Across the States
Family Encounters Police and Principal at Front Door
In September 2008, Home School Legal Defense Association Senior Counsel Dewitt Black received a call from a mother in Inman (Spartanburg County) who had a police officer and school principal in her home. The school official was questioning the member family’s compliance with South Carolina’s homeschool law, because the school district had received no documentation to indicate that home instruction was taking place.
In this case, the family was a member of
a homeschool association and was not required to provide any such documentation to the local public school officials. After explaining the problem to Black, the mother handed the telephone to the school principal, and Black informed him that the family was in full compliance with state law regarding their homeschooling program. Black also told the principal that the family was willing to provide written verification of membership in the homeschool association, even though state law did not require that they do so. After discussing this matter with the HSLDA attorney, the principal indicated that he would be satisfied with the verification offered and then left the premises with the police officer.
In South Carolina, membership in a homeschool association is one of the ways a family may meet the compulsory school attendance requirements. Some school districts in South Carolina expect home educators to routinely provide them with documentation at the beginning of each school year indicating that the family is a member of a homeschool association. State law does not require this, and homeschoolers who are members of such associations are not obligated to comply with such requests. However, in the event the family’s compliance with state law is questioned by a public school official, the easiest way to resolve any question about compliance is simply to provide the school district with verification of membership from the homeschool association. HSLDA member families should confer with us for advice anytime a school district requests such verification.
— by Dewitt T. Black