The Home School Court Report
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The new pioneers: Black home schoolers

On the frontier: Four home school families

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Kentucky teen finally free to home school

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HSLDA legal contacts for April 2001

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Wasilla family contacted by social services

In May, a Home School Legal Defense Association member family in Wasilla received a letter from The Children's Place, a non-profit agency, attempting to set up a meeting in their home on the following day. According to the letter, the Alaska Division of Family and Youth Services (DFYS) had forwarded a "report of concern" to The Children's Place with a request for a family assessment. The letter stated that the purpose of the investigation was to assess the children's safety, the family's resources, and their possible need of services.

The family learned that the "report of concern" alleged inappropriate child discipline because the parents spank their children for willful disobedience. However, the scope of the proposed investigation of their family went far beyond the issue of spanking.

HSLDA responded to the social worker's inquiry by faxing a letter to her office, assuring her that the family was in compliance with Alaska's home school law and setting forth the constitutional protections enjoyed by the family against a warrantless entry into their home. Additionally, HSLDA pointed out that any discussions the parents had with the social worker would be limited to addressing the allegations contained in the report to DFYS and not any unrelated matters. As a result, the social worker agreed to discuss the report with the parents within the parameters recommended by HSLDA.

- Dewitt T. Black

See Social Services Contact Policy