State's Intervention in Home-Schooling Family May Test Law

A home-schooling family in Massachusetts is standing firm in its opposition to the demands of the local public school system and the Department of Social Services.

For years now, Kim and George Bryant's two children have refused to take a standardized test required by Waltham public schools to assess their grade level. The couple even lost legal custody of 15-year-old George and 13-year-old Nyssa over the matter. Mrs. Bryant says allowing the government testing would place more constraints on her children's education.

"We really wanted to have a learner-led form of education. We don't want to have to teach to a test," she explains. "We don't want to have our children compared to other children because we believe that they're unique in whatever way God made them, and they shouldn't have to conform to someone else's idea of what's 'standard.'"

She says her family will continue doing everything it can to bring the Constitution to bear on the situation. "Our desire is to obey law, and to really bring the law out for everybody to see," she says.

"We believe that we live in a state where it's a commonwealth of law and not of men. So when someone says you have to do something, if you obey that person you're obeying a person, not the law -- unless you see [the law] for yourself."

Six years ago, Kim's husband George was arrested and thrown in jail for failing to send his son to school. The criminal complaint was dismissed with prejudice six months after his arrest. Mrs. Bryant says she wishes the state would simply leave her family alone, and allow her and her husband control over their children's education.