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Vol. XXII
No. 6
Cover
November/December
2006

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LOUISIANA

Family’s Hearing Canceled

The Rivers* family was shocked when a deputy sheriff showed up at their door in Ouachita Parish earlier this summer and served them with a court summons. After closing their door and reading the documents left by the sheriff, the family learned that they were being called in for a truancy hearing.

The Rivers had never been in trouble before. In fact, they had never even been contacted by the local parish officials since beginning to homeschool four years before.

Desperate for help, the Rivers, who are Home School Legal Defense Association members, called our office. Because the hearing was only a few weeks away, HSLDA Staff Attorney Thomas Schmidt immediately began contacting various parish officials on behalf of the Rivers. After speaking with the juvenile court, several local school officials, and the attendance officers for the parish, Schmidt learned that the Rivers family had been turned over to the court for truancy when their son's name could not be found as a home study or private school student on the Ouachita Parish lists.

Just days before, the family had filed as a private school with the Louisiana Department of Education for the 2006-2007 school year. With a copy of that information, Schmidt was able to persuade the court to cancel the Rivers' hearing. After receiving confirmation that the department of education had received the family's notice of intent, HSLDA convinced the court to drop the case entirely.

— by Thomas J. Schmidt

* Name changed to protect family’s privacy.