Good Citizenship?

I responded to an e-mail yesterday asking the question of why we interpret “Good Citizenship” as related to politics instead of some type of community service like volunteering in a food bank or picking up trash. That’s a good question. My response was that the Texas Education Code (25.086) allows a student who is attending a private school, which teaches a study of good citizenship, to be exempt from the compulsory attendance law. The question then arises, “What is good citizenship?” The courts have said that term means a study of civics or government.

That is the legal reasoning, but for home schoolers who lived through the 1980s, we know that our freedom to homeschool as we wish without the government’s interference is based on the will of the legislature. At one time a Texas Attorney General said that he did not believe parents were qualified to raise their children – much less teach them at home. Texas home school parents fought a spiritual, political, and legal battle to force the state to recognize our rights as parents.

This week three candidates seeking the Republican nomination for Governor of Iowa spoke to a group of home schoolers, seeking their support. They each touted their support of home schooling and promised to ease the legal restrictions against home schooling in Iowa if elected. Home schoolers have become recognized as a group of activists who are dedicated to electing those who support their rights and freedoms.

I think its a great thing for home schoolers to help in community activities like food banks and beautification projects, but with the current environment of professors making the case for why home schooling needs to be regulated by the government and media outlets making the case that home schoolers should not be allowed to teach creationism in our home schools we cannot afford to avoid the political process.

The candidates that are elected this year to represent us at the local, state, and national level may one day make decisions that directly affect our parental rights to direct the upbringing and education of our children.