Legislator flunks with effort to tie school attendance to driver’s license

The South Carolina Legislature is looking to become the latest state linking the right to drive for a person 16-18 years old with whether they’ve stayed in school.   The Digitel reports that:

A new bill proposed by freshman lawmaker Rep. Tom Young and co-sponsored by 45 House members would punish teens who drop out of school or habitually skip their classes by taking their drivers license away until they’re 18.

Young is calling the bill “a short-term solution to the state’s long-term problem of too many students not graduating.”

At least 20 states have passed similar laws, but a House Education panel postponed voting on the bill last week stating that too many questions remain.

It’s good that they’re asking questions. Several points came to mind for me: 

In most states, by dropping out after age 16, they’d be doing something legal, although I’m not sure if the action requires a parent’s consent. Ultimately, it should be left up to the parent whether they want their child up to age 18 to continue in school or drop out. So if you’re wanting to insure that students all graduate, then make the compulsory age of attendance up to 18 and don’t link school attendance with getting a driver’s license. There’s no logical legal connection. If a parent wants to take away a child’s driving rights for disciplinary reasons, they’re free to do that at any time. The state shouldn’t have the same leeway just because the young person is doing something the state doesn’t approve of but that also is not related to their ability to drive safely on government streets.

This seems to be simply another way for the state to secure its monopoly on education and its control of individuals. Callers to the Don and Roma Show on WLS-AM, where I heard about the proposal Monday morning, emphasized that we have to do something to improve the education of our children and keep them attending school longer. The problem is most kids do graduate from high school, but that doesn’t seem to help matters at all. That’s because our public schools are failures. Keeping students in them a year or two longer isn’t going to help the U.S. public education system–or help the children. While I prefer that young people get a 12-year education through either home schooling or a private school, I have no problem with them dropping out and trying to learn on their own through working in the real world. This is how things in our society worked before the “teen-ager” was invented. People went from being children to being adults through the acceptance of responsibility for their lives.

Enough mandates, already.

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Pray for Chris Klicka of HSLDA

KlickaThe sad news about Chris Klicka, attorney for Home School Legal Defense Association, is that he might not have long to live:

Chris Klicka, HSLDA’s first full-time attorney, who has been fighting multiple sclerosis for many years, became very ill at our National Leaders Conference in Colorado last week. Chris was admitted to St. Francis Medical Center in Colorado Springs but has since been moved to hospice care.

His wife, Tracy, wrote the following this afternoon:

We want to give you an update on how Chris is doing. He is still with us, but is making a steady transition toward going home to be with our heavenly Father.

Yesterday morning, John and his daddy had a blessed reunion. He spent a long time on the bed with his dad, just resting his head on his daddy’s shoulder.

Later in the afternoon, with friends and family gathered around, we sang praises to the Lord at Chris’ request. Even in his reduced condition, he was spiritually leading us!

Chris has been a thoroughly dependable man at HSLDA (not that the others there aren’t). He has worked tirelessly to make sure homeschoolers are treated properly by governments and school districts in all 50 states. One of the reassuring things about being a member of HSLDA is that you know Chris Klicka has your back. The fact that he has had MS for so many years just makes his work even more amazing.

I pray for comfort for his family and comfort for Chris in these difficult hours. The good news is that Chris has accepted the good news and is a believer in Messiah. His departure, while sad for us, would be a time of joy for him.

If you want to send donations to Chris’ family, view here and scroll down a bit for instructions.

Registering a complaint about WCIC’s plans

WCIC-FM, 91.5 in Peoria, is recruiting 150 volunteers to staff Peoria School District 150’s registration process.

I have no doubt that the intentions of WCIC and the volunteers are good. But I still believe that to do this is to aid and abet an enemy of the Church — or, at the very least, an impediment to the Gospel.

Dave Brooks, station manager at WCIC, told me that:

As a station we’re committed to challenging and encouraging the Christian community to put faith into action. We want to do what we can to make the Peoria area a better place to live, work and raise our families. We want to engage with the love of Christ in the marketplace of ideas.

And while Dave has said he believes the volunteers will be “expressing the heart of Christ” to the schools and children by helping out, offering a “cup of cold water to them,” WCIC is also in essence agreeing to muzzle itself from offering the Gospel: A District 150 rep told me that no volunteers will be free to share their religious beliefs and/or minister to the children or parents.

