Monday, April 11, 2011

Holy mackerel: Judicial tyranny, much?

So, with a name like Judge Joe Dale Walker and a state like Mississippi, you think, "How bad can it be?"


So: this is a judicial tyranny / All Your Kids Are Belong to Us Alert, in three... two... one....


A local blogger who is potentially affected by this exercise of judicial tyranny provides more details.

HSLDA reports:
In an order filed today, the Supreme Court of Mississippi stayed all proceedings in the case involving the disclosure of the identities of homeschoolers in the Thirteenth District. Further, the court ordered Judge Joe Dale Walker to respond by April 18, 2011, and explain by what authority he issued his order of March 23, 2011, which gave rise to this controversy.

At this time it is uncertain how the Supreme Court will proceed after receiving Judge Walker’s response. It may simply issue an order disposing of the case or may require legal briefs and/or oral argument before issuing a final decision. In any event, we will keep members advised of the status of the case
For framing, see here.

But hey — he's from the government. Expert! Surely he's here to help us, right? And who better to make sure our kids are being raised and educated than someone who's at least 26 years old and has been a practicing attorney for at least five years, right?

I'm sure the MSM will be all over this. Any second now. Yep, any... second... now....


Fred Butler said...

I posted an article on homeschooling Friday. I'll refrain from trolling myself, but I'll link the article I noted:


It is written by a "professor" lady named Catherine Ross. Her main beef with homeschoolers is that she believes they have limited exposure, if none at all, to dissenting opinions to their own fundamentalist Christianity. Read here, "They're told gays are bad."

She explains in her postmodern new speak that such lack of tolerance cannot be tolerated and thus homeschoolers must be stopped or we risk undoing the fabric of our American society.

John said...

Wow. Just another reason to make sure you join the HSLDA.

The attacks on parental rights coming from our own government and the united nations are very concerning to me. They have no problem with indoctrinating our children as long as they are doing the indoctrination. Unfortunately, most people are like the proverbial frog in the pot.

Cathy M. said...

For the record, I am completely on the side of the home-school parents in this matter; but, I think there is a legitimate concern way down at the bottom of this poorly handled mess. There needs to be some way to make parents, who use "home-schooling" as a smoke screen to hide their truant delinquents accountable. I'm sure this is NOT the way. Shouldn't this be in the purview of a school board rather than a judge? I honestly don't know, but since the home-school families share communities with these unrestrained hooligans, they should share at least some of the concern this judge is trying (badly) to address.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

I'm with John. Join the HSLDA.

Cathy, I think part of the problem is the "delinquent truants" you mentioned being labeled as homeschoolers, when they're generally NOT.

It's a 'nice' move on the part of the government to discredit homeschoolers by lumping everyone out of public school in one group.

DJP said...

Cathy, here's the problem I see with that.

The reasoning would go something like this:

1. Education is important
2. Children should be educated
3. Someone should ensure that #3 happens
4. The State is that entity

It's #4 where the argument loses me. As better folks have shown many times, the Bible puts the entire concern for the welfare and education of the child on the parents' shoulders.

If it is countered that parents can fail, screw up, be irresponsible, my response would be threefold:

1. Do we think God didn't know that?
2. Does that change the Bible?
3. And the State won't?

Just think of other areas — and liberals are thinking just this, make no mistake. Isn't nutrition important? Can't study if the body or brain are starved. Then perhaps the judge should issue and order requiring a report on the menus of all the parents in his jurisdiction.

Where does it stop?

Mike Westfall said...

A judge issues orders without anyone having brought a case? Just because he felt like it? Eh, what?
Don't silly orders like this dilute the respect that judicial pronouncements ought to garner in a society that values Constitution and Rule of Law? This judge certainly is deserving of censure by his peers, and will hopefully be drummed out of his judgeship by those whom he fancies are his subjects.

And to answer Cathy M., I think this argument about the state needing to ensure that parents aren't using homeschooling as a smokescreen to excuse truancy and delinquency is just one of the many nuanced flavors of the anti-homeschool kool-aid. Don't drink it. Homeschooled kids are far less likely to be delinquent than those who attend the government indoctrination camps. If there need be any effort to reduce delinquency, there is a vast array of much lower hanging fruit to get started with.

Paula said...


Here's what's at the heart of this issue: Our Founding Fathers created a system in which we punish the guilty and leave the innocent alone. We have strayed far from those limited government principals, but we need to be mindful of them every time a new law is proposed.

The simplest solution to the judge's (alleged) issue with "fake" homeschoolers is to deal with one child at a time. If a juvenile has been convicted (I have chosen that word carefully) of breaking the law, the judge may ask if and where the child is attending school. That may lead to further inquiries which may lead to a LEGAL request to the SAO for information about school attendance, truancy, or homeschooling status.

Otherwise, there is no justification for a judge to be armed with this information about mothers and fathers, boys and girls who have committed no crimes in his jurisdiction.

The Squirrel said...

More evidence that Dan's not off base in his concerns: School bans sack lunches...

Ah, thank you, government, for caring so much about our kids... really...


Mike Westfall said...

Squirrel, that headline should've been, "School Sacks Sack Lunches."

Robert said...


I looked at that picture then read that the principal was speaking about their high quality of food. I wonder if the principal is eating the enchilada special with the kids. What do you think?

