Category Archives: Common Core

The Administration’s Assault on Home Schooling: Part Two

In my previous post we already established the fact that despite the sequestration, having to release over 2,000 illegal aliens from holding for non-violent criminal activity and a myriad of other issues engulfing our nation, this administration and the Justice Department finds it necessary to go after a German Christian family living in Tennessee that has already been granted asylum from a federal immigration judge. If you believe as I do that this has nothing to do with the Romeike family, you’ll have to draw some conclusions as to why this particular case is so important. I believe this case has everything to do with precedent: An earlier event or action regarded as an example or guide to be considered in subsequent similar actions. That is, there is something compelling about this case that the Justice Department would like to establish in the court system so as to have it on record for a basis of argument in future cases. So what exactly is the government’s position on the Romeike case?

A lot of this information comes directly from HSLDA Founder and Chairman, Michael Farris. He’s the gentleman who wrote the brief for the Romeike family. In his summary of the government’s position, the Justice Department is making three arguments to support sending the Romeike family back to Germany with the possibility of having their children taken away from them.

First: The government isn’t violating anyone’s rights if homeschooling is banned altogether.

Second: The Romeikes failed to show there was discrimination based on religion since not all homeschooling families are Christian, and not every Christian believes they have to homeschool.

Third: The Romeikes did not meet the standard of being part of a social group with “immutable” characteristics that can’t change and should not be required to change.  They said the Romeikes could choose not to homeschool and send their children to public school and then teach from home since their children would have only been in school for 22-26 hours during the week.

Michael Farris already makes some well thought out compelling arguments regarding the fallacy and potential dangers of the government’s position and I strongly encourage you to read his take here. It is not my intention to just reiterate what has already been stated but I want to look at the government’s arguments through the backdrop of Common Core or any other federally mandated educational system. And it’s important to point out that once your state turns over its educational sovereignty to the federal government under the banner of Common Core, it’s a federally mandated educational system. You may continue to have your “state” Department of Education, but that department will continue to morph into an enforcement arm of the “federal” Department of Education reporting directly to the United States Secretary of Education, currently Arne Duncan.

The government isn’t violating anyone’s rights if homeschooling is banned altogether.

According to the Justice Department, there is no fundamental right to homeschool your children. Put another way, the government is the arbitrator of the right to homeschool and as long as the government applies equal treatment in the way it pursues rights to homeschool, or not to homeschool. This is a shocking revelation by the Justice Department. Currently it is your decision whether or not to homeschool your children. You may decide to do so for religious reasons. Or you may decide that the scholastic standards in your district aren’t what they should be. Maybe the school your child attends isn’t safe. For any of these reasons, you currently have the right to educate your child the way you see fit. But only because the federal government is permitting you to, currently. If the government should decide that homeschooling is not in the best interest of your child for, say, not being able to keep up with the Common Core standards, the government has every right to institute compulsory education for the benefit of society as long as it applies equal treatment across the board.

The Romeikes failed to show there was discrimination based on religion since not all homeschooling families are Christian, and not every Christian believes they have to homeschool.

Again, Mr. Farris makes an excellent argument regarding the government’s lack of understanding that religious freedom is an individual right and it should be read. However, I don’t think this is as much a lack of understanding individual rights as it is a major push for collectivism. This philosophy is so firmly entrenched within this administration, whether it be collective salvation or children belonging to the communities, I believe the Justice Department is looking to win this case to set the precedent that there is no individual religious thought and unless all Christians are homeschoolers, no Christians have the right to homeschool. I personally believe this government understands individual rights perfectly and this government absolutely does not subscribe to this philosophy.

The Romeikes did not meet the standard of being part of a social group with “immutable” characteristics that can’t change and should not be required to change.  They said the Romeikes could choose not to homeschool and send their children to public school and then teach from home since their children would have only been in school for 22-26 hours during the week.

This is, in my opinion, the “media” argument. This is, and will be the “common sense solution” for compulsory government mandated education. It’s already being used in defense of Common Core! “Well the states get to choose what they want for 15% of the curriculum.” In fact, I love Mr. Farris’s take regarding this third argument from the Justice Department:

“This argument necessarily means that the United States government believes that it would not violate your rights if our own government banned homeschooling entirely. After all, you could teach your children your own values after they have had 22-26 hours of public school indoctrination aimed at counteracting religious and philosophical views the government doesn’t like.”

