From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


7/16/2002 1:54:51 PM
Scott W. Somerville, Esq., Staff Attorney of HSLDA
Ohio--Privacy of Home School Records in Doubt

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

HSLDA has been contacted by home schoolers in a number of states,
including Ohio, who complain that their local school district has
given out their name and address to third parties. The most obvious
examples come from "virtual" charter schools, which are actively
recruiting home schoolers in a number of states. When a home school
family gets a telephone call or letter from someone who is trying to
sell them something, they have every right to complain. When that
family discovers that their local school district gave out their
name, address, and telephone number without authorization, it is time
to do something about the problem.

Ohio protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable
information concerning any students attending a public school. Ohio
Revised Code Section 3319.321(A). Although the law does not clearly
protect home school privacy, it does not expressly authorize the
release of home school information either. In the absence of express
legislation, we advise our member families to clearly prohibit the
release of any personally identifiable information, including
"directory information" such as the student's name, address,
telephone number, birth date, and so forth.

I have discussed this matter with the Christian Home Educators of
Ohio and the Ohio Home Educators Coalition. We all agree that Ohio
home schoolers should take steps to protect their privacy. We have
revised our "Notice of Intent" form to include the following

"Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 3319.321(B)(2)(a), we hereby
inform the school board that no personally identifiable information,
including directory information, should be released without our prior
written consent."

Every HSLDA member family can use our notice of intent forms on the
HSLDA website. Here's how to get a form from the HSLDA web site:

(1) Go to .
(2) Click "Members" at the top of the screen, to the right.
(3) Enter your name and member number if this is the first time
you've logged in as an HSLDA member.
(4) Pick "Members" from the menu bar, and then "State Forms and
Resources" from the drop down menu.
(5) Select your state from the map.
(6) All the forms will then be available.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If Ohio home
schoolers take this small step to protect their privacy today, it
will go a long way toward ensuring school districts across the state
will protect home schoolers' privacy in the future.

Very truly yours,

Scott W. Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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Fax: (540) 338-2733

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