responding to the judges decision.
“We see this as an excellent opportunity to educate judges in Florida about homeschooling success.”
“Numerous studies and surveys have shown that children who are homeschooled thrive educationally and socially both during and after their compulsory-education years,” the organization wrote in its brief.
“Despite the widespread belief that home schooling is socially isolating, the research documents quite clearly that home-schooled children are very much engaged in the social routines of their communities.”
“Every mother who homeschools her children is familiar with the unfortunate myths that arose about socialization and academic preparation,” the written statement continued.
“On all counts homeschooling meets the standard set by public schools, and virtually all of the research demonstrates that homeschoolers far exceed that bar.”
HSLDA expressed that Cano’s case could set a precedent that could spread to other homeschoolers lighting a fire that could spark a backlash by judges concerned about these same issues.
HSLDA concluded in its brief. “The unfair, unsupported bias against homeschoolers should not be allowed to persist in the lower courts of this state. The trial court’s order placing Appellant’s children in public school should be reversed.”
This attack on homeschoolers is abominable and we must send a strong resistant message to this type of power being exerted from a judges bench. We must not let this decision to be left unanswered without strong objection.
Speak with your school boards, Judges and elected representatives and protect your right to homeschool as you wish.
Educate others and be prepared to prove your child’s ability to socialize is well documented and confirmed.
A study was attached to the brief by HSLDA that states:
The HSLDA brief includes details of a number of studies, including one of 5,254 homeschooled adults that showed 50.2 percent of homeschooled students go on to some form of college, compared to 34 percent of their peers.
In addition, 8.7 percent received associates degrees, compared to 4.1 percent of their peers, 11.8 percent received bachelor’s degrees, compared to 7.6 percent of their peers; and 0.8 percent received master’s degrees, compared to 0.3 percent of their peers.
Further, the study found that 71 percent of subjects were participating in an ongoing community service activity such as coaching a sports team, volunteering at school, or working with a church or neighborhood association, while 37 percent of similarly aged U.S. adults and 39 percent of all U.S. adults did so.
The survey found that while 88 percent of these homes-educated subjects were a member of an organization, only 50 percent of similarly aged U.S. adults and 59 percent of all U.S. adults were.