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Wake judge orders home schoolers into public classrooms


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Forced indoctrination at it's finest......can anyone deny the slippery slope this scenario presents?

WRAL

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Raleigh, N.C. — A judge in Wake County said three Raleigh children need switch from home school to public school. Judge Ned Mangum is presiding over divorce proceeding of the children's parents, Thomas and Venessa Mills.

Venessa Mills was in the fourth year of home schooling her children who are 10, 11 and 12 years old. They have tested two years above their grade levels, she said.

"We have math, reading; we have grammar, science, music,” Venessa Mills said.

Her lessons also have a religious slant, which the judge said was the root of the problem.

"My teaching is strictly out of the Bible, and it's very clear. It is very evident so I just choose to follow the Bible,” Venessa Mills said.

In an affidavit filed Friday in the divorce case, Thomas Mills stated that he "objected to the children being removed from public school." He said Venessa Mills decided to home school after getting involved with Sound Doctrine church "where all children are home schooled."

Thomas Mills also said he was "concerned about the children's religious-based science curriculum" and that he wants "the children to be exposed to mainstream science, even if they eventually choose to believe creationism over evolution."

In a verbal ruling, Mangum said the children should go to public school.

"He was upfront and said that, 'It's not about religion.' But yet when it came down to his ruling and reasons why, 'He said this would be a good opportunity for the children to be tested in the beliefs that I have taught them,'" Venessa Mills said.

All sides agree the children have thrived with home school, and Vanessa Mills thinks that should be reason enough to continue teaching at home.

"I cannot sit back and allow this to happen to other home schoolers. I don't want it happening to my children,” Venessa Mills said.

Mangum said he wouldn't talk with WRAL News Thursday about the details of the case because he hasn't issued a written ruling yet. He said he expected to sign it in a few weeks.

An estimated 71,566 students were taught at home during the 2007-08 school year, according to figures released by the state Division of Non-Public Education. The enrollment amounts to about 4 percent of students ages 7 to 16 in North Carolina – students in that age range are required by state law to attend school. About two-thirds of the schools classified themselves as religious schools.

Home school students and their parents plan to come to Raleigh on March 24 to lobby at the state Legislature. They want to demonstrate they have a strong voice regarding education.

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Sounds more like a divorce squabble to me. When my first wife and I divorced, she converted to the Mormon church and insisted on raising our 2 children as strict Mormons. That was bad enough. I would have flipped out if she had pulled them out of public school to home school them. There appears to be more to this story.

And therein lies my problem with the religious right; they take a story like this which is basically a divorce dispute, and turn it into "the government wants to take our religious freedoms away". More tabloid reporting IMO.

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This is the outcome from a divorce proceeding concerning the father's wishes regarding his children.

I'm sure that had the most bearing on how that judge ruled.

"All sides agree the children have thrived with home school, and Vanessa Mills thinks that should be reason enough to continue teaching at home."

This should have the most bearing on how that judge ruled, and more importantly what that father should be basing his wishes on.

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In an affidavit filed Friday in the divorce case, Thomas Mills stated that he "objected to the children being removed from public school." He said Venessa Mills decided to home school after getting involved with Sound Doctrine church "where all children are home schooled."

Thomas Mills also said he was "concerned about the children's religious-based science curriculum" and that he wants "the children to be exposed to mainstream science, even if they eventually choose to believe creationism over evolution."

Sounds reasonable to me. I would feel exactly the same way.

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"We have math, reading; we have grammar, science, music,” Venessa Mills said.

Her lessons also have a religious slant, which the judge said was the root of the problem.

"My teaching is strictly out of the Bible, and it's very clear. It is very evident so I just choose to follow the Bible,” Venessa Mills said.

Here's my main problem. You're not going to be able to learn science, math, or history from the Bible. They may have scored high in those subjects, but the standardized tests for 5th-7th graders are extremely easy. Reading in my opinion is the hardest but she teaches out of the Bible, so she shouldn't really have a problem teaching reading. The math tests are extraordinarily simple, and I'm not sure how hard the science one's are. I have a feeling once they would advance to higher forms of math or even college they'd be behind and certainly have to take remedial classes. Same thing with science. The Bible doesn't exactly teach calculus, and if she plans on teaching her kids math in 12th grade or so, she'd be merely going off of pure memory will not work at that level. 10-12 year olds learn like, what, multiplication and division? Maybe some simple algebraic equations?

