Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Virginia: Religious Exemption

In an earlier post, I wrote about Virginia's law that allows parents to choose which type of school for their children based on the parents' religious convictions. This law further explains that children of an appropriate age (usually 14 or 15) also have a say in the type of school they will attend. This law is very clear that this is not a philosophical discussion ... but rather one that addresses the religious convictions of each family.

Here is an excerpt of that law:

A school board shall excuse from attendance at school any pupil who,
together with his parents, by reason of bona fide religious training or belief
is conscientiously opposed to attendance at school.” § 22.1-254(B)(1).
Homeschoolers may receive an exemption under this statute according to §
22.1-254.1(D).

I like this law ... I like the idea that just because my dh and I believe that home-learning is what God wants us to do, doesn't mean that we are denying a public education to others, that we're trying to "dis" the status quo, that we don't like traditional school.


That's not the point.


The point of this law is basically that God's house has many mansions ... that all are in different situations in life ... and that when we can prove that our convictions mean that we HAVE TO homeschool (or disobey God's will for us) than our particular "mansion" becomes a school. In other words, the State of Virginia is giving us the right (that was originally given to us by God) to choose the best way to educate our children.

I wish more states would enact similar laws.


Thanks to this good friend, this good friend, and our former pastor writing letters of support, we were granted approval of our request on October 1st . It's quite fitting that the School Board should approve it on the Feast of the Little Flower, when we're trying so hard to teach the children that the "little way" is such a wonderful path!

4 comments:

Debbie said...

Ahh,...I remember those days. Writing letters to the king of Virginia...I mean the princely powers that rule. A dear priest friend wrote us a 6 page hand-written letter which outlined court cases and parental rights. My Baptist minister friend also wrote on our behalf! I prefer Colorado's law, which gives all parents the right to homeschool without having to "prove" anything. (So when ya gonna move back?) :-) Love, Debbie

Mary G said...

move back? hmmm, did you say y'all were moving back here?????

Blessings and hugs all round.

MaryM said...

I'm wondering about Debbie's question, too. When you moving back?

Mary G said...

Well, actually, since your son is graduating this year, and then it's just the two younger ... who have ties back here anyway ... maybe your Rick could come help my Rick straighten Catholic ed ... back here.

Wha'd'ya think?