Sir Aaron said...

@Cathy M @Herding Grasshoppers and @Mike Westfall:

The linked blog was much more detailed than the other articles linked. But here is what the blogger said:

"the general opinion is that Judge Walker may be attempting to determine which families are legitimately homeschooling and which are using the homeschool statute to circumvent compulsory attendance laws. The ultimate goal seems to be prosecuting the parents of juveniles who show up in his youth court and who appear not to be receiving legitimate homeschool instruction as well as to flush out other 'fake homeschoolers.'"

It looks like it is against the law not to be in school of some sort and apparently there are parents who will cover for their law breaking kids by saying they are homeschooling when in fact, they are not. That homeschool blogger did not indicate any anti-homeschool bias on the part of the Judge. I don't agree with what he did, far from it, but it doesn't look like that enforcing kids into public schools is the motive of the Judge.

Sir Aaron said...

Continuing on from my last post, one of the primary reasons for delinquency laws is crime prevention. The same is true for loitering laws. Unfortunately, as a society becomes more liberal it makes more laws to make more things illegal because it refuses to punish real crime appropriately. I mean should we really be enforcing truancy laws in order to stop theft and vandalism?

BTW, I do fully expect that there will be major movements against homeschoolers first and then private schools as time passes. It's a major fascist tenant and liberalism is, after all, fascism wrapped in a pink bow.

Sir Aaron said...

@Squirrel: What amazes me is not that schools do this, but that there are a bunch of parents that support it!

Granted, I send my kids to a private school where they provide the food, but I don't have to send my kids there (and the school has other reasons for doing it). I mean in that case, it was my choice.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Sir Aaron,

Ahhh, I see your point about the judge's intent to hold parents accountable for their juvenile delinquents. A good goal. And as you said, better achieved by enforcing laws we already have (against theft, vandalism, drug dealing, etc.)

The catch with "flushing out 'fake' homeschoolers" is, who defines that? Who decides what is "legitimate" homeschooling? Do we give that authority to the state? And where would that stop? The NEA is relentlessly advocating for that (control over our curriculum).

There are quite a few folks in our area that subscribe to the "unschooling" method. (The kids will learn what they need to learn when they want to. Sort of montessori homeschooling - ha ha.)

I wouldn't go that route myself, but that doesn't make them juvenile delinquents.

Ironically, I was at a conference a couple weeks ago, listening to a speaker who is a math teacher at our local community college. They occasionally get young adults from "way up the river" who have essentially received NO schooling. They come to the CC to get their GED. And they have to start with A-B-C and 1-2-3.

You know how long it takes to get those 16, 17, 18 year-olds through a K-12 education?

Four years.

Again, I wouldn't do it that way myself, but I wouldn't make it illegal either.

Just my .02


Sir Aaron said...


I don't disagree with anything you said, except that I'd say if you have kids running around town unsupervised during the day, it's a pretty safe bet that they are or soon will be juvenile delinquents. Of course, I'd agree with you that the course of action is not to make it illegal to run around town unsupervised but to strictly punish kids and their parents (including restitution) when they commit crimes. But liberals don't believe in punishment just self esteem training.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Sir Aaron,

Agreed :D

Thomas Louw said...

What's becoming of the "Land of the Free" ?

Sir Aaron said...

@Thomas: Look at the history of Israel in the Bible and it is easy to understand. Not that I'm saying America is Israel, but Israel had a covenant which promised physical and financial blessing and they couldn't keep themselves straight. People are naturally evil and the government eventually reflects that.

beachbirdie said...

One of the big reasons I did not register my home school with the state. Felt that the kids were not given to the government, but the government sure had the power to take them if they wanted. And yes, I would gladly have taken the consequences (kids get put in public school, $100 fine) if caught.

Thankfully my kids are grown now and the first one graduates university in June, with honors.

We couldn't have done too bad a job.

Bike Bubba said...

As I take it, with no reason to request, let alone demand, the information, the judge clearly runs afoul of the 4th Amendment, and should not only be de-benched, but disbarred. This isn't exactly a Constitutionally "subtle" case, and anyone who's made it past three weeks of introductory con law in law school knows it.

Along with the moron in New York who sentenced a racist juror to infinite jury service--apparently the obvious implications of the 13th Amendment escaped that Columbia Law grad.

DJP said...

What puzzles me is the attitude that says in effect, "Of course the government has a right to know and rule on how parents are educating their children; so, give that...."

I don't grant that premise.

Mike Westfall said...

And speaking of parents' right to direct the education of their children, Michael Farris (Chancellor of Patrick Henry College and Chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association - and M.C. at last year's National Bible Bee, too!) will be speaking on the issue of parents' rights and the U/N. Commission on the Rights of Children tomorrow night at our local home school convention in Albuquerque. The session is free and open to the public, so if you're anywhere near ABQ, get on over to Legacy Church by 6:00 PM! </shameless plug>

Sir Aaron said...

@Dan: It's for the public good. ;) (I just like to egg you on).

@Bike Bubba: You've never gotten angry and overstepped your authority, huh? Then stepped back and made an adjustment? That's pretty much what that Judge did with the juror. Did the Judge something wrong. Sure. But the juror got less than what she deserved.