What if your rights as a parent were undermined? Find out how this happened to one family, today on Home School Heartbeat with Mike Smith and Michael Farris.
In the mid-’90s, HSLDA handled a case, and the court’s decision really surprised us in their bias against parental rights.
That’s right—you’re talking about the case of the Bennetts in the Supreme Court of Michigan.
That’s right. It’s easy to overlook the Michigan Supreme Court’s ruling in Bennett because it came down at the same time as the really significant DeJonge victory.
Mike, the DeJonge case was decided in March of 1993, in which the Supreme Court of Michigan upheld by a 5-4 vote the right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children, if they also had the right of free exercise of religion attached to the parental rights. The Bennetts’ case, argued exactly at the same time, was a family that stood solely on parental rights, rather than on parents’ rights plus religious freedom. And if parents’ rights are treated as a fundamental right as they should be, the outcome would be exactly the same. But by a reverse vote—by a 1-vote margin—the Supreme Court of Michigan in the Bennett case held that parents’ rights are not fundamental, and this family did not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children.
Thanks, Mike, for sharing. Bennett surely is a troubling case for us, and we’ll do everything we can to advance parental rights in the future. Please join us next time. This is Mike Smith.