A Virginia school district has decided to scrap a policy that allowed it to interrogate Christian homeschool teenagers and their parents about their religious beliefs.
Last November Douglas Pruiett and his wife received a letter from Goochland County Public Schools about updated procedures to the district’s requests for religious exemptions for homeschool students.
Under the updated rules, once a child turns 14-years-old, the district requires that homeschool parents reapply for a religious exemption to public education.
The Prueitts have seven children, three of whom were impacted by the revised policy.
“Each application must be completed along with a statement of your bona fide religious beliefs and a statement from your child age 14 or older stating his/her bona fide religious beliefs,” the policy reads.
In other words, the homeschool kids have to prove to the school board that they love Jesus. And then there was this rather ominous paragraph:
“The School Board reserves the right to schedule a meeting with the parent(s) and, in the case of a student age 14 or older, with the student. The parent of a student younger than age 14 may choose to have his or her child attend the meeting. The purpose of the meeting is for the School Board to determine whether the request for exemption is based upon a conscientious opposition to attendance at a public school or at a private, denominational, or parochial school due to bona fide religious training or beliefs. Such meeting will be conducted in a closed meeting of the School Board.”
It sounds to me like some sort of modern-day religious inquisition – hauling Christian kids in front of the school board to be interrogated about the authenticity of their relationship with Jesus Christ.
“The policy provided the school board the right to call the child before them (and I call it interrogation) to defend those beliefs so they could determine whether indeed the child and the parents still held bona fide religious beliefs to qualify for the exemption,” Prueitt said.
SOURCE: Todd Starnes