I’ve been debating with myself whether or not to post about the recent CA court ruling. Homeschoolers in California are so happy about the court’s decision, in particular the people who were directly involved in the case. So, I’m hesitant to say anything negative about it. On the other hand, there are also people, the vast majority of which are not in California, and none of which who were directly involved in the courtroom for this case, who have serious trepidations about the wording of the ruling.
Considering everything that happened, the ruling was about as positive as it could have been. Before the ruling came out, there was some banter on the legal e-list of several discussions during the hearing that indicated that the ruling might go very, very badly. Everyone stayed optimistic in spite of this. In the end, however, we got basically what we asked for, which delighted us, and also surprised us a little bit. But, just as I was not panicked when the original court ruling came about, I’m not jumping for joy about the recent ruling either. We have to be careful that we don’t get caught with our pants down. Actually, right now is our most vulnerable time, because we’re the most likely, right now, not to be paying attention.
Many people are concerned that the recent court ruling made it clear that they has final say in whether a child can be homeschooled. I’m not too concerned with this part, personally. This has already been the case for years, and we’ve dealt with it fairly well. We must remain diligent, however, and put pressure on the courts every time they try to make a decision that is clearly out of bias.
The recent court ruling also made an implicit call for legislators to clarify the law so that their job would be easier in the future. This is the one we need to pay attention to. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s something on the Nov. ballot here in CA. If you are in CA, make sure that you let your representatives know, especially if they are Dems and you’re a Dem, that you want to keep homeschooling just as it is in CA, and that we do not need more regulation.
The recent ruling is indeed good news for CA, but not because we’ve been officialy declared legal. The reason that this ruling is good for CA, is that we have proven ourselves, as a political group, who is not a radical right-wing based organization. There is already a different “feel” towards homeschoolers in our state, particularly from “authorities”. Bringing out all of this drama on to the table for everyone to see has had an effect on our state’s social trends.
Some have questioned what HSLDA’s role was in all of this. Without getting into to much detail, I just want to give kudos to the CA state groups for working together with HSLDA in a positive way. Looking at it from the outside, it seems like HSLDA had a large hand in all of the work here, because they sent a ton of announcements and whatnot. But the truth is that the three CA groups and HSLDA worked together. Everyone did their part, and aside from a few fluffing of chest feathers, none of the involved groups made any unilateral decisions.
Although nobody wanted to deal with this unexpected turn of events, the final result was generally positive. Not perfect, but positive. Homeschooling activism is stronger than ever in CA. We have more volunteers and more support group members than ever before. We have stronger relationships with our Dem. representatives. We have more positive ties to our communities. And we have stepped up and proven that we can’t be ignored. In the end, I’m glad this all happened, and I’m expecting that we are not done. What lies ahead is impossible to predict. It could be anything, depending on who gets a bee in their bonnet. But whatever happens, we’re ready, and unified.