198: Student Question – Isn’t Compulsory School Unconstitutional?

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Some new details on the history of compulsory schooling

Topic: We discuss an email question from a student. It reads: I'm a 15 year old guy in 9th grade (in public school) and wanted to ask you a question. So if all people in America are supposedly guaranteed the rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, how is it not considered "unconstitutional" for kids to be forced to go to school? I do not want to go to school, so isn't that infringing on my liberty and pursuit of happiness?

Discussion:
-Court decisions on compulsory attendance in 12-step programs in the adult world
-John Taylor Gatto's The Tyranny of Compulsory Schooling
-Home Education Laws and Regulations
-Defenses of state compulsory schooling laws (1872, B.G. Northrop, Secretary of the Connecticut State Board of Education)
-Home School Legal Defense Association

Look Closer:
Compulsory Attendance
The Tyranny of Compulsory Schooling
The Courts and Coerced 12-Step Attendance
HSLDA: Withdrawing from public school

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One comment

  1. Something to look at is Murray Rothbard’s “Education: Free and Compulsory” Its a great little book that gives background to forced education.

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