The Home School Court Report
Vol. XXIII
No. 3
Cover
May/June
2007

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MICHIGAN

Truant Officer Asks to see Curriculum

A truant officer from the Charlevoix School District made a surprise visit to the home of Gerald Daniels (name changed to protect family’s privacy) to inquire about the schooling of his child. While the officer waited on the doorstep, Mr. Daniels, a Home School Legal Defense Association member, immediately contacted our office.

HSLDA Senior Counsel Christopher Klicka asked Mr. Daniels to pass the phone over to the officer. Klicka then assured the officer that the Daniels family was legally homeschooling and promised a letter confirming that the family was meeting the requirements of the law. The truant officer, however, continued demanding to see the family’s curriculum and enter their home. HSLDA’s senior counsel held firm, refusing to permit the officer to enter the home.

Later that day, Klicka followed up the phone conversation with a letter to the truant officer confirming the validity and legality of the Danielses’ home education program. Klicka explained that homeschooling families are presumed to be fulfilling the law unless probable cause or credible evidence indicating otherwise is produced; therefore, the burden to prove the family was not home educating was carried by the school district.

In addition, Klicka’s letter informed the truant officer that the Danielses were respectfully declining his request to see their curriculum and come into their home, as the officer had no legal right to request this.

Neither the Daniels family nor HSLDA have heard from the truant officer since.

— by Christopher J. Klicka