The all-Republican Texas Supreme Court made a 6-3 ruling on technical grounds in favor of Laura and Michael McIntyre who have stopped teaching their homeschooled children because Jesus is coming back soon, so what’s the point, the AP reports.
The case was sparked by a nosy uncle who narced on the kids to the school district for not doing “much of anything educational” and said he heard one brag to a cousin that “they did not need to do schoolwork because they were going to be raptured.”
Whatever the nine kids were learning at the empty office of the McIntyres’ El Paso motorcycle dealership didn’t have to be much. Texas has the biggest population of homeschooled kids than any other state—about 300,000, according to the Texas Home School Coalition—and though parents are required to meet “basic educational goals,” the state doesn’t require their kids to be registered, take standardized tests or prove that they’ve been taught anything. They could have been learning that Cabbage Patch dolls are possessed by Satan and semen causes cancer.
When the school district’s attendance officer asked the McIntyres to prove they were “properly educating” their kids, the McIntyres sued the “anti-Christian” school district for violating their 14th Amendment rights. They lost their appeal, and the case went to the Texas Supreme Court. The Supreme Court decided that the McIntyres’ 14th Amendment rights weren’t violated but ruled in their favor on a technicality anyway. It bounced the case back to the El Paso Court of Appeals, which could now bounce it back to the trial court. The case has been dragging on for a long time up to Friday’s ruling—almost all of the McIntyres are actually grown—and yet, no judge in Texas wants to issue any constitutional statements on the ongoing “religious liberties” vs. “educational requirements” showdown.
As for the kids, at least one had a backup plan in case Jesus is late. In 2006, the McIntyres’ oldest daughter, then 17, ran away so she can go back to school.