And silentbob1272, who exactly is the one indoctrinating? I'd say the mother is. Religious expression is not totally stopped during school and the education will be better than at home school. She's the one truly keeping the kids from receiving a proper education (refer to my above paragraph). And there's always after school! She's got plenty of time to indoctrinate their kids about religion. After all, it's only one book.

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Here's my main problem. You're not going to be able to learn science, math, or history from the Bible. They may have scored high in those subjects, but the standardized tests for 5th-7th graders are extremely easy. Reading in my opinion is the hardest but she teaches out of the Bible, so she shouldn't really have a problem teaching reading. The math tests are extraordinarily simple, and I'm not sure how hard the science one's are. I have a feeling once they would advance to higher forms of math or even college they'd be behind and certainly have to take remedial classes. Same thing with science. The Bible doesn't exactly teach calculus, and if she plans on teaching her kids math in 12th grade or so, she'd be merely going off of pure memory will not work at that level. 10-12 year olds learn like, what, multiplication and division? Maybe some simple algebraic equations?

And silentbob1272, who exactly is the one indoctrinating? I'd say the mother is. Religious expression is not totally stopped during school and the education will be better than at home school. She's the one truly keeping the kids from receiving a proper education (refer to my above paragraph). And there's always after school! She's got plenty of time to indoctrinate their kids about religion. After all, it's only one book.

I can't remember seeing you in here before....too bad, good points all.

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I'm pretty much going into a general rant on homeschooling, but I don't thin (as a general belief, not really specific to this) that any kids should be subject to it.

I don't even know where to start:

First, as mentioned, the fact that they were testing two grades above their current really isn't relevant to anything other than the fact that to the current point they have simply been adequately educated on the subject matter. Smart children regularly test several grade levels above their own.

Two, I have serious problems with people that try to incorporate religion into schools. Its not because of the message, I'm christian, but I don't see how it has any place in education. The bible can't academically educate anyone, nor have I ever seen any indication that it was made to. Moreso, I don't get why parents have to push the bible on their kids so hard. If they really have faith in the message that the bible sends, they shouldn't have to push it on their kids so hard. To me, there are two main questions I'd ask anyone who does that. One, is a persons decision on whether to believe in a god or not the most important decision they will make in their life? Now, assuming the answer is yes, does a 12 year old child have the mental capacity to make the most important decision in their life? I don't know about you, but nothing I have ever read in the field of psychology or any life experience tells me that the answer is anything other than no.

Three, I can pretty much guarantee that whoever teaches those kids doesn't have an adequate education to fully understand the subject matter. Unlike even the infamous high school teacher, I'd be willing to bet they don't have any kind of degree in biology, physics, economics, political science, english, calculus, anything. 90% of the time people "self educate" themselves, they end up listening to some hackjob with a motive and believe in (and in this case teach) misinformation and pseudoscience. Bottom line is that these people aren't smart enough to educate a child. Its not an attack at them personally or anything, next to nobody can.

Four, generally homeschool kids come out pretty messed up socially. I guess its possible to homeschool a kid and have them turn out normal, but 95% of the ones I meet are so messed up socially that they are beyond repair. Kids are made to socialize with other kids and other authority figures. Keeping them at home when their only outside interactions are with the people they meet at various social events just isn't enough.

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Two, I have serious problems with people that try to incorporate religion into schools. Its not because of the message, I'm christian, but I don't see how it has any place in education. The bible can't academically educate anyone, nor have I ever seen any indication that it was made to. Moreso, I don't get why parents have to push the bible on their kids so hard. If they really have faith in the message that the bible sends, they shouldn't have to push it on their kids so hard. To me, there are two main questions I'd ask anyone who does that. One, is a persons decision on whether to believe in a god or not the most important decision they will make in their life? Now, assuming the answer is yes, does a 12 year old child have the mental capacity to make the most important decision in their life? I don't know about you, but nothing I have ever read in the field of psychology or any life experience tells me that the answer is anything other than no.

If faith is reduced to a mere decision to "believe" something cognitively, you would be right.

But it's not, so you're wrong.

Faith is given through Christ's gifts. It's something HE does, not something we do. The parable of the sower is instructive here -- the seed is scattered recklessly, without regard to the condition of the soil. God determines where the seed grows and where it does not. The seed, FWIW, is the Word and (through the Word) the Sacraments.

