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No. 4

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Mother’s Name Removed From Register

Case: M Family v. Children and Family Services
Filed: March 6, 2008

by Nicholas Bolzman

Believing that she could do a better job than the local public school, Mrs. Moore began to homeschool her son Sam in fall 2007. (Names changed to protect family’s privacy.) Even though she had submitted all the necessary paperwork, Mrs. Moore continued to receive phone calls from the school inquiring why Sam was not attending. Each time the school called, Mrs. Moore explained that she was homeschooling Sam, and each time that seemed to settle the matter.

However, in October, the school district reported Sam to child protective services. The very next day, the Moore home was visited by a caseworker who interviewed Sam and reviewed the homeschool program.

The caseworker appeared satisfied—even impressed—with the progress that Sam was making at home and the extracurricular programs he was enrolled in. But in December, the department of social services notified Mrs. Moore that her name was being placed on the New York Central Register as an “indicated” child neglecter. Upon follow-up, Mrs. Moore was informed that, although the caseworker was impressed with the level of education Sam was receiving, the basis for the “indicated” report was that Mrs. Moore had never notified the school district of her intent to homeschool.

At this point, Mrs. Moore contacted HSLDA. After reviewing her case, HSLDA Senior Counsel James Mason appealed the decision to place her name on the central registry. In addition to emphasizing that Mrs. Moore was in compliance with the law, Mason argued that a possible paper mix-up does not equate child neglect.

The appeal was successful, and Mrs. Moore’s name was removed from the New York Central Register in 2008.


Quick Response Protects Homeschool

Case: Tennessee v. M Family
Filed: January 8, 2008

by Nicholas Bolzman

There was nothing slow about the last Monday in February 2008. HSLDA Litigation Attorney Darren Jones arrived at work that morning to find an urgent fax from a Tennessee member family. Although the family had just started homeschooling their daughter Bethany (name changed to protect privacy) in January, the school district had subpoenaed them to appear in court at 10:00 a.m. on truancy charges.

Jones immediately faxed a copy of Bethany’s letter of enrollment in a church school to the courthouse. Once the judge saw this, he realized that the family was legally homeschooling, and the case was promptly dismissed. Thanks to HSLDA’s quick response, the family is out of legal trouble and can continue homeschooling in peace.

Pending Cases

AL B Family v. Social Security Administration

AL D Family v. Social Security Administration

AZ Loudermilk Family v. Administration for Children, Youth and Families

FL M Family v. L

IA Winkelman v. Department of Veterans Affairs

KS T Family v. Social Security Administration

ME F v. Braxton Family

MS C Family v. Department of Veterans Affairs

NJ Division of Youth and Family Services v. L Family

NY In re: M.D.

PA Butler County Children and Youth Agency v. S Family

VA I Family v. Social Security Administration

VA S Family v. U.S.

WA H Family v. Social Security Administration

WY In re: K.M.

Pennsylvania RFPA Cases

Combs v. Homer-Center School District
Hankin v. Bristol Township School District
Nelson v. Titusville Area School District
Newborn v. Franklin Regional School District
Penn-Trafford School District v. B Family
Prevish v. Norwin School District
Weber v. Dubois Area School District

About the author

Nicholas Bolzman is a litigation assistant at HSLDA.