Maas Case Finally Closed
In a surprise move, the assistant attorney general urged the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to reconsider their May 15, 1992, decision in favor of Randy Maas.
The Maas’ ordeal began without warning last September. Local school officials gave Randy Maas only two hours verbal notice to re-enroll his children in public school before a police officer arrived, arrested Mr. Maas, and put him in jail.
Home School Legal Defense Association defended Randy Maas on the basis that Mr. Maas’ statutory due process rights, entitling him to three days written notice, was denied. The judge arbitrarily ruled against Mr. Maas, finding him guilty of criminal truancy. HSLDA immediately appealed this decision to the higher court.
As reported in the July-August 1992 issue of the Home School Court Report, the Court of Criminal Appeals agreed with HSLDA and ruled that the local school district and lower court had denied Mr. Maas his due process rights. Randy Maas’ record was cleared, and the family was free to home school once again in the state of Alabama.
It looked as though the family’s trial was finally over, but then the assistant attorney general took action. Arguing that the court had not taken into consideration a recent act by the Alabama legislature which set forth the goal that Alabama would become one of the top states academically by the year 2000, he attempted to persuade the court to grant a rehearing.
HSLDA quickly responded to this attempt to reopen the case by reiterating the fact that the statute very clearly mandates a three-day written notice by school officials before criminal action for truancy can be taken.
On June 26, 1992, the Court of Criminal Appeals overruled the assistant attorney general’s application for rehearing. HSLDA believes that the Maas case is finally closed, and we thank God for granting Alabama home schoolers victory by protecting and preserving their due process rights.
Inaccurate Information Distributed by Department of Education
Each year school districts across Alabama challenge the rights of parents to home school their children. One reason for this continuing harassment recently became clear when HSLDA obtained a copy of the information sent by the department of education to those requesting information on home schooling in Alabama.
The regulations for home schooling, as described in the information sent by the department of education, explained that the only legal option for home schooling in Alabama was through the use of a certified tutor. No mention was made of the legal option to operate as a satellite of a church school or as a ministry of a local church.
In light of this type of information, it is no wonder that school districts continue to dispute the right of home schoolers to operate in Alabama.
Changing the Guard
Due to growing work loads and the addition of more legal personnel, Alabama members’ legal conflicts will now be handled by HSLDA attorney Dewitt Black.