I WILL agree that a whole lot of folks who (to use your words) "push the Bible on their kids" DO see faith as a decision. But their heterodoxy should not **** the rest of us (pun intended). It is meet, right and salutary to raise children in the faith. In fact, I would argue that one who is doing otherwise -- failing to take their kids to Church, failing to instruct them in the Faith, failing to avail them of the gifts -- is no Christian.

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Responding separately to these because they go to the merits of homeschooling.

Three, I can pretty much guarantee that whoever teaches those kids doesn't have an adequate education to fully understand the subject matter. Unlike even the infamous high school teacher, I'd be willing to bet they don't have any kind of degree in biology, physics, economics, political science, english, calculus, anything. 90% of the time people "self educate" themselves, they end up listening to some hackjob with a motive and believe in (and in this case teach) misinformation and pseudoscience. Bottom line is that these people aren't smart enough to educate a child. Its not an attack at them personally or anything, next to nobody can.

That may be true in the majority of cases (but I'd venture a guess you pulled the 90% number out of your rear). I know four kids in particular who were homeschooled by their Pastor and (respectively) schoolteacher and nurse parents. My guess is the combined doctorate and masters level education of these parents was quite sufficient.

But I agree that someone who is uneducated themselves is doing their kids a disservice by trying to teach the kids what the parent never bothered to learn.

Four, generally homeschool kids come out pretty messed up socially. I guess its possible to homeschool a kid and have them turn out normal, but 95% of the ones I meet are so messed up socially that they are beyond repair. Kids are made to socialize with other kids and other authority figures. Keeping them at home when their only outside interactions are with the people they meet at various social events just isn't enough.

Very legitimate criticism, and something I think any parent who homeschools has to consider. Socialization is VERY important. Sports leagues and other outings can help, as can music, art, etc. learned outside the home. What we have found is that if you want to do this, you are almost better off putting the kids in parochial school, as the cost goes up VERY fast. Our kids will probably go to public school, but parochial school is our second option. Homeschooling would be a last resort, largely for this reason.

But it CAN be done. Those parents who do it should not be tarred with the same brush as those who have a little home compound.

BTW, all four of the kids above have taken divergent paths in life, but none were hampered and I'd bet all four would argue they were in fact greatly helped by their homeschool education. Again, it can be done.

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If faith is reduced to a mere decision to "believe" something cognitively, you would be right.

But it's not, so you're wrong.

Faith is given through Christ's gifts. It's something HE does, not something we do. The parable of the sower is instructive here -- the seed is scattered recklessly, without regard to the condition of the soil. God determines where the seed grows and where it does not. The seed, FWIW, is the Word and (through the Word) the Sacraments.

I WILL agree that a whole lot of folks who (to use your words) "push the Bible on their kids" DO see faith as a decision. But their heterodoxy should not **** the rest of us (pun intended). It is meet, right and salutary to raise children in the faith. In fact, I would argue that one who is doing otherwise -- failing to take their kids to Church, failing to instruct them in the Faith, failing to avail them of the gifts -- is no Christian.

I guess I should have been more specific with what I was saying.

It's not the mere idea of introducing children to the bible (and faith) that I have a problem with. It's the fact that it's done in a way by many people with the intention of trying to get their faith on(for lack of a better word) "lockdown" by the time they go out into society.

I'm really of going off on a tangent here, but one of the things about the organized church that really upsets me is that most major churches either baptize or ask the children to confirm their children right around middle school age pushing the idea that it gives the baptism more credit because the recipients are now able to make cognitive decisions about their life. Essentially they work off the idea that a child can confidently label his faith at the age of 12. While proponents will likely mention that there is biblical basis and that Jesus himself preached as a child, I simply can't bring myself to agree with that at all. I think way back to my own confirmation at age 12ish and I realize that all it was just a giant show of theatrics with no merit to it.

Going back to my original point, I'm admittedly rushing to judgement here but from the sounds of it this family is simply trying to indoctrinate their kid with christianity so hard that it simply becomes a way of life built into their system rather than a constantly changing belief structure. I don't agree with that at all.

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Responding separately to these because they go to the merits of homeschooling.

That may be true in the majority of cases (but I'd venture a guess you pulled the 90% number out of your rear). I know four kids in particular who were homeschooled by their Pastor and (respectively) schoolteacher and nurse parents. My guess is the combined doctorate and masters level education of these parents was quite sufficient.

