Nov 26

Nov. 30 JLPP Symposium to tackle tensions over homeschooling law

Published on: Monday, November 26, 2012

Homeschooling may be an afterthought for many, particularly for the majority of Americans who are educated in the public school system. But according to experts its popularity is actually resurgent. As a result – tensions continue to arise between parental autonomy on one side and state and federal compulsory education regulations on the other – the children are left in the middle.

The Journal of Law and Public Policy (JLPP) is tackling the issue of homeschooling law at its Fall Symposium, Friday, Nov. 30 in the UST Law Atrium.

The symposium, entitled “Homeschooling: Rights and Tensions at Home and Abroad” will feature a lineup of national experts on a topic that has seen parent-state legal and public policy tensions brew from within and even beyond American borders, exemplified by the recent Romeike case where a German family sought asylum in America in an effort to exercise their freedom to homeschool their children. Germany’s laws make homeschooling illegal.

“Homeschooling has a long history in our education system,” said Elliot Huss, a UST Law 2L and JLPP Symposium director. “Parents rights to educate their children have been recognized, especially in America, as far back as the 1800s, but that legal tension has not gone away; With compulsory education we want to make sure citizens are being reared and taught morals and brought up so they can become productive members of society. And at the same time parents still want to be able to reserve that right to teach their kids the things they want to teach them and how they want to teach them. Parents are kind of you might call the first school system - they have that first responsibility to ensure they kids are learning.”       

Presenters slated to speak at the symposium include the Institute for Justice’s Dick Carpenter, who has conducted research and presented and published on a variety of topics including educational policy. Carpenter’s work has appeared in academic journals, such as the Journal of Special Education, The Forum, Education and Urban Society, Journal of School Choice, and Leadership and practitioner publications, such as Phi Delta Kappan and the American School Board Journal. The results of his research are used by state education officials in accountability reporting and have been quoted in several newspapers and education-focused publications. Carpenter plans to provide an overview of the latest data, public policy and legal issues involving with home school laws around the country, said Chris Motz, a 3L who serves as JLPP editor-in-chief.

“With our lineup of presenters I think we’ll hear about the fact that homeschooling is definitely growing, and that it’s not a phenomenon of the religious right—it’s happening left, right, and center,” Motz said. “Also, we know that the (statutory) right to homeschool exists; the salient question that the symposium will hit on is why?—is this merely another right granted by the government, like a driver’s license, or is there a deeper interest at stake?  And what exactly are this right’s contours?”

The JLPP is conducting its symposium in conjunction with the Murphy Institute’s Nov. 30 Hot Topics Cool Talk event on the Romeike case, which will feature a lunchtime dialogue between Luke Goodrich and David Abraham. Goodrich serves as legal counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which has submitted an amicus brief supporting the Romeike’s asylum claim. Abraham is a professor of immigration and citizenship law at the University of Miami School of Law. (RSVP for event here)



What: Homeschooling: Rights and Tensions at Home and Abroad

Who: Hosted by UST Law Journal for Law and Public Policy

When: Friday, November, 30 2012 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  

Where: Law School Atrium

*Coffee and pastries will be available at 8:30 p.m. 

*Lunch at 12:30 p.m. provided by the Murphy Institute of Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy 


Lineup of symposium speakers and bios:

Mrs. Mary Rice Hasson: A fellow in the Ethics and Public Policy Center she is a lawyer and member of the D.C. and Indiana bars, Mrs. Hasson graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1984 and from the University of Notre Dame in 1981, with a BA in Government.  Mrs. Hasson is the mother of seven, and co-authored with Kimberly Hahn the leading book on Catholic homeschooling, Catholic Education Homeward Bound (Ignatius, 1995). She has spoken at numerous family conferences over the past 15 years, and has appeared on CNN, EWTN, and numerous local radio shows.

Dr. Dick Carpenter: Dick Carpenter serves as the director of strategic research for the Institute for Justice.  He works with IJ staff and attorneys to define, implement and manage social science research related to the Institute's mission.  As an experienced researcher, Dick has presented and published on a variety of topics ranging from educational policy to the dynamics of presidential elections.  His work has appeared in academic journals, such as the Journal of Special Education, The Forum, Education and Urban Society, Journal of School Choice, and Leadership and practitioner publications, such as Phi Delta Kappan and the American School Board Journal.  Moreover, the results of his research are used by state education officials in accountability reporting and have been quoted in newspapers such as the Chronicle of Higher Education, Education Week, and the Rocky Mountain News.

Michael Donnelly: Mike serves HSLDA as director of international affairs and as staff attorney for member affairs in the states of Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, West Virginia, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia. As director of international affairs he coordinates HSLDA’s support of homeschooling freedom all over the world. Mike is also an adjunct professor of government at Patrick Henry College where he teaches constitutional law. He received a juris doctorate from the Boston University School of Law with honors as a Paul J. Liacos Scholar. He is a member of the bars of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the United States Supreme Court.


Speakers for Murphy Institute as a Hot Topics/Cool Talk dialogue:

Luke Goodrich: He joined the Becket Fund as Legal Counsel in 2008. Since then, he has represented religious organizations and individuals in a wide array of religious liberty disputes at both the trial and appellate level, including cases brought under the Establishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause, Free Speech Clause, and RLUIPA. In 2009, Luke was appointed a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Colorado in order to argue an Establishment Clause appeal on behalf of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and the Becket Fund. Before joining the Becket Fund, Luke was an associate in the appellate practice at Winston & Strawn in Washington, D.C.  From 2005-06, Luke served as an international legal and research advisor at the U.S. Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. Before that, he clerked for Judge Michael W. McConnell on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.  Luke received his B.A. in Philosophy, summa cum laude, from Wheaton College (IL). He graduated from the University of Chicago Law School with high honors, where he was a member of the University of Chicago Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif.

David Abraham:  Professor of Law, received a B.A. in 1968, an M.A. in history in 1972, and a Ph.D. in history in 1977, all from the University of Chicago, and a J.D. in 1989 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Prior to entering law school, Professor Abraham taught for many years in the History department of Princeton University.  Following graduation from law school, he served as law clerk to Judge Leonard Garth of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and as an associate with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. He joined the Miami faculty in 1991. Professor Abraham teaches Property, Immigration & Citizenship Law, Citizenship and Identity, Law and the Transition to Capitalism and Law and Social Theory.  He has been widely published in each of those areas as well as serving as a frequent media commentator for American, German, and Israeli newspapers and television. Abraham has been a Visiting Professor at Tuebingen University in Germany, Deakin University in Australia, the École des Hautes Études in Paris, and the Transitional Justice Institute in Belfast.  In the Spring 2010 semester, Abraham will be UM’s first Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.  While in Berlin, Professor Abraham will work on a manuscript analyzing the transformation of Citizenship in an era of neo-liberal globalization.



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