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The Core Problem with the Georgia Law on Home Schooling
Volume 39, Program 10
8/2/2002
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A Georgia statute allows any person who thinks your child is deprived or unruly because he is being home schooled to file a petition against you. explains what is wrong with this law today on Home School Heartbeat.

    Michael Farris:

    There's a fatal flaw in the Georgia statute which we've been discussing this week that allows any adult to file a child abuse complaint against a home schooling family without the need of any evidence of failure.

    Here's the core problem:

    This Georgia law allows the court to take jurisdiction over the family on the ground that the judge thinks that this is in the best interest of the child. While the words "the best interest of the child" have a long history in English and American law they're applied only at the end of a case not the beginning. This standard allows the judge to decide what he or she thinks is best for the children. Judges can second-guess the decisions of any family at times. But this isn't the standard.

    First, there has to be proof that the family relationship is broken. When there's a divorce the family unit is broken and judges are allowed to make decisions that they believe are in the best interest of the child. Or when there's proof of abuse or neglect then after such proof a judge can intervene according to the best interest standard. But this Georgia law does not require any showing that the family unit has failed. It simply lets some stranger complain and then lets judges substitute their opinion for the judgment of parents.

    We cannot allow the government to intervene in families this way until there's real proof that the family unit is broken. HSLDA will do everything it can to bring the power of the Constitution to overrule this Georgia law.

Want to begin home schooling your children this year? Get your free copy of Getting Started�a great resource that will answer your questions. Call us toll-free at 866-338-8614.


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