Homeschooled Girl Forced into Public School because of Rigidity in Her Faith

Posted: September 2, 2009 by Rick Hogaboam in Children, Family, Homeschool, Politics

Here is the story below as it came to me in my weekly Church Leaders Intelligence Briefing:

Homeschooled Child Ordered Into Public School Because of “Rigid Faith”

Amanda Kurowski is a 10-year-old homeschooled girl who performs well academically and is socially well-adjusted. But her strong Christian beliefs were reason enough for a New Hampshire court to order her out of homeschooling and into a public school. The daughter of divorced parents, Amanda has been homeschooled by her mother, Brenda Voydatch since first grade. Her father, Martin Kurowski, is opposed to homeschooling, arguing that it prevents “adequate socialization” for Amanda with other children. He requested that she be placed in a government school. In the process of renegotiating the terms of a parenting plan for the girl, the Guardian ad Litem—who acts as a fact-finder for the court—reported that Amanda was found to “lack some youthful characteristics,” partly because “she appeared to reflect her mother’s rigidity on questions of faith.“ The GAL concluded that Amanda “would be best served by exposure to different points of view at a time in her life when she must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief and behavior and cooperation in order to select, as a young adult, which of those systems will best suit her own needs.” Although there is no dispute that Amanda is excelling academically and is generally interactive with her peers, her religious beliefs were seen as being held a bit too sincerely, Alliance Defense Fund allied attorney John Anthony Simmons explained to The Christian Post. “What this has become is an assault on the child’s faith,” Simmons said. “[E]ducation is by its nature an exploration and examination of new things,” the court order reads. “[A] child requires academic, social, cultural, and physical interaction with a variety of experiences, people, concepts, and surroundings in order to grow to an adult who can make intelligent decisions about how to achieve a productive and satisfying life.” The judge stated in the order that the court did not consider the merits of Amanda’s religious beliefs but only the impact of those beliefs on her interaction with others. And while the court is “extremely reluctant to impose on parents a decision about a child’s education,” the judge noted that there was an absence of effective communication between the parents.

The Christian Post 8/29/09

Dad is the one who requested that she be in public school. I obviously have not met the family, etc, but the reasons given, mainly:

Amanda “would be best served by exposure to different points of view at a time in her life when she must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief and behavior and cooperation in order to select, as a young adult, which of those systems will best suit her own needs.”

I grew up in public school my whole life and I must admit that some homeschooling Christians make it out to be worse than it really is…having said that, one must face many challenges in the secular public arena. What if this Amanda comes home having contracted some STD because she was encouraged by someone to have liberated sex. After all, the report did say that Amanda needs to “evaluate multiple systems of…behavior”. What is that supposed to mean?

They wax elegant in looking out for the well-being of Amanda and think to be doing her a service, but who will then be culpable if she turns out a meth addict? It’s funny that you can’t speak of the evils in a secular institution, but that parents who want to raise their children are made out to be brainwashing loons. Whether you agree with homeschooling or not, the only litmus test in the public square is the standardized testing. We are a results driven pragmatic society. If Amanda is performing well academically, shouldn’t that be the ONLY concern of our public education system? Leave her alone then. Whether she is learning atheism, Buddha, Islam, whatever, the only concern of the secular state is how one stands academically. Since when is the secular state now a guardian of “morality” (as they define it) and persuaded to removed academically competent children from their homes for fear that they aren’t cultured enough in the niceties of Atheistic Secular Relativistic Humanism? Wow!!!

  1. Scott Kistler says:

    That’s pretty frightening. You make the case well that the secular state can only have interest in her academic achievements. Families need to be able to raise their children. This case seems like the manifestation of a scary trend, especially given the criteria that the Guardian ad Litem used.

    The wrinkle in this case is the father’s objection. What would you say should be done when the parents disagree and it winds up in court?

  2. Josh says:

    This would scare me alot more if the father was not involved and it was simply the state doing this. I think homeschooling is far superior actually when it comes to socialization, and you have far more opportunities to study widely when you choose what to study. What interests me is that no one is asking the girl what she wants she may be young but she is old enough to decide for herself what she wants to learn/pursue it irritates me how young people are treated all the public schools will do is dumb her down and turn her into another mindless drone. We have enough as it is. I hope the mother fights this and I hope the girl stands up for herself and refuses to go to school if that is what she wants.

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