The Home School Court Report
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South Dakota
The birth certificate issue

Through the years, the South Dakota home school law regarding submission of birth certificates has caused numerous problems. Even now, with the law clearer than it has been, Home School Legal Defense Association continues to receive calls about it.

Under current South Dakota Codified Laws Anotated 13-27-3.1, home schoolers must keep a copy of their child's birth certificate at their home school and either give the superintendent a certified copy of their child's birth certificate or a witnessed or notarized statement that the child identified on the request for excuse is the same person appearing on the child's certified birth certificate. Failure to do so is a crime.

However, many school districts have insisted that home schoolers must submit the birth certificate, and HSLDA has defended several of our member families in court over this issue.

In the March/April 2000 issue of The Home School Court Report, we reported on the result of the latest cases, in which a judge dismissed charges against two member families because the law was unconstitutionally vague.

If you experience any difficulty with your school district over whether or not you have submitted sufficient information to comply with the law, please contact HSLDA for assistance.

- Darren A. Jones