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article imageNC judge orders home schooled children be put into public schools

By Cynthia Trowbridge     Mar 13, 2009 in World
Three children have been home schooled for four years. They have been ordered back into public schools beginning this fall. According to the judge it will challenge the ideas the mother has taught them.
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA--North Carolina Judge Ned Mangum is presiding over divorce proceedings for Thomas and Venessa Mills. During these proceedings he has ordered their three children to return to public schools in the fall.
Venessa Mills filed for divorce because of her husband's admitted unfaithfulness.
Mills is into the fourth year of home schooling the children who are 10, 11 and 12 years old. Even though the children are well rounded and test up to two years above their grade level they have been ordered back to public schools.
Thomas Mills filed an affidavit in the divorce case saying that he "objected to the children being removed from public school." He said after Venessa Mills became involved in the Sound Doctrine church she started homeschooling the children. He said all the children are home schooled whose parents attend that church.
Even though Mangum said it wasn't about religion he said at last weeks court hearing, "It will do them a great benefit to be in the public schools, and they will challenge some of the ideas that you've taught them, and they could learn from that and make them stronger."
Mills said she will appeal the order. Since her children are doing well academically she said, "I couldn't believe how he overlooked all the facts to legislate from the bench."
In a web site set up by a friend of Mills, , Robyn Williams said "He wants to bring attention to home schooling to put less attention on his adulterous affair."
Alan Keyes who has been a Republican presidential candidate, wrote in a column that appeared on his Web site said, "If his idea of socialization includes the need to challenge the Christian ideas their mother has taught them, then he not only interferes with her natural right to raise up her children, he tramples on one of the most important elements of the free exercise of religion."
Mangum will not comment until he issues a formal written order.
About 4 percent of students in North Carolina ages 7 to 16 are home schooled.
On March 24 home schooled students and their parents are planning to lobby at the state Legislature.
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