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Homeschoolers and the Constitution
Is The 4th Amendment Relevant?
Prophecy - Signs
Friday, November 16, 2001
Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor

When somebody comes to your door representing the state and demands entry to investigate whether or not you are guilty of a criminal act, you don't have to let them in, do you? Unless they have a warrant, your home is your castle, isn't it?†

That's what the 4th Amendment is all about. The 4th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized."

Now, is that difficult to follow? Americans have the right to be 'secure'. Clear enough. Their 'persons' seems easy to understand. A cop can't walk up to you and put his hands in your pockets without some reason. Fair to you, fair to the cops. You have a right to be secure in your house. It is yours, after all. You've a Constitutional right that protects you against unreasonable searches and seizures.

So, all that makes perfect sense. Not too hard to understand -- written in language so simple even a judge could understand it. Or so one might think.

But the Constitution is taking a back seat to Political Correctness in the 21st century, according to one judge in North Carolina who finds the whole 4th Amendment thing ambiguous when it comes to dealing with children who are kept separate from state control. Specifically, home-schooled children. The government doesn't like being excluded from the educational process. It fears children might learn the wrong things -- things the government prefers the next generation remain ignorant of. Worse, the government worries that homeschooling won't give kids all the 'right' theories. You know, evolution, humanism, respect for 'alternative lifestyles' and important childhood fantasy lessons like finding your animal spirit guide or how to practice meditation and visualization.

The government has to protect children from 'bad' things, and how can it do that if it can't supervise them or, worse, their parents!

WorldNet Daily carried a disturbing investigative report that provides an object lesson in how desperately the government wants to protect your children from an overdose of parental influence.

According to WND, back in 1999 a two year old child ran out in the yard naked, chasing a kitten. Although her older brother quickly returned her to the house, it wasn't quick enough to miss the scrutiny of child welfare. What would America be if 2 year olds ran around naked like, oh, two year old children?

Jim and Mary Stumbo of Kings Mountain, N.C. soon had a social worker knocking at their door, demanding entry into their home to 'interview' the baby. The Stumbos, apparently so confused and depraved they didn't trust this person that they didn't know and failing to be impressed by the words 'social worker', just said 'no'.

The Stumbos home-school their kids. As part of educating their children, they ran across this 4th Amendment thing. They looked around. Their home? Yup. Their children, were they persons? Why, yes! So they assumed that the 4th Amendment applied to them.

Not so. They were hauled into court and convicted of interfering with a child abuse and neglect investigation. The judge decided that the 4th amendment applies as long as you aren't being investigated, under some circumstances the Founding Fathers forgot to mention.

District Judge Anna Foster ruled the 4th Amendment only 'applies to criminal investigations and to the state". In her view, child abuse and neglect doesn't fall under criminal investigation and social workers are not acting on behalf of the state.

The judge ruled that the reason for the investigation [remember that? A naked 2 year-old chasing a kitty?] was 'irrelevant'. The case wasn't about the little kid anymore, it was about the parents interfering with an investigation. [the non-criminal child abuse and neglect investigation, in case you're having trouble keeping up].

Judge Foster issued an order requiring the parents to submit to the social worker's inspection, and ordered the Stumbos to let the social worker conduct a private interview of the child. The Stumbos complied. Then the social worker demanded a private interview with the rest of their children as well. Enough is enough, said the Stumbos.

The social services department [whose member social workers the judge ruled don't act on behalf of the State] filed a suit to force the Stumbos to turn their children over to the social workers for a private interview and inspection.

The Stumbos contacted the Home School Legal Defense Association, who provided them with legal counsel. The case is scheduled to be heard in the North Carolina Court of Appeals this week.

If the Stumbos had put their kids into the state education system, where they could learn government curriculum the government's way under government supervision, then a naked 2 year old running out into a private 10 acre yard at the end of a dead end street in a rural location would not be a matter of such concern that it is now headed to the state Court of Appeals. At least, one presumes that from the fact North Carolina's court dockets aren't clogged with 2 year-old exhibitionist cases suggests the Stumbos are getting special attention.

The whole case underscores what has become an unwritten but enforceable statute that means your kids belong to the state. Parents are simply unappointed guardians answerable to the state for the way they raise the state's assumed property. Parents who want to raise their children apart from state supervision are immediately suspect. Those who want to educate their children, rather than submitting to state sponsored educational indoctrination can expect regular visits from social workers. And those who think they have a 4th Amendment right to personal security can expect a visit from the sheriff.

Those parents who are foolish enough to think their children are given them by God, rather than loaned them by the state are being educated by the legal system as to the error of their ways. The Stumbos' case demonstrates the folly of failing to allow strangers free and unfettered access to their home and private interviews with their children.

Homeschooling is under attack in every state in America. The government believes that the safest place for children is in government schools with government teachers and government supervision.

Despite Columbine. Despite Santee. And so forth. After all, in school shootings, it isn't the teachers fault. It isn't even the child's fault. It's the gun that did it. Kids taught by the parents might miss the message. They might even miss the chance to be on TV.

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