Apparently one judge thinks I can just leave 'em at home with the TV and a bowl of water.
Homeschool Mom: The Superior Court of Los Angeles thinks child care is no reason not to serve.
I have never served jury duty -- not because I'm a shirker, but because by the time I had become a citizen of this great nation, I already had two kids under 5 at home and I was the primary caretaker. Great -- until this year. A couple of months ago, I got my summons, and so I wrote in to be excused.
Here's the thing. I have two kids at home with me as I homeschool, and one of my children happens to have cystic fibrosis, which is a genetic disease that requires quite a bit of extra care. My husband and I have found our child is healthier and her care is less stressful if she can do her school at home and then do extracurricular things in the afternoon. Since I'm already at home, we homeschool the first grader as well, because it's nice to do things together. Great, except the Superior Court of Los Angeles says homeschooling, even if you have a kid with fragile health, is not a reason to be excused from jury duty. They said my request was denied and I would have to report.
Well, this is the day that I am supposed to be reporting. Notice how I am not sitting in jury duty, but sitting at my computer blogging. That's because my daughter just got out of the hospital on Saturday and she is on home IV treatment, and I have nowhere and no one with whom to leave her for five hours while I am at jury duty. I am her primary caretaker and I am trained to administer her medicine, and I am not leaving my child.
I rationalize it quite easily. There are all kinds of people right now who would be great candidates for jury duty. I am not one. People out of work, retired, people who hate their jobs and would enjoy a few days off. When my kids are able to care for themselves, I will be happy to serve.
I am really bugged that the Los Angeles Superior Court does not take into consideration a person's personal right to care for their own child in the manner (said person myself) sees fit. I would have to find a babysitter that could administer meds and who could do her schoolwork with her. The only person who could do that is my husband, and he has a job and was already called for his own jury duty. Do they expect moms who cannot find childcare to leave their progeny at home on their own? Should we crate them like puppies until we get back? Then you have a choice between trouble with children's services or the judicial system. Now I am going to be a fugitive from justice, but unlike those really cool anti-heroes, I'm going in my minivan with my three kids.
|Homeschool Mom: Pam Heilman is a California Credentialed Teacher who once won some body lotion in a raffle at the Y. She is currently residing in Southern California with her husband Eric, and homeschools their three children.|