The Home School Court Report
No. 2

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HSLDA Mentioned, District Backs Down

When the Northrups (name changed to protect privacy) tried to homeschool their special needs son for the 2009–10 school year, they faced strong opposition from their local school district. The district told Mr. and Mrs. Northrup, among other things, that they were not qualified to teach a child with special needs and could not legally homeschool. The intimidation was so great that the Northrups ended up leaving their son in public school. During the school year, Mrs. Northrup joined Home School Legal Defense Association and Christian Home Educators of Ohio and found that Ohio law does allow parents to homeschool children with special needs.

Armed with this new information and membership with HSLDA, Mr. and Mrs. Northrup decided to give homeschooling another try. Mr. Northrup informed the school that he and his wife were going to homeschool their son for the 2010–11 school year. Once again, the district objected, but when Mr. Northrup told the district representative that he had legal representation through HSLDA, the representative’s immediate response was short and sweet: “Oh, you’re good to go. Good-bye.” The Northrups have since received an excuse letter from the district acknowledging their right to educate their son at home.

It is disappointing that a school district would give homeschooling parents blatantly false information concerning the legality of home educating children with special needs. Homeschooling allows parents to provide an education tailored to each student, making it an excellent option for special needs children. HSLDA stands ready to advocate for member families whose school districts infringe on their fundamental right to help each of their children learn in the way that suits them best. We also offer practical, personal support to our members who are teaching children with special needs. Learn more on HSLDA’s Struggling Learner webpages.

— by Michael P. Donnelly