Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Texas officials went easy on FLDS when it came to kids' education - Salt Lake Tribune

Posted: 7:14 AM-
By Peggy Fikac
Houston History
AUSTIN, Lone-Star State -- It didn't take much for the children from a Occident Lone-Star State polygamist religious sect to vanish from the public school radar. About two old age ago, the Schleicher County sheriff and the local school overseer met with a leader from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Of Nazareth Jesus of Latter Day Saints about the sort of instruction children might be getting at the church's Longing for Sion Ranch. Local functionaries got a missive specifying that the children would be privately schooled, and that the course of study included the basics, according to the state. That's all it took. In fact, by meeting with functionaries without a formal ailment of hooky being filed and by specifying that the private school course of study would cover rudiments such as as reading, the Christian church leader looks to have got gone beyond what's strictly required in Lone-Star State instruction law. "The tribunals have got told the state essentially to maintain your custody off of private schools and place schools and don't border in, so that's what we do," said Lone-Star State Education Agency spokeswoman Debbie Robert Graves Ratcliffe. Neither Sheriff Saint David Doran nor Schleicher County Mugwump School District Overseer Truncheon Wilkie Collins returned a phone call to the Houston History to discourse the meeting. But Advertisement

it was confirmed by Ratcliffe and Tela Mange of the Lone-Star State Department of Populace Safety. Mange, who spoke on Doran's behalf, added that the religious sect left a package of course of study stuffs with the superintendent. Lone-Star State have long exempted children in private school from mandatory populace school attendance, which covers children starting at age 6 until they turn 18. Under a 1994 Lone-Star State Supreme Court ruling, place schools are considered private schools, with the same freedom from state oversight. "People are usually stunned when I state them we don't have got any inadvertence at all over private schools or place schools. They just presume that there are certain demands they have got got to teach, or stuffs they have to use, and there's not," Ratcliffe said. Soon after the remotion of more than than 400 children from the breaking away Mormon sect's spread near El Dorado - following allegations that children were abused or were at hazard of maltreatment - home-school proponents voiced concern the state of affairs might be used to contamination their instruction efforts. "A local law enforcement military officer was quoted as saying that government were not able to 'get at' these households earlier because they were place schooling," Tim Lambert, president of the Lone-Star State Home School Coalition, said in a news release. He said in an interview that the remark was made on a broadcast interview. "When these sort of calamities happen, people say, 'If we regulated place schooling, this wouldn't happen,' " Lambert said. "My statement is always, this is an maltreatment case, not an instruction issue."
It's not yet clear exactly how many children from the chemical compound are in the 6-17 age range. The Lone-Star State Department of Family and Protective Services only have said that at least 100 of them are age 5 or older. The issue may be particularly sensitive to home-school advocates since the focusing on the chemical compound come ups as a child-abuse lawsuit in Golden State have got prompted an entreaties tribunal opinion that parents who home-school their children in that state must have instruction credentials. The Golden State entreaties tribunal have agreed to a rehearing. Saint David C. Berliner, a regents' professor at the Virgin Mary Lou Robert Fulton College of Education at Grand Canyon State State University whose research involvements include school verifiers and schoolroom teaching, said it's wrong for the state to be hands-off. "My return on it all is that children are not the personal place of parents," Berliner said by e-mail. "As minors, the state have an enduring involvement in checking on their social welfare and their education. When the state doesn't do that, it is abandoning its duty to take attention of those we define as not able to make determinations on their own. "Walking away from such as duty is cowardly. Texans should be ashamed of their deficiency of oversight," he said. State Board of Education member Saint David Thomas Bradley of Beaumont, whose children were home-schooled, said children's instruction is a parental responsibility. "They didn't travel in there and foray the topographic point because the children weren't getting an education," Thomas Bradley said. "The solution for bar wasn't to modulate all the private schools."
Rep. George C. Scott Hochberg, D-Houston, somes House Populace Education Committee member who have served in the House since 1993, said the issue is a legal one. "In all the old age I've been in the Legislature, cipher have come up to me with anything near a compelling case, or even a recommended case, that we should do a precedence of greater review or ordinance of place schools or private schools," he said.

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