Legal Contacts September/October 2000
|Home School Law||42|
February thru September
Home Schoolers Harassed
In the Mechasta-Oceola Intermediate School District, a new truant officer insisted that a home school mother allow him inside to see her lesson plans, teaching materials, textbooks, and corrected school work. When this Home School Legal Defense Association member replied that she needed to talk with her attorney first, the truant officer stated that if he could not see her teaching materials, he would make sure charges were filed and she would then have to show her curriculum materials to a judge. He left, but soon returned, still insisting on seeing her curricula. After peering through the window, seeing the children sitting at a table doing their studies, and talking to the mother once again, the officer was finally satisfied.
HSLDA reported the truant officers intimidating conduct to the superintendent and reminded him that Michigan law is clear: curriculum approval is not required and families do not have to prove that they are conducting home instruction. The superintendent assured HSLDA that he wanted a positive relationship with home schoolers and he did not expect such an incident to happen again.
Child Welfare Investigation
One Saturday in October, HSLDA received an emergency phone call from a member family who had a child welfare worker at their door demanding entry. She refused to reveal the allegations against the family unless she was allowed inside. The father handed the phone to the social worker and HSLDA informed her that we needed to know the allegations, but we would allow her to view the children through the glass door.
She said, Im getting in one way or another, and finally, Im calling the police. Meanwhile, HSLDA called her supervisor, explaining that the social worker was refusing to cooperate with the family and was making unlawful demands. Within the hour, the supervisor contacted the social worker, who was sitting in her car.
Reluctantly, the woman returned to the front door, informed the parents that the police would not be coming and revealed that the allegations had to do with a diaper rash on their three-year-old. She did not enter the home or interrogate the children, but instead agreed to HSLDAs offer to provide a doctors certificate of health for the child, with the expectation that the situation would be resolved. Christopher J. Klicka