The Home School Court Report
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March / April 2005

Taylor broke ground with NCAA
Judicial Tyranny Goes Global
Let the Facts Speak

Freedom watch
From the heart

Realizing dreams

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Suggested procedures are not laws

In January, the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) determined that a Home School Legal Defense Association family in Wallingford was guilty of educational neglect for failing to file a notice of intent to conduct home instruction with the local board of education. The family had a 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter receiving instruction at home, but they had not followed the suggested procedures for home instruction adopted by the Connecticut State Board of Education. These procedures include the filing of a notice of intent, but compliance with them is not mandated by state law.

The family contacted HSLDA for assistance after they received a letter from a social worker advising them that DCF was substantiating a charge of educational neglect against them. HSLDA Senior Counsel Dewitt Black responded with a letter to the social worker and pointed out that the suggested procedures of the state board of education were not law, so parents could not be compelled to comply with them. Under § 10-184 of the Connecticut General Statutes, parents may satisfy the law by being able to show that their child "is elsewhere receiving equivalent instruction in the studies taught in the public schools." Black requested that DCF rescind its earlier finding of educational neglect, because there was no evidence whatsoever that the family had failed to properly educate their children.

HSLDA will continue to work with this member family to oppose any finding that they have violated state law regarding the education of their children.

— by Dewitt T. Black