NH Man, Ex-Wife in Home Schooling Legal Battle

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The New Hampshire Supreme Court is considering whether it should force the 11-year-old daughter of a divorced couple to attend public school.

Brenda Voydatch and her ex-husband, Martin Kurowski, have been unable to agree on how to educate their daughter Amanda. The girl has been home schooled by her Christian mother from first through fourth grade.

Kurowski said his ex-wife's strict religious teachings were socially isolating their daughter.

In August of 2009, a trial court sided with the father and ruled that the girl must attend public school.The court said it's important for her to be exposed to group learning and a variety of viewpoints.
However, the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal group representing Voydatch, told CBN News that requiring Amanda to attend public school is a violation of parental rights.

"The (lower) court went beyond the disagreement between the parents and offered the opinion that the child was being raised with rigid religious views and had not had the opportunity to be exposed to other points of view to challenge these views," ADF attorney Joseph Infranco said.

Attorneys representing the father argued on Thursday that parents have no constitutional right to home school their children.

"Religion is a big issue for Ms. Voydatch, but it's a small issue for the court," Kurowski's attorney, Joshua Gordon, said. "This is not a constitutional case."

Meanwhile, religious freedom groups have shown their support for Amanda's mother and are closely following the case.

"If the trial court's unqualified opinion were allowed to stand, this case could become a model for other courts around the state to follow," argued an amicus brief submitted on behalf of Voydatch by the Home School Legal Defense Association in Purcellville, Va., and several other groups.

"This result would harm home-schoolers across the state and potentially across the nation," the brief read.

The court isn't expected to rule on the case for several months.

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