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Tuesday, March 4, 2008
The Rest of the Homeschooling Story, Ignored By WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've previously noted how WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh played the Nazi card in likening a California ruling ordering a family's homeschooled children to attend regular school to "officials from Germany, where homeschooling has been outlawed since 1938 under a law adopted when Adolf Hitler decided he wanted the state, and no one else, to control the minds of the nation's youth." We also presumed that Unruh wasn't telling the full story about this case because, well, that's what Unruh does.

Indeed, we were right. The AMPS blog has uncovered what appears to be the complete court ruling about this case and a related case involving the family, and it includes numerous details about the case that Unruh failed to report, presumably because they interfered with his effort to portray homeschoolers as the noble victims of Nazi-like oppression.

Unruh had written:

The judges ruled in the case involving the Longs the family failed to demonstrate "that mother has a teaching credential such that the children can be said to be receiving an education from a credentialed tutor," and that their involvement and supervision by Sunland Christian School's independent study programs was of no value.

Nor did the family's religious beliefs matter to the court.

But according to the court ruling, the parents claimed that Sunland Christian School was a "charter school" without any evidence that it was, as defined by state law. The ruling also pointed out that the parents were depriving their children "of an education in a public or private full-time day school setting, or by a credentialed tutor, through the ruse of enrolling them in a private school and then letting them stay home and be taught by a non-credentialed parent."

Further, Sunland's "involvement and supervision" appears to have been minimal at best; the school's administrator said "he makes visits to the parents' home about four times a year," and "the children in the family reported to the Department of Children and Family Services social worker that they were given tests at the end of some school years and they took the tests at the Sunland Christian School." Such minimal supervision by Sunland arguably does render it as having "no value."

While Unruh stated that the family has homeschooled their children "because of various anti-Christian influences in California's public schools" -- he later adds the father's assertion that "he won't allow the pro-homosexual, pro-bisexual, pro-transgender agenda of California's public schools, on which WND previously has reported, to indoctrinate his children" -- the court ruling states:

Over the years, the parents of the children have given various reasons for not sending the children to school. Although previously they have stated they do not believe in the policies of the public school system, more recently they have asserted that they home school because of their religious beliefs. The father also recently opined that educating children outside the home exposes them to "snitches."

The ruling concludes: "Given this history of this family, which we need not discuss here, permitting the parents to educate the children at home by means of a credentialed tutor would likely post too many difficulties for the tutor." What is that history? The related ruling supplied by AMPS, involving the California DCFS' case against the family, details:

The family’s third contact with the juvenile court came when a petition was filed in November 1993 for the same five children plus minor Rachel. According to a Department report in the instant case and a Department report in a 2001 matter involving this family, the six minors were found to be persons coming within the provisions of section 300 on the basis of the following sustained allegations: the parents’ home was dangerous to the minors in that it included, but was not limited to, approximately 60 guns, rifles and/or assault weapons; black powder in an unsecured location; and live ammunition, shells, and magazines, all of which was within access of the minors, and the guns and ammunition were in close proximity to each other. Further, the minors’ home was found to be in [*9] an endangering filthy, unsanitary and unsafe condition, and the minors were chronically filthy, and unsupervised late at night. Additionally, the parents unlawfully concealed the whereabouts of the children from the Department and father willfully gave false information to the court concerning the whereabouts of the children. Eventually all of the minors were released to mother’s care.

[...]

The fifth and current involvement of the Department with this [*10] family came as the result of minor Rachel’s contact with the Los Angeles Police Department, Wilshire Division, on January 26, 2006, when she asked to be picked up because she was tired, hungry and had no place to live. She was fourteen years old at the time. She had run away from the family home on October 29, 2005. Rachel told the Department social worker that she was tired of living under father’s house rules. She stated father would hit her with a stick, hanger or shoe if she did not follow his rules. She said he will not let her wear pants at home and she had to wear skirts or dresses, not let her wear makeup, and not let her attend public school. Rachel also reported that Leonard C. repeatedly molested her when she was between the ages of four and nine. He repeatedly groped her and would come into her room when she was in bed and put his finger into her vagina. She said she told the parents about it when she was 12 years old but they did not believe her. She stated the man still comes to the house occasionally and she worries that he might begin molesting her sister Mary Grace. She stated she engages in selfmutilation (cutting herself with a razor blade) and has problems with [*11] depression, but her parents will not send her to therapy because father tells her that speaking with him is all the therapy she needs. She stated she would never be all right with father now because she has been sexually active. She stated she would continue to run away if she is forced to live at home. The social worker reported that Rachel’s situation was similar to her sister Elizabeth’s, who also ran away, wanted to attend public school, objected to father’s house rules, was removed from the home for physical and emotional abuse, and complained that father dominates everyone in the house, including mother.

[...]

In the meantime, on January 27, 2006, a visit to the parents' two-bedroom home in Lynwood revealed it was very cramped with the family's belongings, the hallway had a dresser and plastic boxes piled almost to the ceiling and they partially blocked the door to the children's bedroom, which had no door on it. The yard was laded with junk that presented a fire hazard and breeding ground for vermin.

[...]

By the [29*] time of the May 18, 2006, adjudication hearing, Rachel was living with her sister Elizabeth. The Department was having difficulty securing a clothing allowance for Rachel because a birth certificate for her was needed but the parents continued to assert there was no birth certificate. Because the parents were not willing to sign an affadavit stating where and when Rachel was born, the Department indicated Rachel would be required to have a bone test done to determine her age, and for that, a medical or court order was necessary.

[...]

Rachel stated she is attending public school and likes it. She stated she does not have the same knowledge that the other students in her class have and she is working to catch up to them. Asked how much time she spent each day on being school at the parents' home, she stated "sometimes two hours. [*27] Sometimes half an hour. It depended on what homework it was."

These are the people Unruh is painting as victims of state oppression -- whitewashing their real background in the process.

If Unruh was turning in slanted, incomplete copy when he worked for the Associated Press, as he does for WorldNetDaily, no wonder he doesn't work there anymore.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:05 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, March 5, 2008 12:13 PM EST

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