Brazilian home schoolers taken to court [Excerpts]
A Brazilian family has been charged with intellectual abandonment for choosing to home school their children.
Cleber and Bernadeth Nunes of Brazil decided to home school their children three years ago despite the fact it is against the law in their country. Cleber says they made the decision because it was in the best interest of their children.
"It's well-known the fact that education here in Brazil is a failure," the father says. "The statistics show that more than 70 percent of teenagers from 15- to 19-years-old [are] illiterate."
He also adds that violence in school is rampant with more than 80 percent of teachers suffering some form of violence from students. Guns and other weapons being brought on school grounds also add to the problem. Cleber says that as parents they could do a much better job of taking care of their children.
As part of the trial involving the Nunes family, the children were tested by 16 teachers in a variety of subjects. Cleber says they passed with very high scores and then were ordered to undergo a mental examination. "The psychologist reported that they are mentally healthy," he says.
Yet despite the growing evidence against the charges, the judges refused to drop the case. One of the judges ruled that the test scores should not even be considered because the quality of public schooling versus home schooling was not on trial, and that home schooling can never replace public school.