So there it is. While the Common Core issues are being played out by the states, behind the scenes the Justice Department, at the behest of the Obama Administration, is working to ensure judicial precedence is set to force homeschoolers to comply with compulsory federally regulated government education. We can’t have all of these parents pulling their kids out of school because of Common Core can we? It’s what the left hand is doing while the right hand is showing. That’s my opinion. If you’ve got a better explanation as to why the Federal Government is so interested in a Christian German family living in Tennessee, I’d love to hear it.

Advertisements

Romeike v. Holder – The Administration’s Assault on Home Schooling

Part One

Image

Budget deficit, sequestration, common core, immigration,

Obamacare, second amendment, carbon tax, marriage defendant……

Never in my lifetime has there been so many headline stories regarding the federal government and its’ affect on our lives all at one time. It is, and some would say by design, inundating. If you disregarded all other news, local, sports, weather or entertainment, an entire hour could be devoted every single day reporting on how what’s happening at the federal level is affecting everything we do in our day to day lives. And it is under this backdrop that critical stories with potentially huge implications get glossed over if they’re even mentioned at all. One of those stories is the Romeike v. Holder case. If it’s even mentioned in the mainstream media at all, it’s usually given with little if any context and without understanding what is at the heart of this case and the potential future implications of the ruling, who can blame the general populace for sympathizing with the family,  shrugging their shoulders and continuing to fret over the bigger headlines? Today I will begin to make the case that home schooling, and maybe even certain private schools – specifically Christian – will soon be a thing of the past. And this will happen most definitely in any state that accepts federal control over their education system – specifically Common Core.

First a brief synopsis of what the Romeike v. Holder case is all about. Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are evangelical Christians from Germany who, in 2006, took their five children out of the state-run German schools and homeschooled them. The family claimed their children were being taught things that were against the family’s religious beliefs. (NOTE: I pulled my son from the Chicago Public School System for the same reason. Homeschooling was not a viable option for me at the time so I put him in a Christian school). Sending your children to the state-run school system is the law in Germany with very few exceptions and homeschooling has been illegal since it was banned by the Nazis in 1938. Parents running afoul of this law can be fined, imprisoned and have their children taken away from them. Apparently the Romeikes had already racked up $9,000 worth of fines and Germany was threatening to take their children away from them so they fled to the United States in 2008 where they applied for asylum. Asylum can be granted under American law if the claimant can prove fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality or membership in a particular social group or political opinion.

With the help of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, (HSLDA), the Romeikes became the first family ever granted asylum in the US for the protection of their homeschooling rights on January 26, 2010. Memphis federal immigration judge Lawrence Burman granted the Romeikes political asylum based on the reasonable fear of persecution for their beliefs if they were to return to Germany. Again, Germany had threatened to take the Romeikes children away. In his ruling, Judge Burman questioned the motivation of the government noting that it appeared the German government was more concerned with stamping out parallel societies than the actual welfare of the children. He went on to state that this particular policy of persecuting homeschoolers is “repellent to everything we believe as Americans”.

In a normal world, there would never need to be another reason to mention the Romeike family again past celebrating the fact that we live in the freest of all Western democracies and that the United States is the standard bearer for freedom of religion, expression and individual choice in the way we want to raise our children. At the very worst, we’ve got a German Evangelical Christian family living in Tennessee raising their children. But we live in President Obama’s world. And Eric Holder and the Justice Department plan to send this family back to Germany. We might do well to give this story the attention it deserves and we might begin by asking ourselves why.

Why is the Justice Department spending the time, effort and resources to go after this one Christian German family living in Tennessee? On March 14, 2013 ICE director John Morton stated the agency released 2,228 people from immigration detention centers across the country for “solely budgetary reasons.” Mostly illegal aliens facing financial crimes, drunken driving offences, misdemeanor crimes and traffic offenses, per Morton’s statement. The backlog of immigration cases across the country has the courts so clogged that immigration judges are being told to close the cases, even without consent from government prosecutors. But we’re going to send the Romeikes back to Germany? The Justice Department doesn’t have the time or resources to prosecute the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation violations but they have all the resources they need for this case? A Christian family living in Tennessee wanting to homeschool their children? Remember, in 2011 there was a policy introduced to give the Department of Homeland Security discretion which deportation cases to pursue. They picked this one.

