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Camdenton threatens evaluation

The Camdenton R-III school system is threatening to get a court order to force a Home School Legal Defense Association member family to submit to an evaluation to determine if their child has special educational needs.

Dissatisfied with their child's progress in school, the parents notified the school district that they were going to homeschool. The school system responded by asking the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to call a hearing.

After the department called a hearing, HSLDA wrote and explained that no hearing should be held since the family did not wish to receive any special education services from the school system and since the child was no longer enrolled. The department sidestepped this issue.

HSLDA reminded Camdenton R-III School Attorney Terry Goldman that the department has no jurisdiction over this child since he is not enrolled in the school system and does not wish to receive services. However, Goldman insisted that the department had jurisdiction because the child was previously enrolled and might enroll again in the future. She intended to ask the hearing panel to order that the child be evaluated for special needs. If the family disregarded the panel's order, she said she might pursue either a court order forcing the evaluation or a child neglect report.

This threat to liberty should not be underestimated. If Goldman prevails, tens of thousands of homeschooling children across America could be forced to submit to similar evaluations. HSLDA is confident, however, that Goldman is wrong. We ask for help from the Judge of all men as we work to protect the constitutional rights of this homeschooling family and all others who could be affected.

Scott A. Woodruff