Education as a right

Published August 16, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The proposal of Sen. Aaron Osmond to do away with compulsory education has caused quite a stir. The idea that government legally whips parents into complying is based on ideological angst, rather than fact.

In Utah, any parent who wants to keep their children home to educate them only need notify the state of their intent to do so. There is little or no follow-up on the part of the state to ensure that the children are actually being educated. Any parent making the effort to provide alternative education to private or public schools would find this requirement easy to meet.

However, there are many parents out there who, for whatever reason, don't care about their children's welfare or make any effort to provide for their future. These are the parent who don't even try to educate their children, who don't bother to enroll them in any school, who don't care if they attend.

At some point we've got to remember that kids have rights, too. And one of the most fundamental rights is the chance to be prepared to provide for themselves and their families as adults, no matter what kind of childhood they may have had.

Lois Lemoine