June 4, 2001
State v. Mary S
Mother charged with violating compulsory attendance law

Filed: January 23, 2001, Howard County.

Nature of Case: Maryland regulations require home school families to either teach their children under the supervision of a church-related school or institution, or submit a portfolio to the local school system periodically for approval. Mary S has sincerely held religious convictions against allowing her children's education to be subject to the approval of the public school system, but cannot find an acceptable church-related school. Her solution was to use on her own a reputable curriculum that emphasizes the Roman Catholic faith, "Our Lady of the Rosary" curriculum. The Howard County public schools rejected Mary's solution and charged her with 83 counts of criminal truancy. HSLDA argued that the absence of a Catholic church-related school under which Mrs. S may educate was a violation of her free exercise of religion and her right to direct the education of her child.

Status: The case, which had been set for trial on May 25, 2001, has been put on hold for the foreseeable future in order to give Mary S a chance to get approval for her Catholic home school program.

Last Updated: June 4, 2001.

 Other Resources

83 Counts of Truancy Put on Hold--Family gets to seek Catholic supervision