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Principal invents new requirements

After home schooling their children for several years without incident, a Home School Legal Defense Association member family in Reading recently ran into a school principal from Antietam School District who had her own ideas about what home schooling means. During a standard portfolio review for one of the children, the local public high school principal told the mother that home schoolers in the Antietam District were required to complete the public school's reading list. Later, the principal left a message on the family's answering machine, adding that the principal had to conduct a portfolio review for the children at the conclusion of the first and second semesters of the school year and that the mother had to file a criminal history record with the school district as supervisor of the home education program.

The mother contacted HSLDA through our website, asking whether any of these demands were legitimate. Because Pennsylvania law does not authorize local school districts to impose any of these requirements on home educators, HSLDA immediately wrote to the Antietam School District superintendent, informing him that the local principal was giving out false information and trying to force home school families to comply with her illegal and burdensome requirements.

To date, our member family has heard nothing more from the principal or the school district. They will continue to home school this year, hopefully without any further interference.

- Dewitt T. Black