Home School Heartbeat Radio Program

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The People v. DeJonge
Volume 117, Program 36
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Over the past 30 years, HSLDA has won some landmark cases that have helped secure your right to homeschool. Today on Home School Heartbeat, HSLDA founders Mike Farris and Mike Smith discuss a 1993 case in which the Michigan Supreme Court struck down a law that had been used to ban homeschooling!

Mike Smith:
I’m joined today by my very good friend and founder of HSLDA, Mike Farris!

Mike Farris:
Hi, Mike. Good to be with you.

Mike Smith:
Mike, this year HSLDA is celebrating, as you know, our 30th anniversary. We’ve had some major legal victories over the years. Which cases do you think have been the most groundbreaking for homeschooling?

Mike Farris:
Well, Mike, we could talk about a lot of important cases, but since we have five programs, I think I’ll mention the five cases that I think are the most important, and I’ll start with a case in Michigan called People v. DeJonge. Chris and Mark DeJonge were homeschooling their kids in Michigan. The law of Michigan there at the time required you to be a certified teacher in order to teach your kids at home. We argued that that was a violation of their fundamental rights under religious freedom and parental rights as a blend, and we were able to convince 4–3 majority of the Michigan Supreme Court to rule the Michigan law to be unconstitutional.

Mike Smith:
Why was that important, Mike, for the rest of the homeschool community?

Mike Farris: Well, the big weapon that the rest of the states were using at the time was to require you to be a licensed, certified state teacher. And if that was the rule, then virtually no one could homeschool. So, it was a way to effectively ban homeschooling.

Mike Smith:
Well, Mike, thanks for telling us about this important victory, today. We’ll look forward to more important victories next time. And until then, I’m Mike Smith.

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