Climate in California
For an update on the Clevenger case in Lancaster (Los Angeles County), the judge refused to grant HSLDA’s motion to dismiss; however, the district attorney has agreed to dismiss the case if the family continues its present teaching arrangement. The children are enrolled in another school district in a special program where the parents participate as teachers. The effect of the judge’s decision is limited because it is not an appellate decision. Therefore, the judge’s refusal to grant the demurrer does not obligate any other court to follow the decision.
At press time, HSLDA learned that two member families in San Joaquin County (Lodi Unified School District) have had criminal truancy complaints filed against them in municipal court. The charges against the Baird and Allison families are the result of a year-long battle with a determined truant officer. Arraignments are set for February 16 and 17.
After the filing deadline for the private school affidavits, several member families were also contacted in Los Angeles County as the county officials began reviewing the affidavits to see if they could find obvious homeschools. These parents were informed that their homeschools were illegal and that other arrangements should be made. Several school districts then followed up by sending attendance officers to visit the families. HSLDA Vice President Michael Smith has addressed legal memorandums to school officials in each of the above mentioned districts and, thus far, has avoided further charges.
As a continuing reminder, if member families are contacted by school officials, it is imperative that HSLDA be immediately informed.