Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » Why We Should Work Together

Why We Should Work Together

Filed at 10:27 am under by Scott Somerville

We have our differences, folks, but they are small compared to our shared interests. Here’s evidence:

New Jersey–Daytime Curfew Defeated!

July 19, 2006

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Last night the council of the Borough of Washington rejected the proposed daytime curfew on a 5-1 vote. Your help made a difference!

This defeat is especially important because Washington Borough appears to be the first municipality in the state to attempt to enact a daytime curfew. If it had succeeded, it could have emboldened other municipalities to follow suit.

Homeschool families turned out to pack the hearing room. The council and members of the press heard nearly two hours of testimony, including the testimony of Mark August, President of the Education Network of Christian Homeschoolers. The testimony was almost exclusively against the ordinance.

The hearing and the vote were the climax, but it was built on the efforts of many.

Carolee Adams worked quietly with individual members of the council (and also testified at the hearing) to explain why it should not become law. HSLDA attorney Scott Woodruff sent an eight-page legal memorandum to council members and the council attorney explaining how
the ordinance jeopardized freedoms protected under the constitution.

This ordinance appeared to have significant momentum. Homeschoolers worked together with a passion to protect freedom, however, and turned the momentum the other way.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely Yours,
Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.
Home School Legal Defense Association

One of my best friends from high school is on the board of the New Jersey Civil Liberties Union. I’ve talked to him in the past about these daytime curfews. All I can get from the ACLU is a tepid response: daytime curfews are “troubling” but they generally can’t be troubled to do anything about them. Where were they when the Borough of Washington decided to make it a crime to be a child in a public place? I hear them scream about racial profiling–where’s the outrage over this new offense called “walking while young”?

If the ACLU had the courage of their convictions, we homeschoolers might not need to stick together. I’ve spent years trying to persuade progressive homeschoolers to systematically lobby the ACLU to take on homeschool cases–with no takers. Maybe that’s because they know John Holt tried tried to do just that, way back in the 1960s–with no results.

6 Responses to “Why We Should Work Together”


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
July 20th, 2006
at 10:47 am

What kind of “homeschool cases” would you have them take on? There are some home educators who are members of that organization.


Comment by
Scott Somerville
July 20th, 2006
at 11:02 am

Nice hat, Daryl! (I’m jealous–and waiting for my gravatar to get clearance.)

The BIG cases that I care about are child protective services and custody battles. I got a call from a friend of mine who is handling a divorce case–mom has lost custody, largely due to homeschooling. The Fourth Amendment cases out to be the ACLU’s bread and butter, but except for an amicus brief in my Stumbo case in North Carolina a few years back, they’ve been mute as the tomb on the privacy of the home when there are children are in the home.

The other juicy cases I want them in on are Welfare families and minority homeschoolers. We get a LOT of action on these, and we deal with them one at a time. The ACLU would be a big help in the cases where the underlying issue seems to be “homeschooling is fine for two-parent Republican families, but a single urban mother can’t do this.”

Then there are the “getting back into school” cases. HSLDA doesn’t help people go BACK to school, but there are tons of cases we could take if we did. Time after time, school districts punish kids for their parents’ choices. It’s wrong and an obvious loser for the school district–but they get away with it.

Shall I go on?