An article on the history of SCAIHS and the legislation cannot possibly recount the thousands of man hours that have gone into this saga. Nor does it reveal the tears and prayers of the saints who have begged God daily to grant relief to parents and children.
A report does not describe the anguish we felt when we realized the legislature couldn't help us in 1990. It cannot communicate the fear that parents felt when awakened at 6:00 a.m. by sheriff deputies with truancy warrants. Nor does a report give credit to all the behind-the-scenes maneuvers that kept hope alive.
Without Mike Farris, Dee Black, and the staff of HSLDA, there would be no SCAIHS legislation. Mike kept forcing the issue in the legal arena until in December 1991 the barricade finally gave way. As one state employee said so well, “Usually we say ‘Boo’ and groups like you vanish. But you not only have legal representation, you have GOOD legal representation.” Having affordable legal representation has given home schoolers in South Carolina staying power.
The assembling of the SCAIHS staff and board is a testimony of one miraculous story after another. This is a group of people willing to give endlessly because of their commitments to God, to their children, and to the home-schooling community.
It is impossible to adequately thank those legislators who put their political necks on the chopping block for us. We will never know how much energy Representatives David Wright and Olin Phillips and Senator Warren Giese expended in steering our bill through the harrowing legislative process. Others, such as Representative Mike Fair and Senator John Courson, took the floor of their respective chambers in our defense “in the heat of battle.” Thank you for being men of principle and champions of liberty.
Words cannot express the gratitude we hold for Superintendent of Education Barbara Nielsen. She is truly interested in all the children of this state. Her stand on our behalf was both courageous and crucial.
During this process the one event that stands above all others in our memories is the March 18 meeting of the Senate Education Committee. We had received word from very reliable inside sources that there was no way we could pass our bill through the committee in the version we were supporting. That weekend we sent out a letter to our members and support group leaders calling for fasting and prayer on March 17. We knew how God had delivered the Jews in the day of Esther and believed that God honored the fastings and prayers of the Jews in Susa with deliverance. Although our physical lives were not at stake we firmly believed that the spiritual and emotional lives of our children were. We saw God’s deliverance during that Senate Education Committee meeting, and I believe it is a result of answered prayer.
A report often doesn’t give the story behind the story. Sometimes “just the facts” can’t tell it all. Over the course of the last eight years, it has been amazing to watch the South Carolina home-schooling drama unfold. And during the last five months, I have witnessed a miracle.
Deliverance truly belongs to the Lord! (Psalm 3:8)