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Virginia County to Interrogate Homeschool Teens about Their Religious Beliefs

A school board in Virginia is considering the repeal of a policy that would have forced 14-year-old minors to stand before the school board to be interrogated about their religious beliefs.

The Goochland County policy is aimed at homeschool families that fall under Virginia’s decades-old religious exemption statute, which acknowledges parents’ rights to direct the upbringing and education of their children.

The longstanding state statue allows parents to homeschool their children without reporting to the state if they have an objection to attending school outside the home that is based on “bona fide religious training or belief.”

The Goochland school board decided that not only do parents have to submit the basis for their religious beliefs for choosing to homeschool their children, but that it could require children, minors, between the ages of 14 and 18 to appear before the school board and undergo an inquisition about their own independent basis for their religious beliefs.

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