Glenn Beck Lies About NH Court Case To Continue To Vilify Public Schools
Research ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL
Glenn Beck falsely claimed that the New Hampshire Supreme Court prevented "parents" from home schooling their children based on a case that simply resolved a dispute between two divorced parents over the best way to educate their daughter. Beck has previously demonized public schools for "indoctrinat[ing]" children and "beg[ged]" people to home-school their children.
Beck: NH Supreme Court Is Denying Parents The Right To Home-School Children
From the March 24 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:
GLENN BECK: There is a story today out of New Hampshire, and they have the Supreme Court. I don't have it -- shoot, I left it in the other room. The Supreme Court has--of New Hampshire--has just said that a child who was getting home-schooled has to be put into public school because the religious teachings of their parents is limiting their exposure to too much. And so the Supreme Court of the "Live Free or Die" state has said, yeah, the kid's got to go to public school, against the parents' wishes. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 3/24/11]
But The Case Had Nothing To Do With The Right To Home-Schooling
AP: "Divorced Parents Who Couldn't Agree On How To Educate Their Daughter Have Brought Their Fight To New Hampshire's Highest Court." The Associated Press reported:
Divorced parents who couldn't agree on how to educate their daughter have brought their fight to New Hampshire's highest court in a case that looks at whether families have a constitutional right to home-school their kids.
Religious freedom groups have trumpeted the cause of Brenda Voydatch of Meredith, who home-schooled her 11-year-old daughter, Amanda, from first through fourth grade.
Voydatch claims her rights were violated when a court ordered that Amanda attend public school, after the girl's father, Martin Kurowski, said his ex-wife's strict Christian teachings were socially isolating their child and they could not settle on an alternative to home-schooling.
Kurowski wanted his daughter exposed to different points of view and more opportunities for social interaction than home school afforded, court documents state.
Voydatch sent her daughter to public school in Meredith for certain classes, such as gym and art, but home-schooled her using education materials from Bob Jones University, a fundamental Christian college in South Carolina.
Family Division Judge Lucinda Sadler ordered in 2009 that Amanda begin attending public school that fall after the parents failed to agree on a private or parochial school. The judge said the ruling did not infringe on the parents' religious freedom because "both are free to provide religious guidance" to their child. [The Associated Press, 1/6/11, via Boston.com]
Parents Had Agreed To "Joint Decision-Making Responsibility" For Their Daughter. From the Belknap County Family Division Court's decision:
In their parenting Plan, the parties agreed to join decision-making responsibility for Amanda, including a provision requiring them to engage a mediator or parenting coordinator if they disagree about major decisions for Amanda. The parties reserved for the Court the issue of whether Amanda would attend public school for the 2009-2010 school year, or continue to be home-schooled by Ms. Voydatch. [Belknap County Court, Kurowski v. Voydatch, 7/14/09, in-text citations deleted for clarity]
The Court Decision Was "Only About Resolving A Dispute Between Two Parents"
NH Supreme Court's Unanimous Ruling: "This Case Is Only About Resolving A Dispute Between Two Parents." The Associated Press reported:
The New Hampshire Supreme Court on Wednesday said a lower court acted appropriately in ordering an 11-year-old girl to attend public school after her father claimed his ex-wife's strict Christian teachings were socially isolating the child.
Though religious freedom groups trumpeted the cause of Brenda Voydatch of Meredith as a violation of her constitutional rights, the Supreme Court disagreed, saying the case was a family court dispute between the parents that the court was well within its jurisdiction to resolve.
"While this case has religious overtones, it is not about religion. While it involves home-schooling, it is not about the merits of home versus public schooling," the court wrote in its unanimous ruling. "This case is only about resolving a dispute between two parents, with equal constitutional parenting rights and joint decision-making responsibility, who have been unable to agree how to best educate (their) daughter." [The Associated Press, 3/16/11, via The Boston Herald]
NH Justice Lynn: "This Is Not State Versus Parent." The Associated Press reported:
The justices peppered both sides with questions about whether it rises to a constitutional case or is simply a family court dispute between the parents that the court was well within its jurisdiction to resolve.
