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DPP Threatens Truancy Charges
Several Home School Legal Defense Association members in Owsley County were surprised to receive a letter in late fall 2006 from their local director of pupil personnel (DPP). Each family was told to submit their attendance records, class roster, coursework, and all available test scores for the 2006-2007 school year. If the DPP did not receive this information within two weeks, the letter stated, truancy charges would be filed against the families.
When HSLDA was made aware of the DPP’s letter by our member families, staff attorney Thomas Schmidt immediately contacted the DPP, informing him that there was no legal basis for these outrageous threats.
Schmidt reminded the DPP that homeschools operate as private schools under Kentucky state law. Within two weeks of the beginning of each school year, homeschooling parents must notify the local board of education of their child’s enrollment in a private school. While homeschooling parents are to maintain attendance and scholarship reports for each child, they are not required to submit these reports to local public school officials. Parents would potentially need to submit such information only if school officials had evidence that their child was not enrolled in a bona fide private school. (For more information on Kentucky homeschool law, see HSLDA’s legal analysis at www.hslda.org/KYanalysis.*)
Schmidt cautioned the DPP against pursuing legal action against our member families, and informed him that HSLDA was fully prepared to represent our members in court if necessary. The DPP promptly dropped his demand for the records and took no action against any of the families.
— by Thomas J. Schmidt
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