CONCORD, N.H. The New Hampshire State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of a 10-year-old Christian girl who was ordered to attend public school.
A lower court had ruled that the girl could no longer be home-schooled by her mother. The girl's parents are divorced.
The court cited the father's concerns about the child's strong religious beliefs, saying public school would expose her to other points of view.
Judge Lucinda V. Sadler of the Family Division of the Judicial Court for Belknap County in Laconia wrote in her denial of the motion to reconsider the order that the girl “is at an age when it can be expected that she would benefit from the social interaction and problem solving she will find in public school, and granting a stay would result in a lost opportunity for her.”
An Alliance Defense Fund allied attorney representing the mother stated that he is concerned when a court treads on the parents’ right to make “sound choices” for their children.
“Courts can settle disputes, but they cannot legitimately order a child into a government-run school on the basis that her religious views need to be mixed with other views. That’s precisely what the lower court admitted it is doing in this case, and that’s where our concern lies,” said ADF-allied attorney John Anthony Simmons of Hampton.
The lower court acknowledged that the girl's mother has "more than kept up" with the public schools in educating her daughter at home.