A knock comes at the door, and you find it is a truant officer demanding that you return your child to school until your application to homeschool is approved. What do you do? Find out how to avoid these situations today on Home School Heartbeat with host Mike Farris.
I’m glad to welcome to our studio HSLDA Staff Attorney Mike Donnelly. Mike, thanks for joining us!
You recently had a case in Vermont where a family was threatened by a truant officer when they decided to withdraw their child from school during the middle of the school year in order to homeschool. This, unfortunately, is a common problem. How was the problem solved, and how can parents avoid this kind of situation?
Well Mike, not infrequently, even families who know and follow the law fall victim to heavy-handed actions of ill-informed school officials. In this case, when a member family was threatened with criminal prosecution and a thousand-dollar fine, unless they returned their daughter to school, I immediately contacted the superintendent and the truancy officer and I told them that the parents do not seek approval for homeschooling in Vermont and that the family had already submitted the necessary paperwork. I told them that by threatening them in this way the truancy officer might be violating their civil rights, and that HSLDA had filed lawsuits before on behalf of parents in similar situations. The truancy officer backed off, and today this family is continuing to homeschool peacefully in Vermont. Mike, because we’ve got lawyers on call 24/7/365, we were able to defend the rights of this homeschooling family in Vermont.
Mike, thanks so much. If you’re homeschooling, and you want to make sure that you have the ability to be protected when the time comes, please, visit our website and join HSLDA. I’m Mike Farris.