Of Lawsuits and Liberty
On October 10, the Rapid City School Board voted a blanket denial for all 119 home school students seeking a certificate of excuse. The nagging thought that they would get hauled into court for this arbitrary and heavy-handed action evidently weighed on the board members minds. The board promptly moved to reconsider, and all 119 students were then issued the certificate of excuse. Two days later, the Rapid City Journal quoted one of the board members as saying he voted no to send a message but wasnt willing to risk a lawsuit.
He sent the wrong message. Government officials should obey the law simply because it is right. Nonetheless, since some officials do not respect the rights of citizens, it is a tremendous blessing to live in a society where justice can be obtained by means of a lawsuit, where it is necessary. As these events indicate, even the mere possibility of a lawsuit can sometimes prevent injustices from being done.
In response to the actions of the Rapid City School Board, the Rapid City Journal printed an editorial critical of home schooling. Responding to the Journals editorial, Legislative Director for South Dakota Christian Home Educators Gregory Koenig, with some supporting help from HSLDA, wrote an excellent rebuttal. The October 21 edition of the Journal carried Koenigs rebuttal along with a letter to the editor supporting home schooling by HSLDA member Teresa Campbell of Hot Springs.
The Rapid City School Board gave themselves a needless black eye with their rash, senseless shotgun denial, and their immediate flip-flop. We hope they remember next time that their first priority is to be public servants. Scott A. Woodruff
Rapid City Journal
South Dakota Saturday, October 21, 2000
|Government Schools Fear Success of Home-Schooling
|By Teresa Campbell, who has home-schooled her six children for the past 15 years. Her three oldest children are attending college. She writes from Hot Springs.
|. . . I have a counter proposal. Lets form a board comprised of home and private school educators to oversee the government schools. We would require annual testing then renew or deny teacher contracts based on the students performance. Any students failing to achieve a predetermined percentage score would be removed from the public school and forced to be privately educated . . . .
|More Control Not Needed
|By Gregory M. Koenig, legislative director for South Dakota Christian Home Educators in Rapid City.
|. . . There is the suggestion that there is not enough testing. The nationwide trend is away from testing home-schooled children. Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia do not require any testing or evaluation of home-schooled students. In fact, Nevada recently abolished testing. In the spring of 1997 South Dakota went from testing every year to the four times currently required. This legislative change was initiated by the Sioux Falls School District.
Home education has been around long enough to prove itself to be a very effective and successful alternative . . . .