PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE UN-AMERICAN
By Joel Turtel
March 4, 2006
Compulsory-attendance laws force parents to send their children to public schools. These laws presume that the politicians we vote into office, our agents whose salaries we pay with our taxes, have the right to take away parents' liberty and inalienable rights. Compulsory education means that in America, contrary to the common view, we no longer live in the land of the free. Local and state governments that claim the right to control our children's education also claim, in effect, that they own our children's minds and lives for twelve years. That is an appallingly arrogant claim, especially in America.
One reason public schools get away with educational murder, year after year, is because local governments violate parents' liberty and parental rights with impunity. Local governments don't own or run food stores, auto showrooms, office-supply stores, or pre-schools and private colleges in America. Yet they own the public schools and control our childrens' 1st through 12th grade education in America.
Do government officials have any right to dictate how we should educate our children? To answer this question, we have to examine what our Founding Fathers understood to be the real function of government. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson clearly stated the moral nature and purpose of government:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -- that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. . . ."
The Declaration of Independence affirms that we have natural rights as human beings to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." It establishes the principle that we, the people, acting individually and by free consent, created our government only to protect and secure our natural rights as human beings. That is government's sole legitimate function.
Look again at the phrase from the Declaration that says, "governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." The "governed" means all the people, not just some, not a minority, and not a majority. It means that all citizens, including parents, have the same inalienable rights.
That phrase also means that government is our agent, not our master. It means that we, as free human beings, voluntarily grant limited powers to government for a specific purpose, to protect our natural rights. It means that government should only have those powers we specifically grant to it for that purpose. Yet, nowhere in the Constitution is the word "education" mentioned. The Constitution did not give the federal government any right or power to control how parents educate their children. By implication, state governments do not have any such right or power either, because such a power would violate our fundamental liberties.
Nature and justice confirm that parents have the right to decide who educates their children. Like parents of all species, most human parents protect and nurture their children and teach them the skills and knowledge they need to survive. Parents in all cultures make teaching their children a first priority. Since reading, writing, and arithmetic are skills needed to prosper in a modern society, it stands to reason that most parents will find a way to teach these skills to their children if the means are available.
If parents have the natural right to nurture and educate their children, then any law that interferes with or violates that natural right is illegitimate. Any such law violates the basic liberties we all have as parents, human beings, and Americans. That means that all local and State compulsory attendence laws, compulsory school taxes, and the thousands of other local and State education regulations that prop up the public schools, are illigitimate and violate parents' fundamental natural and constitutional rights.
Since those in power and the special interests who feed off the public schools will never rescind these illigitimate laws, parents should exercise the one right they still have left, before it is too late for their kids. They should take their children out of public school immediately and give their kids the great education they deserve by homeschooling, or with the new, low-cost Internet private schools I talk about in my book, "Public Schools, Public Menace."
Parents, you no longer have to settle for a mind-numbing, public-school education for the only children you will ever have.
© 2006 Joel Turtel - All Rights
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Joel Turtel, author of Public Schools, Public Menace: How Public Schools Lie To Parents and Betray Our Children, holds a degree in Psychology. For the last ten years he has served as an Education Policy Analyst, studying the climate of today's public schools and its effect on children and parents.
Mr. Turtel has written two books, published over fifty articles, and has been interviewed in both print and broadcast media on the subject. His latest book, Public Schools, Public Menace has garnered national media attention – recently, for example, Dr. Laura Schlessinger featured the book on her nationally syndicated radio show.
Joel Turtel is available to discuss his book Public Schools, Public Menace in the media, at conferences, or with individual groups. Be warned though, you may be shocked by the revelations he has uncovered in America's public-school system.
One reason public schools get away with educational murder, year after year, is because local governments violate parents' liberty and parental rights with impunity.