Thursday, December 20, 2007

Woman abandons home to escape public schools

The saga, as reported by WorldNetDaily, continues...

A Utah woman who was ordered by a juvenile court judge to enroll her children in public school or lose custody of them has abandoned her home, furniture and other possessions to escape the order.

Denise Mafi, a nine-year veteran of homeschooling, has confirmed to WND she and her children packed up their essentials – clothes and homeschool materials – and fled Utah over the weekend, spending more than 50 hours on a bus trip to another undisclosed part of the country.

There she has obtained an empty home, and is spending the Christmas break trying to find beds for her children and herself, and after the New Year, will involve the children in a local homeschooling process.

"We're shampooing carpets right now. We have no furniture. We have no beds," she said. "But my kids are not going to public school. They are not going where Jesus isn't welcome."

Her home, furniture and other possessions left behind in Utah? "I'm not going back unless the judge removes the threat of arrest," she said. "I'll fight for the cause but I'm not going to be a martyr."

I'm sure that I would do the same thing if I were facing an order to turn my kids over to the state for their education. However, there is something missing from this story. It was reported that she was in in juvenile court due to an issue regarding a "clash among children". This brings up a question. What if a homeschooling parent has a child that is in trouble with the law. Sometimes, part of the requirements that the child must meet is regular attendance in school. I imagine that the judge has a problem with this since there is no formal record of attendance for homeschool students. For a student to attend school, they simply stay home. However, that doesn't excuse the judge from his attempt to order this mother to put all of her children in public school. The judge was quoted as saying "homeschooling fails 100 percent of the time" and that he wasn't going to allow it. Now he's shown his clear disdain for homeschooling and it looks like he's attempting to use his position to force this mother to give up her rights to educate her children as she sees fit.

I pray that she prevails in her attempt to stand up for her rights, however I pray also that her children are receiving the education, care, and guidance that they need. It seems that the father is out of the house if not completely out of the picture, and that just makes everything that much more difficult for the children.

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