But I agree that someone who is uneducated themselves is doing their kids a disservice by trying to teach the kids what the parent never bothered to learn.

Very legitimate criticism, and something I think any parent who homeschools has to consider. Socialization is VERY important. Sports leagues and other outings can help, as can music, art, etc. learned outside the home. What we have found is that if you want to do this, you are almost better off putting the kids in parochial school, as the cost goes up VERY fast. Our kids will probably go to public school, but parochial school is our second option. Homeschooling would be a last resort, largely for this reason.

But it CAN be done. Those parents who do it should not be tarred with the same brush as those who have a little home compound.

BTW, all four of the kids above have taken divergent paths in life, but none were hampered and I'd bet all four would argue they were in fact greatly helped by their homeschool education. Again, it can be done.

I really don't agree. There are plenty of smart parents out there, but highschool education is (despite all the criticism it receives) so advanced that very few people could actually single handedly give an all encompassing education. Maybe up to early highschool, but past that it's too hard.

For example, while the couple you mentioned sounds very competent and I'm sure they did a good job raising their children, I very highly doubt that when it gets to college credit multivariable calculus they could give the same level of education as a teacher who more than likely has at least a masters degree in the subject. Maybe they can, but I know that I personally couldn't teach anything other than my concentration.

Plus, any bias that lies with the parents is very likely carry over to the kids. Kids deserve to learn from people with differing (Id even go as far as to say directly opposing) viewpoints. Anything else leaves life stagnant and is nothing but groupthink on a large scale.

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I guess I should have been more specific with what I was saying.

It's not the mere idea of introducing children to the bible (and faith) that I have a problem with. It's the fact that it's done in a way by many people with the intention of trying to get their faith on(for lack of a better word) "lockdown" by the time they go out into society.

I'm really of going off on a tangent here, but one of the things about the organized church that really upsets me is that most major churches either baptize or ask the children to confirm their children right around middle school age pushing the idea that it gives the baptism more credit because the recipients are now able to make cognitive decisions about their life. Essentially they work off the idea that a child can confidently label his faith at the age of 12. While proponents will likely mention that there is biblical basis and that Jesus himself preached as a child, I simply can't bring myself to agree with that at all. I think way back to my own confirmation at age 12ish and I realize that all it was just a giant show of theatrics with no merit to it.

We baptize as infants, because Holy Baptism is a gift.

We DO confirm at a later age, but ONLY where the child demonstrates that he/she is well versed enough to confess the faith he/she has received. That COULD mean much younger than 12 (I've seen kids confirmed at 7-8), and it COULD be quite later as well.

It is the confession that matters, not the child or the age.

Given your experience, I can see why you would be a bit cynical about it. Please know that not all Christians do this. Cognition and faith are not equivalent. I'd venture a guess my 5-year old has much stronger faith than I do. The world has a way of attacking faith.

Going back to my original point, I'm admittedly rushing to judgement here but from the sounds of it this family is simply trying to indoctrinate their kid with christianity so hard that it simply becomes a way of life built into their system rather than a constantly changing belief structure. I don't agree with that at all.

As to this family, I won't speak only because I can see both sides, and we just don't know what the situation is. Could be a rogue judge, but in my experience, judges tend to take such matters seriously, so it could be a flaky mom.

Plus Americans have pretty much watered down Christianity to the point that it is near meaningless anymore. Y'all see me talk against American Protestantism a lot. It's not that all American Protestants are bad, but that institutionally, American Protestantism has become Gospel Reductionism, to the point that there is almost no place for Christ and His cross anymore. Jesus becomes my helper, my coach, my friend, my life-example.

Anything but my savior. Because I am anything but a sinner.

And that's sad. Because we are ALL poor miserable sinners.

I get where you're coming from. I hope you are able to find an organized Church where Christianity is taught more purely. Trust me on this -- I know how hard that is, but it's worth the search and effort.

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"All sides agree the children have thrived with home school, and Vanessa Mills thinks that should be reason enough to continue teaching at home."

This should have the most bearing on how that judge ruled, and more importantly what that father should be basing his wishes on.

it seems to me that the father is concerned that Vanessa Mills is not properly exposing the children to "mainstream" science. I would feel the same way.

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so the wife wants the children taught creationism. the husband wants the children taught mainstream science & religion so that they can then make up their own minds about which one is correct. yet it's the husband/judge who want "forced indoctrination"??? :blink:

is that really what's being argued here?

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