Romeike v. Holder has little or nothing to do with the deportation of the Romeikes – that’s just a casualty. This case is about the parental right to homeschooling. While many great people are out their rightfully focused on fighting to ensure the Common Core curriculum doesn’t get shoved down our states throats, this administration is working to tie up that last loose end to ensuring 100% compliance for students in states that adopt common core. That is, according to Eric Holder, “There is no fundamental liberty to homeschool.” In other words, parents do not have a right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

In my next post, I’ll go over the Justice Departments case for deportation as well Germany’s defense of their compulsory state education program. It is important to understand where this is heading in our country.

All Your Children Are Belong To Us

A lot has been made of Melissa Harris-Perry’s MSNBC Lean Forwardcommercial where she declares that “we need to break through our private idea that kids belong to their parents and families” and we need to “recognize that kids belong to whole communities”.

 

According Mrs. Harris-Perry, once we recognize the collective ownership of the children in our community, we’ll begin making better investments in public education. It’s great that it has been brought to the forefront of public discussion but my biggest issue with the discussion is “where has everyone been?” All she’s done is verbalize what’s been going on globally with our children for decades and in the United States at least since the mid-nineties. Make no mistake; this is a Common Core Public Education announcement more than an MSNBC promo for her show. And it sounded the bell for the final chapter in Marx’s ten point plan in the Communist Manifesto – literally the tenth point.

“10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c.” (Emphasis added).

And so our free education is brought to you by, with your tax dollars, The Federal Government, Microsoft, General Electric and countless other “industrial producers” that have a vested interest in seeing that your children understand the world as the future they invision and not the God centered family centric individualism you think you have a right to instill upon them. The Melissa Harris-Perry video makes it fairly clear – you may be the baby producer, but the children belong to the community. And the community believes in education as a collective social process where everyone learns from the same exams and believes in the same social order.

You may be teaching God’s justice or equal justice at home but your children are being taught social justice at school. You may teach your children about the second amendment right to bear arms, as the Founders intended, but your children are being taught that guns are the problem with our society – not the lack of faith in God. You may teach your children that salvation is personal, that your salvation is between you and your God. Your children are learning about collective salvation. You don’t believe in global warming? Wait a couple of years and your children will be laughing at your “ignorance”. Evolution. LGBT. Abstinence. Every year my son spent in the Chicago Public School System was a year I spent trying to “un-teach” what he was learning at school until I finally just pulled him out and put him in a Christian School. And I fear that will not be an option with tomorrow’s “community” children. And I fear that option will disappear sooner than you may think.

While we’re focusing on the mostly federally centered Common Core program and whether or not states will reserve the right to maintain their sovereignty with regards to education, we need to keep an eye squarely focused Romeiki v. Holder case. This case will be the sole focus of my next post but the implications of this case the way I understand it and the very fact that the Justice Department finds it necessary to pursue it should be factored into every Federal Education program discussion – whether called Common Core, Race To the Top or No Child Left behind. It’s a case involving a German evangelical family who was granted political asylum in the United States from Germany because they were about to have their children taken away from them for homeschooling them versus Germany’s compulsory education system. Apparently, in Germany the children’s education has belonged to the community since 1938 and our Justice Department feels the need to spend the time and expense getting this family’s children back to their community. Who was running Germany in 1938?

For those of you needing a refresher on Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto”, I’ve taken the liberty of presenting an excerpt of some paragraphs that were relevant to Mrs. Harris-Perry’s video. I can’t help that his writing is as painful to read as Mrs. Harris-Parry’s video is painful to watch. Remember, both personalities start with hatred and envy as the foundation of their worldview.

“Abolition [Aufhebung] of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists. On what foundation is the present family, the bourgeois family, based? On capital, on private gain. In its completely developed form, this family exists only among the bourgeoisie. But this state of things finds its complement in the practical absence of the family among the proletarians, and in public prostitution.

The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital. Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their parents? To this crime we plead guilty. But, you say, we destroy the most hallowed of relations, when we replace home education by social.

And your education! Is not that also social, and determined by the social conditions under which you educate, by the intervention direct or indirect, of society, by means of schools, &c.? The Communists have not invented the intervention of society in education; they do but seek to alter the character of that intervention, and to rescue education from the influence of the ruling class.

The bourgeois clap-trap about the family and education, about the hallowed co-relation of parents and child, becomes all the more disgusting, the more, by the action of Modern Industry, all the family ties among the proletarians are torn asunder, and their children transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labour.”