It wasn’t a stretch to assume Virginia’s religious exemption would pop up with some bill writing power in Richmond. For all the wrong reasons, Joshua Powell’s widespread story caught attention from the right people. Delegate Rust’s proposal comes in the form of a Joint Resolution requesting the Department of Education to study the religious exemption to compulsory school attendance.
The Washington Post on Rust’s proposal:
Virginia lawmaker seeks to clarify education law on religious exemptions By Susan Svrluga
Del. Thomas Rust (R-Fairfax) has proposed a resolution that would direct the commonwealth’s education department to study the religious exemption law and make a recommendation as to whether it should be amended to ensure that all children are getting an adequate education.
Here is the religious exemption wording in the Virginia Code:
B. A school board shall excuse from attendance at school:
1. Any pupil who, together with his parents, by reason of bona fide religious training or belief is conscientiously opposed to attendance at school. For purposes of this subdivision, “bona fide religious training or belief” does not include essentially political, sociological or philosophical views or a merely personal moral code;
The Post pointed out this often ignored fact below. He’s done well for himself, despite his ‘misspent’ youth and worries. Mr. Powell must have learned a thing or two.
The student, now excelling at Georgetown University, said he worried that his younger siblings and others were not getting an adequate education despite his parents’ earnest efforts. A constituent called Rust, concerned about relatives who she felt were not getting an education at all.
The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers addressed the new Resolution and their opposition here.
Home Education Association of Virginia also opposes the Delegate Rust’s Resolution.