The Declaration of Educational Independence
By Linda Dobson, reprinted with permission
WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for Families to
dissolve the Educational Bands which have connected them to a faltering Society,
and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to
which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to
the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel
them to the Separation.
WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that
they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among
these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of HappinessThat to secure these
Rights, Education is instituted among Men, deriving its just Powers from the
Consent of the Educated, that whenever any Form of Education becomes destructive
of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to
institute new Education, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and
organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect
their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that a Public
Education System long established should not be changed for light and transient
Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more
disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by
Abolishing the Public Education System to
which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations,
pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under
absolute Government Control, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off
such Public Education System, and to provide new Guards for their future
Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Families; and such is
now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Educational
System. The History of the Government-Controlled, Public Education System is a
History of repeated Injuries and
Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute
Control over these Families. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid
THE GOVERNMENT has refused its Assent to Freedom in Education, the most
wholesome and necessary for the public Good.
IT has forbidden its Children Freedom of immediate and pressing Importance...
IT has refused Freedom for the Accommodation of large Numbers of Families,
unless those Families would register with the State, a violation of freedom and
privacy to them, and formidable to Absolute Control only.
IT has called together the Nation's Children at Places unusual, uncomfortable,
and distant from the warmth and nurturance of their Parents, for the sole
Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with its Measures.
IT has dissolved Alternatives repeatedly with its unceasing bureaucratic
requirements, for opposing with manly Firmness its Invasions on the Rights of
IT has refused for a long Time, after such dissolutions, to cause other
Alternatives to be carried out; whereby the Educational Powers, incapable of
Improvement, have returned to the failing System at large for their exercise;
the Family remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion
from without, and Convulsions within.
IT has endeavored to prevent the True Education of the Population of these
States; for that Purpose obstructing the Natural Process of Learning; refusing
to pass others to encourage their Individual Efforts...
IT has obstructed the Administration of True Education, by refusing to recognize
the Sovereignty of Family.
IT has made Public School Employees dependent on its Will alone, for the Tenure
of their Offices, and the Amount and Payment of their Salaries.
IT has erected a Multitude of new Laws, and sent hither Swarms of Its Employees
to harass our People, and eat out their Substance.
IT has kept among us, often against the People's Will, Standing Armies of Social
IT has affected to render the Education Establishment independent of and
superior to the Civil Power.
IT has...subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and
unacknowledged by our Laws; giving its Assent to...Acts of...Legislation:
FOR quartering large Bodies of Compelling Troops among us:
FOR protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any usurpation of
Family Sovereignty which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
FOR cutting off our Connection with True Education:
FOR imposing Taxes on us used to Oppress us:
FOR depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Family Time;
FOR transporting our Children for large blocks of their time;
FOR taking away our Family Autonomy, abolishing our most valuable Family
Connections, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Families:
FOR suspending our Parental Authority, and declaring itself invested with Power
to control for us in all cases whatsoever.
IT has abdicated Control here, by failing us its Protection and waging
Educational War against us.
IT has plundered our Pocketbooks, ravaged our Family Lives, burnt our Trust, and
destroyed the Lives of our People.
IT is, at this time, forging new Laws to compleat the Works of Despair,
Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and
Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy
the Government School System of a civilized Nation.
IT has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive in our Nation's Classrooms,
to become the Competitors of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves
by their Hands.
IT has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on
the Inhabitants of our Nation, the merciless Conditioning, whose known Rule of
Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.
IN every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most
humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury.
A Public Education System, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may
define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Educational Controller of a free People.
NOR have we been wanting in Attentions to our Legislators. We have warned them
from time to time of Attempts by their very Government to extend an
unwarrantable Educational Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the
Circumstances that brought us to this point. We have appealed to their native
Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common
Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our
Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice
and of Consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which
denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies
in War, in Peace, Friends.
WE, therefore, the Families of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in GENERAL
AGREEMENT, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the
Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of Sound, Sane
Parental Consciousness, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United People
are, and of Right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT FAMILIES, they have full
Power to levy Choice in Family Education, consider the Family's Values and Time
Needs to choose the extent of participation in and support of the Public
Education System, contract Alliances, establish Family Priorities and Values,
and to do all other Acts and Things which INDEPENDENT FAMILIES may of right do.
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection
of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes,
and our sacred Honor.