The Home School Court Report
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MAY / JUNE 2001
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Cover Story
National home school leadership summit

Chicken run!

A state leader's thoughts on the summit

Special Features
HSLDA attorneys on call 24 hours a day

PHC: Wrapping up year one
Just another busy day on Capitol Hill

Across the States
State by State

Regular Features
Active Cases

A contrario sensu

Freedom Watch

Notes to members

Prayer and Praise

President's Page

HSLDA legal contacts

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Across the States
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District goes beyond the law

When a Home School Legal Defense Association family tried to begin home schooling by submitting the required notice of intent, the Columbiana County School District sent a letter demanding that the parents provide their children's grade levels. The family immediately contacted HSLDA.

Under Ohio law, parents are not required to reveal the grade level of the children being home schooled. This allows parents to use flexibility in teaching, since many children are not on the same grade level in every subject.

HSLDA wrote the district, insisting that they drop their grade-level demand. The district did so, and the family is now home schooling hassle-free.

Family spared criminal trial

HSLDA member Mrs. N and her son were completely surprised when she was served with criminal charges of alleged habitual truancy on February 9, 2001, and summoned to appear at trial four days later.

Ohio home school law does not require parents to "apply" to the local public school district for "permission" to home school. As she had done in the past, Mrs. N filed her notice of intent in order to be exempt from Ohio's compulsory instruction law. She had every reason to believe that her home school program was settled.

To her consternation, Barry Statler, Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Harrison Hills City School District in Hopedale, filed truancy charges because, as he put it, her "application" to home school had been "denied."

Mrs. N turned to HSLDA for help. HSLDA contacted the school district and discovered that the district had on file a copy of a September 5, 2000, letter to Mrs. N acknowledging her notice of intent to home school.

The district's September 5 letter did not request further action or information from this mother about her home schooling program or her curriculum. If there had been legitimate questions about Mrs. N's intent to home school, the superintendent of the Harrison Hills City School District would have been required by law to write her a letter asking for more information.

HSLDA was able to persuade the school district to drop the criminal charges by mid-afternoon of the same day Mrs. N contacted us. Darren A. Jones