That’s fine and good, since it’s 150’s turf, but it doesn’t do much for “expressing the heart of Christ.” Agreeing to get involved in a volunteer effort for a biblical reason and, at the same time, agreeing not to mention anything biblical seems a bit contradictory. You could make the argument, I suppose, that they’re showing and acting out the Gospel rather than just talking about it. I don’t think it quite flies, though. A different argument that would hold more cold water, though, would be that registering kids for school isn’t the time or place for offering the Gospel — although is there really a time or place when the Gospel shouldn’t be offered? Should we ever agree to that?

The point, though, is that they shouldn’t be there at all. In my opinion, they are helping an organization that doesn’t exactly have the best interests of the Church at heart.

(Then again, what do we do about the Bible-believing, committed disciples of Christ who are employed by public school districts? I don’t think they should be working in them, but I also know that it’s between them and the Lord. That’s my feeling about the individual volunteers in this situation as well.)

Please understand I’m not saying we should ignore the public school system. Helping the children who attend the government schools in Peoria or other communities directly is one thing. Peoria Dream Center, for instance, has a laudable program which provides poor students of any school with school supplies. Local churches participate in Bear Buddy programs, forming direct relationships with children to encourage them in their studies and in life. Organizations like the Women’s Pregnancy Center are allowed to conduct abstinence workshops. Good News Clubs are allowed to meet on school property afterhours. South Side Mission caters to public school students by tutoring them after school is over.

All are good examples of ministries being able to step into children’s lives and show them that the Body of Christ cares.

WCIC’s effort to provide volunteers for District 150 registration, however, only shows the government school bureaucracy that the Body of Christ is ready to help it in its efforts to harm the Church’s efforts to spread the Gospel and a holy way of life.

It is no secret that public school systems these days are hostile to the Bible, or at least living in a court-ordered neutrality. Teaching of Scripture is forbidden in them; prayer is significantly curtailed. This perhaps was an inevitable turn of events as the nation became more pluralistic and as humanism gained a foothold in more facets of American society, especially the government’s educational system. It’s the way it is and doesn’t look likely to change.

However, public schools also actively oppose Bible-believing Christianity. Evolution, for example, is taught as fact. Tolerance of lifestyles described in Scripture as abominations is encouraged. In addition, public schools also are stages for sexual immorality, drug use, gang activity and indulgence in the darker aspects of our culture — inevitable outcomes of a godless institution.

I feel that to aid in this process is an embarrassment to the Body of Christ. It sends the message that the government school system, with all of its hostilities to biblical ways of life, is perfectly acceptable to the Body of Christ in the Peoria area. As I noted above, there are other ways to help children; helping the bureaucracy that rules them academically and culturally is not one of them.

Dave Brooks, of course, disagrees. I’ll let him have the last word:

I feel I understand the reason you raised concerns. If by our effort to help with District 150’s back to school registration 91.5 WCIC is implicitly condoning everything being promulgated in classrooms of public schools across the listening area I would share your concerns. Hopefully most listeners will not draw that conclusion.

I look forward to your comments. I also ask you to take poll below:

In a piece on heritage.org titled “Key Questions for Senator Tom Daschle, Nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services,” Robert E. Moffitt makes this point: 

The tacit assumption of the Daschle proposal is that a special class of government officials should standardize medical treatment for very diverse patients who have the same medical condition. Such a direct repudiation of the professional independence and integrity of the medical profession and the traditional doctor-patient relationship is rare among American public officials.

This is the same approach government takes toward education: One size fits all. Obviously, that approach hasn’t worked well, because, besides health care, one of the main whines of our society is that our schools “aren’t working.” Well, of course they’re not. They’re designed for failure. Tailoring education to an individual child’s learning style works much better. What in the world makes Daschle or anyone else think setting up a health care system designed to fail in the same way would work any better?

You might be a homeschooling family if …

… the first thing your 9-year-old daughter does upon rising is grab a book and start reading.

There’s no rushing to get on the bus or in the car or down the street to school. There’s no busywork or other pointless exercises or activities to keep her occupied most of the day so she’ll stay out of trouble.

One thing I can depend on every morning before I leave for work: My daughter will have a book in hand.

… your 9-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son each check out 14 books from a library and end up on the couch while dinner’s cooking reading their new finds. (My son cleaned out the Washington, Ill., library of “Nate the Great” books, while my daughter is enamored with books about animals and the “Redwall” series.)

In fact, as they were checking those books out yesterday, the librarian asked my wife if our kids were homeschooled.

Note: My children are not “demented,” as “View” co-host Joy Behar described “a lot” of homeschoolers one day recently on the program. Well, not demented in a bad way.