The Home School Court Report
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Educational neglect petition threatened

A Honolulu family deciding to withdraw their special needs child from public school in order to teach him at home during the 2002-2003 school year encountered significant opposition from school officials. After this Home School Legal Defense Association member family submitted the required notice of intent to conduct a homeschool to the local principal, they received a letter from the principal insisting on a meeting prior to "approving" the parents' program. The principal expressed concern that the student would not have his special education needs met through homeschooling and threatened to file an educational neglect petition unless the parents met with her by a certain date.

HSLDA Attorney Dewitt Black intervened on behalf of the family by writing a letter to the principal and informing her that homeschools in Hawaii are not subject to the approval of public school officials. Black also pointed out that the Hawaii Administrative Rules state that special education services shall be made available to homeschooled children, but these services are not mandatory. HAR 8-12-14 states that these services are to be provided to children "who request these services." The family in question had not requested any services from the public school but had decided to obtain any needed services from private resources.

HSLDA member families encountering similar situations in which public school officials are following unauthorized policies or procedures should contact us for assistance.

Dewitt T. Black