What do legal challenges to homeschooling look like these days? This spring, one judge in Mississippi became “Exhibit A.” This week on Home School HeartbeatA, HSLDA attorneys Mike Farris and Jim Mason recount how they sprang into action to defend homeschool freedom from a runaway judge.
I’m Jim Mason, HSLDA Director of Litigation, and I’m here today with our founder and chairman, Mike Farris. Mike, tell us about the homeschool case that you and I recently handled in Mississippi.
Jim, we were notified about a letter that had been sent out on April Fool’s Day of this year. And that letter came from truant officers in five different counties who had been ordered by a judge to turn over the names and addresses of all the families that were homeschooling in this district, in these five counties. The truant officers really didn’t want to do it, and they let the families know that they were going to have to comply with the judge’s order, unless by Friday they got a higher court to overturn the order. So, the families of course came to us, and we began to respond.
So Mike, what was so unusual about this particular court order?
There wasn’t a case. The judge didn’t have a lawsuit in front of him. Nobody had sued anybody else. He just made the whole thing up out of thin air. There was no case number; there were no parties; there were no pleadings; it was just the judge being legislator, executioner, everything, all in one.
Next time, we’ll continue our discussion about the Mississippi homeschool case. I’m Jim Mason for HSLDA.