The Home School Court Report
- disclaimer -
November / December 2003

Colleges and homeschoolers

Paul Owen's story

The big picture
2003 art contest

The judges and their thoughts on the artwork

Winners of the three categories
Farris meets with President
A gift for the next generation
Homeschooling grows up

Along the way

Abounding in the work of the Lord

Resource information
From the heart
Across the states
Active cases
In the trenches
Freedom watch
Members only
About campus
President's page


HSLDA social services contact policy/A plethora of forms

HSLDA legal inquiries

Prayer & Praise




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No privacy here

Home School Legal Defense Association attempts to protect the privacy of homeschoolers in all 50 states and recently amended our suggested paperwork for Nebraska homeschoolers to include an explicit "privacy notice." This prompted a letter from the Nebraska Department of Education that spells trouble.

Scott Summers, legal counsel for the department, wrote on July 29, 2003:

I am writing concerning the attached internal "Nebraska Privacy Notice" forms supplied by your organization to its Nebraska members. It is my opinion, as well as the opinion of the United States Department of Education it appears to me, that the records filed with NDE by families who wish to effectuate an exception from this state's compulsory attendance laws, (see NDE Rules 12 and 13 and Neb. Rev. Stat. Sec. 79-1601), are in fact not subject to the FERPA laws and regulations concerning prior consent for disclosure, nor would they likely fall under the type of record that may be withheld from the public by NDE under this state's public records laws.

HSLDA Attorney Scott Somerville immediately contacted the department to discuss the matter. At this point, all parties agree that Nebraska homeschool records are not protected by privacy laws. This means, in principle, that any person at any time can contact the department of education to demand all homeschool records. HSLDA has asked the department of education to agree to proposed amendments to Nebraska's homeschool law to solve this problem. We will be keeping our members posted on developments in this effort.

— Scott W. Somerville