Controversy In Goochland Over Homeschooling

GOOCHLAND, Va. (WRIC) — There’s controversy in Goochland over homeschooling. It all stems from a new policy that some parents believe violates their rights. The policy being questioned affects families who homeschool for religious reasons.

In the past, parents had to reach out for permission to teach their children at home. But now, the district wants to ensure kids are on board with their parent’s plan. Something that’s not sitting well with The Pruiett’s, who homeschool all six of their children.

As Christians, it’s important for them to teach the kids according to their beliefs.

“That they see our lives as we believe they should be lived according to the word of God and we couldn’t do that if they were away from us throughout the day,” explains Carla Pruiett.

After ten years of homeschooling, approved by the Goochland County School District, the family was stunned to receive a letter telling them they needed to reapply for the religious exemption that enables them to teach at home.

“We had 30 days to comply or be forwarded for prosecution, ” says Doug Pruiett.

The school board chairperson tells 8News, the policy enforces a state statute that requires both parents and students request homeschooling based on religious beliefs. But the Pruiett’s insist the policy interferes with their rights to raise their children as they see fit.

Doug Pruiett maintains, “I don’t believe the school board has the authority nor should they to interfere with families schooling their children this way.”

Rather than comply with the new policy, the couple reached out to attorneys and the school board to see if something could be changed.

Tomorrow night the board agreed to listen to what the community thinks. The Pruiett’s and other homeschooling parents intend to speak out against the policy. They’d like to see it repealed.

That meeting is 6:30 at the Goochland County Administrative Building.

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