The Home School Court Report
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Compulsory Education Laws: The Dialogue Reopens

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a contrario sensu

Millimeter... Centimeter... Salamander!
Jonathan, our 9 year old, just finished a chapter of math dealing with measurments. I did not realize that 3-year-old Joshua had picked up any of the information until a few days later.

That morning, we found a dark, smooth-skinned lizard. At first glance, I thought it was a snake, but after observing its four legs, I correctly identified it, “Yep, that is a salamander.”

Joshua confidently echoed, “Yep, that is a centimeter.”

Catherine Lee
Birmingham, Alabama

Marshall County Church School Policy Wrong

Alabama law requires that church schools be a ministry of a local church, group of churches, denomination, or association of churches. Marshall County Board of Education’s 2000-01 school year policy attempts to require church schools to verify their ministry relationship with one of these religious organizations. Brought to Home School Legal Defense Association’s attention by Christian Home Education Fellowship (CHEF) of Alabama, this policy is aimed at children who are taught at home by their parents and enrolled as students in church schools. According to the policy, unless church schools are able to verify by September 1, 2000, that they are a ministry of one of the named religious organizations, the board of education will consider the church school students in Marshall County truant and will report all such students to the juvenile authorities for prosecution.

Home School Legal Defense Association sent a letter to the Marshall County Attendance Officer, pointing out that state law does not require church schools to provide public school officials with any verification of their ministry relationship. The letter also stated that a church school’s failure to provide proof of a ministry relationship is no basis for considering its students truant and prosecuting them for violation of the compulsory attendance law. Any HSLDA member family threatened with prosecution because of this or any similar school board policy should contact us for assistance. — Dewitt T. Black