Home School Court Report
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No. 5

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Public School Official Labels Homeschool Illegal

When a new Home School Legal Defense Association member family in Brunswick County withdrew their children from public school and began homeschooling in April 2007, the assistant principal of the local public school informed them that their homeschool was illegal unless the family provided the public school officials with documentation regarding its operation. The public school official insisted that the family submit a copy of an acknowledgment from the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education (DNPE) indicating that the family had filed a notice of intent to operate a homeschool.

HSLDA Senior Counsel Dewitt Black sent a letter to the assistant principal and explained that state law does not require parents operating a homeschool to provide the local school district with a copy of any document from the DNPE acknowledging that the notice of intent to operate a homeschool had been properly filed. This correspondence from HSLDA was sufficient to resolve the difficulty encountered by our member family.

Families beginning to operate a homeschool during the school year should follow the procedure established by the public school for withdrawing a student. This normally involves signing a withdrawal form and related documentation.* Otherwise, the public school may begin to count the child absent from school and bring truancy charges against the family. However, during the course of normal withdrawal, parents do not have to prove to the local public school officials that the family has chosen another educational option for the child, as demanded by the official in Brunswick County. Other member families encountering such difficulties should contact HSLDA for assistance.

— by Dewitt T. Black

* See “A plethora of forms”.