Legal Contacts September/October 2000
|Home School Law||70|
February thru September
Privacy Advances in Baltimore
Baltimore County Public Schools recently sent a letter to home school families, telling them that if they did not want certain private information about the family made available to the public, the family must fill out and return a form asking that the information be kept confidential. The burden was placed on the family to take some affirmative action to prevent this private information (referred to as directory informationthe childs name, address, date of birth, grade placement, and dates of attendance) from being made public.
Home School Legal Defense Association sent two letters outlining our reasons for objecting to this policy and demanding that it stop. Superintendent Joe A. Harston sent the following reply:
I directed my staff to solicit advice from the office of the Attorney General. We have been advised that home schooled youngsters are not students within the definition set forth in state regulation . . . [Y]ou may inform your constituents that directory information will not be maintainedor distributedfor home schooled children.
This is a significant advance for the cause of privacy in Maryland. Scott A. Woodruff