"This is not state versus parent," Justice Robert Lynn said. "The state was forced into this because it's a dispute between the parents that someone had to resolve." [The Associated Press, 1/6/11, via Boston.com]
Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen: "This Case Is Much More About Divorce And Parenting Than It Is About Religion." From a PoliticsDaily.com column by Andrew Cohen:
The story of Martin Kurowski, his ex-wife, Brenda Voydatch, and their daughter, Amanda, is regrettably a common one. Yet the conflict between the parents over the future of their child has made it all the way to the Supreme Court of New Hampshire, where oral argument in the case was heard Thursday. And, thanks to a conservative advocacy group that specializes in freedom-of-religion cases, it has made it onto the national stage as well, perfectly timed to coincide with the latest skirmishes over the role of religion in American public life. The intersection of religion with public eduction [sic] always draws a crowd and great fervor. But this case is much more about divorce and parenting than it is about religion -- and New Hampshire's highest court will likely agree. [PoliticsDaily.com, 1/9/11]
Beck Has Demonized Public Schools For "Indoctrinat[ing]" Children
Beck: "We Should Abolish Public Schools" Due To Indoctrination. From the June 22, 2010, edition of Beck's radio show:
STU BURGUIERE: With the exception of the hardest-core libertarians, you know, public schools are not really on the docket except for the way that they're run poorly. It's not like we're necessarily -- there's not a hard-core movement right now to get rid of all public schools, we just want them to run correctly. I mean, I just, it's one of those things, it's like such a --
BECK: Now, wait a minute. Hang on a second. You're saying we don't want to get rid of all public schools?
BURGUIERE: Oh, I think private schools are clearly better than public schools. But my point is it's not a top of the mind issue at the moment where everyone's like, we must ban all public schools
BECK: Now wait a minute, don't you think if we could make that
I mean, maybe we should make that a priority.
BURGUIERE: I --
BECK: What is our problem, what is our problem in America right now? I know, it's the internet. There's not enough high-speed internet; there's not enough broadband. Our problem with America is we don't even know who we are anymore. The problem in America is, we don't even know the truth of who we are.
The problem in America is, we are being indoctrinated from dawn until dusk, every single day, 7 days a week. We're being indoctrinated by Washington; we're being indoctrinated by our unions; we're being indoctrinated in our schools; we're being indoctrinated in the media. We're being indoctrinated. What are you - what are you even talking about? You're darn right we should abolish public schools. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 6/22/10]
Beck Opposes "Longer School Days" Because It Is "More Indoctrination." From the September 29, 2010, edition of Beck's radio show:
BECK: We have the new -- we have the new indoctrination happening at school. Then, the president has come out and said that parents need to have their kids spending less time at home with the family and more time at school. He wants now to have longer school days. He wants them to go year-round.
I -- you know what? I don't have a problem with the kids going year-round. That's the way it happens in Utah, I believe.
PAT GRAY: Yeah, they do.
BECK: And it works. I mean, we no longer have to have kids go out and plow the fields in summer. And that's the reason we had it that way, because the family needed help in the summer. They retain more. Longer school days, more indoctrination? I don't think so. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 9/29/09]
Beck: Obama Is Indoctrinating High School Students Via Internship Opportunities. From the February 1, 2010, edition of Beck's Fox News show:
BECK: I just showed you the necessary ingredients for eroding freedom, and one of the keys, long-term, is education. Oh, that's ridiculous, Glenn, they're not, they're -- really? Education's not controlled by the progressive agenda or even by the administration? Really? Well, then tell me a little bit about this. Obama, through Organizing for America, has announced new internships at high schools. They are now recruiting our high school students to, quote, "build on the movement that elected President Obama by empowering students across the country to help us bring about our agenda." End quote.
During the first week, in the curriculum -- national intern organizer curriculum -- suggested readings: Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. That's on the reading list. In the first week. Now, if you want your kid reading this book, you're either a progressive, a Marxist, or you don't know what's in it. Things like, don't worry about it, the ends justify the means. Really? Wow, I didn't learn that from my president. Any other president. This is the second step in the Che indoctrination. First, you get the kids the T-shirt, and then you read them Saul Alinsky in school, recommended by the president. Maybe we should start printing Saul T-shirts right now. What do you say? [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 2/1/10]
Beck "Beg[s]" Retirees To Home-School Their Grandchildren Because Children Are Being "Indoctrinated." From the March 24, 2010 edition of Beck's Fox News show:
BECK: Too many great Americans have retired. And now you're playing golf or whatever. And you've earned it, you have, and you probably planned your whole life to do whatever it is you're doing now. I beg you, please, come back into service of your country, but in a different way. Our children don't know what America really is. They are being indoctrinated. And, sometimes they just don't see the values of family. Please, help your children out by helping your grandchildren. Talk to your family. If you can -- I know this is a scary idea. We do it in my house, and it is frightening. But, man, you won't believe the difference in your children. Please consider home-schooling. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 10/20/10]