Local News

Home school mom misses deadline to amend custody order

Posted March 16, 2009 11:59 a.m. EDT
Updated March 16, 2009 4:04 p.m. EDT

— The Wake County mother protesting a judge’s order that her children switch from home school to public school failed to respond to a request for changes to that order Sunday.

As part of divorce proceedings, Thomas Mills asked Judge Ned Mangum to rule that his three children – ages 10, 11 and 12 – be sent to public school. This children’s mother, Venessa Mills had been home schooling them for four years, Thomas Mills said.

The couple had until Sunday to propose changes to a temporary custody order that the judge will sign.

Venessa Mills said she wanted to change the order, but had not filed her changes to the judge by the Sunday deadline. A spokesperson said Venessa Mills was busy observing the Sabbath and helping her husband move out of the house.

In his request to the judge, Thomas Mills said he was "concerned about the children's religious-based science curriculum" and that he wants "the children to be exposed to mainstream science, even if they eventually choose to believe creationism over evolution."

Venessa Mills allowed that her lessons have a religious slant, but argued that her children have tested two years above their grade level. She thinks that should be reason enough to continue teaching at home.

In an oral ruling, Mangum agreed that the children should go to public school. The judge declined to talk about the details of the case until he has issued a written ruling, which is expected to happen in about three weeks.

Venessa Mills is seeking different representation after her attorney, Kathryn Schiller, balked at the attention being drawn to the case. Schiller gave notice Sunday that she planned to end her service to Mills.