The Home School Court Report
No. 4

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Filing Error Causes Termination Warning

Out of the blue, a Home School Legal Defense Association member family received a warning letter from the Broward County School District guidance department stating that they had failed to submit the annual evaluation for their son. The guidance department threatened to withdraw Mr. and Mrs. Dreisert’s child (name changed to protect privacy) from the home education program and report the family to the school social work and attendance department if they did not submit the missing evaluation within 10 days. Very concerned, the Dreiserts contacted HSLDA for help.

HSLDA Staff Attorney Thomas Schmidt learned that the family had started their homeschool program in the middle of the 2008–09 school year. Over the summer, their son took a standardized achievement test and submitted the results to Broward County School District.

Armed with this knowledge, Schmidt immediately contacted the guidance department and explained the situation. He suggested that the department check its records for the missing annual assessment. While the public school official was skeptical, Schmidt was persistent and obtained assurance that the file would be checked. The next day, the school official informed Schmidt that the missing assessment had been found and that the family was in good standing. The official admitted the letter to the family was a mistake. Apparently, the guidance department had created two separate files for the Dreiserts’ son. It had noted the receipt of the annual assessment in one but not in the other. This error had caused the threatening letter to be sent.

The district guidance department has since sent the Dreiserts a second letter confirming that they are in compliance with Florida law.

— by Thomas J. Schmidt