The Home School Court Report
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MAY / JUNE 2002
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Cover Story
In the hands of providence

From pickup trucks and shotgun racks to a new attitude

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Around the globe

Freedom watch

A Contrario Sensu

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Notes to members

Prayer and praise

President's page

HSLDA social services contact policy

A plethora of forms

Across the States
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District backpedals on new policy
Ohio Board reconsiders policy Attorneys from a prestigious Columbus firm drafted such an outrageous home school policy, Home School Legal Defense Association put them on notice of a possible civil rights challenge. In a letter dated Feb. 12, 2002, HSLDA Attorney Scott Somerville said:

I have a copy of a recent letter from your [firm] which states "there is simply no basis in Ohio law for your very broad assertion of a 'constitutional right of parents to home school their children.'" I must disagree with this assertion, in light of our discussion of the Wellston policy. The home school regulations in the Ohio Administrative Code include a "purpose" clause. OAC 3301-34-02 says:

The purpose of the rules in this chapter is to prescribe conditions governing the issuance of excuses from school attendance under section 3321.04 of the Revised Code, to provide for the consistent application thereof throughout the state by superintendents, and to safeguard the primary right of parents to provide the education for their child(ren). Home education must be in accordance with law.

The "primary right of parents" identified in the OAC is grounded in a long line of United States Supreme Court cases . . . To the degree that this [policy] diminishes a fundamental right, which is protected by state and federal law, this constitutes a deprivation of liberty without due process. I hardly need remind you that the federal civil rights laws provide a remedy for such deprivations.

The Wellston school board adopted this objectionable policy, but their lawyers say the board is reconsidering. Stay tuned for further deveopments in this case!

- Scott W. Somerville