In the last issue of the Home School Court Report, the National Center printed an article about a situation in which the Mormon church was alleged to be disciplining “unsubmissive” ultraconservative members. The article cited that one of the symptoms of the “independent” behavior was “home schooling.”
The National Center’s report was based on an Associated Press article which ran in the Washington Times on November 30, 1992. The Washington Times is a generally conservative and reliable paper. We regret, however, that due to a misunderstanding in communication the National Center did not verify the report prior to printing.
HSLDA has previously reported similar problems in the Salvation Army and denominational mission boards when they have taken stands against home schooling. We try to be even handed and fair in our reporting. We felt that this story deserved attention, but we apologize for not getting the Mormon church’s response.
The following statement is from Bruce L. Olsen, managing director of public affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints: “The Church has no official policy regarding the John Birch Society, scripture-oriented study groups or many of the individuals, organizations or practices mentioned in an unauthorized document upon which recent news reports have been based.
“The Church also has taken no official position on the question of public schools versus education in the home. However, Church members who consider education in the home are encouraged to carefully assess the implications of both withdrawing their children from public systems and also of what the loss of the influence of Church members could mean for those same public institutions.
“News reports of the amount of official Church discipline stemming from involvement in inappropriate activities have been grossly exaggerated. Where Church discipline has occurred, it has been for totally unacceptable practices.”