Court Victory in New York
The Stephen Standish family of Oswego, members of HSLDA, have been in Oswego County Family Court since late 1986, on an educational neglect proceeding filed by the Oswego County Department of Social Services. Their court battle has dragged on for two full years now, but on December 23, 1988, Judge Donald K. Comstock ruled that the neglect petition had to be dismissed, since no evidence of neglect was found. The Standishes were also part of the Blackwelder federal case, but their claims in that case were dismissed because of this ongoing Family Court case.
The Standish family had refused their superintendent’s request for a home visit, without which the superintendent claimed he could not assess the substantial equivalency of the program. The family was therefore reported to the Department of Social Services for suspected educational neglect of their son Aaron. Attorney David Rollinson of Syracuse has been handling the Standish case, which has involved a lengthy series of court appearances and briefs over the past two years.
Judge Comstock ruled that the superintendent’s request for a home visit was “arbitrary, unreasonable, unwarranted and violative of…due process rights guaranteed under the Fifth Amendment.” In addition, the judge ruled that the testimony and evidence submitted at trial demonstrated that, “the education being provided to Aaron Standish has met the requisite threshold of being substantially equivalent to that offered by the Oswego City School District. There has been no showing that the Respondents have failed to exercise a minimum degree of care in providing for Aaron’s education nor a failure on their part which has resulted in an impairment to the child…”
Our congratulations go out to the Standish family for this victory and this end to their long battle in the courts.