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September 14, 2004
Newborn v. Franklin Regional School District
Family files suit under Religious Freedom Protection Act

Filed: February 5, 2004; Westmoreland County

Nature of Case: Dr. and Mrs. Newborn have been homeschooling for eleven years. After Pennsylvania passed the Religious Freedom Protection Act in 2003, Dr. and Mrs. Newborn sent the school district a detailed letter explaining that their religious convictions prevented them from complying with the home education law. The school district responded and informed the Newborns that it did not believe that the home education statute imposed substantial burdens on the free exercise of their religion. Because it appeared that the district was going to file truancy charges, Dr. and Mrs. Newborn filed a complaint in state court under the Religious Freedom Protection Act, claiming that their religious freedom would be violated if they were forced to comply with the home education law.

Status: Oral arguments regarding the preliminary objections were held on July 30, 2004. On August 6, the judge ruled that the case could proceed. The school district filed a motion attempting to appeal that decision. Ongoing.

Note: HSLDA is working to consolidate all of our Pennsylvania RFPA cases into one action.

Last Updated: September 14, 2004