Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Judge orders mother to send daughters to public school

Hearing planned to make permanent ruling

By: Bennett Loudon//November 11, 2021

Judge orders mother to send daughters to public school

Hearing planned to make permanent ruling

By: Bennett Loudon//November 11, 2021

A judge has ordered a woman, who is getting divorced, to enroll her two children in public schools after she decided to home school the children, against the wishes of her husband — the children’s father.

State Supreme Court Justice Richard A. Dollinger issued a temporary order requiring that the children be enrolled in public school, “as participation in the public schools is, based on the evidence before this Court, in the children’s best interests.”

“The matter of best interests on a permanent basis remains to be decided after a hearing on all the issues raised,” Dollinger wrote in the decision.

The father never agreed to have his wife home school the children and she never notified him of her plans, according to the decision.

The father has joint custody of the children. The mother does not have a college degree or any experience as a teacher and she presented no evidence of any educational training, according to the decision.

“The mother asserts, without any evidence, that mask wearing — required in the public schools — is unhealthy,” Dollinger wrote.

She claims that mandatory vaccinations are against her religious beliefs. And she claims that home schooling “offers what a public school cannot.”

The father argued that the home schooling program used by the mother “provides shortcuts for parents who do not want to set up actual lesson plans for their home-schooled children,” according to the decision.

Because the parents have joint custody, without an agreement between them, Dollinger will have to decide what’s in the best interest of the children.

The court-appointed attorney representing the children is in favor of having them attend public schools. The children’s attorney told Dollinger the children have no written assignments, testing or required reading as part of their home schooling.

There is no evidence of any oversight by the school district which approved the home schooling for the children.

“While home schooling is permitted subject to approval by the local school district, the essential issue in the context of a temporary order in a divorce proceeding is whether the facts of the home schooling in this instance, overseen by this mother, are in the children’s best interests. In that regard, the skills of the parent-instructor play a role,” Dollinger wrote.

Dollinger wrote that the mother provided no evidence that the daughters are obtaining appropriate schooling or instruction or that the mother is competent to instruct the children.

He wrote that there is no evidence that the children have participated in school activities or extracurricular activities, or have had the opportunity to do so.

The mother’s provided no evidence to support her claims that vaccinations are against her religious beliefs or that testing at school is inappropriate.

And she offered no evidence to support her claim that there her daughters have medical issues that affect their ability to attend public schools.

“Finally, as noted earlier, the father’s custodial rights, established in a family court order, were violated when the mother unilaterally decided to home school the children,” Dollinger wrote.

[email protected] / (585) 232-2035

Case Digests

See all Case Digests

Law News

See All Law News


How Is My Site?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...