Home School Court Report
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No. 2

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Standing up for Parental Rights

A new homeschooling mother who had just withdrawn her child from an Antioch public school got a surprise when she requested copies of her child’s pupil records. The school principal told her that she could not have the file and that she could not homeschool unless she was a licensed teacher or had permission from the department of education.

When this Home School Legal Defense Association member family called our legal department, we immediately faxed a letter to the principal, explaining that homeschoolers operate as private schools in the state of California and citing the 2008 decision in Jonathan L. v. Superior Court that supports this. The letter went on to explain that the law requires public schools to transfer pupil records when they receive a request from a private school; additionally, parents are always entitled to a copy of pupil records. The school district has not pursued truancy charges.

Sadly, this has not been an isolated incident. Public school officials continue to misunderstand the law. It has been four years since the Jonathan L. case made national headlines, yet many public school officials are either uninformed or are ignoring the law. Unfortunately, it is usually new homeschoolers who face this opposition.

HSLDA greatly appreciates your support and membership. Your partnership with us enables us to help those who encounter difficulties with public school officials and to counter infringements on the rights of parents who are committed to directing the education of their children.

—by J. Michael Smith