School Attendance and Discipline

In the State of Michigan, parents who decide to homeschool their children are expected to follow guidelines as provided by the Michigan Homeschool Statute. As such, parents must use organized educational programs which cover reading, mathematics, spelling, science, grammar, history, civics, literature and writing. It is necessary for parents to notify local authorities about their decision each year with details about the student and the instructor. An instructor, should have required qualifications, and all required subjects must be taught. If the instructor is the parent, the rules are not as strict as compared to the rules applicable when the instructor is hired. The statue also requires there to be sufficient records about the home schooling. Such records include, textbooks used, attendance records, test results, and student’s schoolwork. According to Greenwait (2016), homeschooling students from Michigan can enjoy public interscholastic sports. As such, there is no point of denying them physical education and facilities. 

With attendance laws, the State of Michigan requires children of 6 years to sixteen to attend school without fail (Waddell, 2010). A parent who fails to send such a child to school or fails to accord a child organized education is guilty of misdemeanor. A student should receive 1098 hours of instruction annually or 180 days

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The laws discussed above might present challenges. First, when it comes to proof of learning especially for homeschooling. Parents and guardians might cook up records to prove that they are homeschooling their children and in the real sense such children might not be getting education in the right quantity. The second challenge that these laws present is the problem of inflexibility. Strictly implemented attendance laws might be observed for the sake of the laws. Other metrics such as learning outcomes and milestones need to be incorporated to ensure that it is not a question of time along. Other deliverables need to go along with it. 

Student freedoms can be limited under specific occasions. To put this in perspective, I will consider freedom of speech. Freedom of speech can be curtailed from students if it is determined with a level of reasonableness that the speech will ignite disruption to significant levels or put the rights of others on the line. School sponsored speech, for instance one that is to be published on a school’s newsletter, can be censored for education purposes or for pedagogical reasons. Speech that is pro-drugs, violence and defamatory cannot be allowed to pass as free speech in a school setting. It attracts punishment. 

Public school institutions do so to ensure that there is order in the school setup. Free speech in the school setup can only be allowed if such speech has the tenets of order. The legal system acknowledges that order precedes the protections allowed in the First Amendments as it was established in Bethel School District v Fraser as explained by Alexander and Alexander. (2011). When speech or actions from a student insubordinate an instructor, then such actions or speech contravenes the law as it can be seen in Posthumus v Board of Education (Alexander, & Alexander, 2011). 

References

Alexander, K., & Alexander, M. D. (2011). American public school law. Cengage Learning.

Greenwalt, K. (2016). Here’s how homeschooling is changing in America. The Conversation.Waddell, T. B. (2010). Bringing it all back home: Establishing a coherent constitutional framework for the re-regulation of homeschooling. Vand. L. Rev., 63, 541.

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