The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

Parents Beware, Judges Have More Rights Than You

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The case of a 10-year old serves as a wake-up call to all parents.

By Nathan A. Cherry

 Martinsburg, WV – I have been monitoring a story since I first read about it a couple of weeks ago. It has caused quite a stir in the blogosphere, and a fair amount of outrage across party lines in general. This is the case of a 10 year old New Hampshire girl who was ordered out of the home-schooled care of her mother and into public school.

 Let me preface this by saying most of the articles and comments I have read have to do with the religious aspect of this story. Such things as this quote from the family attorney John Anthony Simmons, “What this case boils down to is a judge’s intolerance of a 10-year-old girl’s Christian faith.”

 While I won’t dispute the heavy religious tone of this case, I will have to respectfully disagree with Mr. Simmons. This case is not entirely about religious freedom or intolerance. This case is about the ever increasing judicial activism that is taking place in this country. More and more we are seeing judges overstep their judicial boundaries and stick their noses and gavels into the homes of Americans where they don’t belong.

 To be sure, we don’t have all the facts. What we do know is that a divorced couple, where the mother has primary custody of their 10-year old daughter, has different ideas of how the child should be raised. Mom home-schools her daughter where, according to an article in the Nashua Telegraph;

“This young girl is ‘likeable and well liked, social and interactive with her peers, academically promising, and intellectually at or superior to grade level.’ She has also been involved in public school classes that complement her home schooling and participates in a variety of extracurricular sports activities.”

 Here is where I find myself getting a little angry and, where you as a parent need to get angry and just a little frightened at the tone our judicial system is taking. A perfectly well-balanced, intelligent, happy, healthy, young girl that is thriving academically, even being superior at times to her public school counterparts, is taken from the system that has produced her and thrown into a school system that cannot possibly compete with her mother’s devoted and undivided attention as teacher.

 What is so angering about this is that despite the fact that school choice is a parents right, a judge arbitrarily makes a decision against the primary guardians wishes and usurps a parents rights. Are you angry yet?

What if another judge decides that another child needs to be removed from the private Christian/religious school he/she is attending in order to be “exposed to different points of view.”? Should Muslim students be removed from their schools so they can be exposed to different points of view? How come public school kids are not being put in religious schools so they too can be “exposed to different points of view?”

The angering and frightening point of this case is that a judge overstepped his bounds and removed a child from a parents care for absolutely no apparent reason. Whether you are liberal, conservative, Muslim or Christian, it should infuriate you to think that a judge could come along and take your child from you. Put yourself in this mother’s shoes, would you be pleased with the outcome?

What I hope for this little girl is that she goes to this public school and puts them to shame. I hope she outperforms her peers, is a model student, and gains the admiration of her teachers. But most of all I hope she shows everyone that no amount of viewpoints can shake her from the deep convictions her mother has instilled in her. I hope the internal light of faith that burns deep inside her shines brightly through the halls of her new school so that everyone can see it.

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Written by Nathan Cherry

September 16, 2009 at 4:37 pm

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