In the Interest of Jeremiah C.
Jeremiah C. is a 3rd grader who has been in the physical custody of his grandparents since his birth. Jeremiah's mother lives in a nearby town and visits regularly with the child. On October 15, the grandparents withdrew their grandson from public school to begin educating him at home. The home instruction program is A Beka Video and began November 15, 1995. The non-accredited private school registration was made with the State Board of Education three days after the child was withdrawn from the public school.
Within 30 days of his coming home to school, a Child in Need of Care Proceeding was initiated in Allen County, Kansas, regarding Jeremiah. This is the same county in which the county attorney and magistrate district court judge take the position that a home school is not a valid private school in Kansas. Fortunately, the district court judge in the county thinks otherwise, but we anticipate a full hearing on the merits of the home instruction program put in place by Jeremiah's grandparents. Trial before the magistrate district court is scheduled for January 2, 1996.
State v. Cheryl Battles
This mother of a kindergartner with sincerely-held religious beliefs that she should teach her child at home is being criminally prosecuted for her refusal to sign the Maryland notice of intent to home school form. Even though Mrs. Battles is not complying with the home school regulation establishing the form, she is in compliance with the compulsory attendance statute, that requires a "regular and thorough" education. No date has been set for trial.
State v. Mr. and Mrs. S.
These Rhode Island parents have been home educating their children, ages 10 and 8, since the beginning of this school year. They submitted a copy of the curriculum to the School Committee for approval, but the Committee was not satisfied with the information provided. Our office was contacted by the member family, and we worked with the Committee's attorneys to resolve the matter. All of this correspondence occurred in September.
Then, to the surprise of our office and the member family, misdemeanor complaints were filed by the school district against the parents in December for failing to have their children attend school. Arraignment is scheduled for January 3, 1996.
In Re Christy Ann S. (Overland County, TN) and Robert H. (Sumner County, TN)
Both of these high school students are facing truancy charges for their obedience to their parents who are teaching them at home. Because their parents do not have bachelor's degrees, nor is their program associated with a recognized church-related school, the State Board of Education refuses to permit their home education. Because of their religious beliefs, these Jehovah's Witness families are unable to associate with a Christian association of private schools, and are left without the church-related protection provided to all other religious affiliations. Both of these trials are scheduled for January 1996.