Michael and Laura McIntyre decided in 2004 to homeschool their nine children, using as a classroom some space in a motorcycle dealership that he co-owned. But his twin brother Tracy noticed that the children never seemed to be doing any actual work, instead singing and playing. He also overheard one of the children tell a cousin that they did not need to do any work because they were going to be raptured.
Then one daughter ran away from home in order to attend high school and when the authorities asked the parents for the curriculum the parents used for her so that they could place her properly, they refused to provide it. The school district filed suit against the family for truancy but the parents countersued saying that they had the right to teach their children as they saw fit.
Luckily for the children, they lost their case
The appeals court ruled that educational regulations did not prevent the McIntyres’ First Amendment right to “free exercise of religion.” The court said that 1972 court case which found that Amish did not have to send their children to school after the eighth grade did not exempt the McIntyres.
“No parents have ever prevailed in any reported case on a theory that they have an absolute constitutional right to educate their children in the home, completely free of any state supervision, regulation, or requirements,” the ruling stated. “They do not have an ‘absolute constitutional right to home school.’”
I really feel sorry for the children of these deluded parents. People can overcome a lack of formal education but when that lacuna is filled with nonsensical ideas imprinted at an early age, that is a double burden that can doom them to a life of ignorance. The fact that one child escaped is a hopeful sign that the parents are somewhat disorganized and thus indoctrination was not that thorough.