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1/17/2003 4:42:11 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Texas--More Truancy Cases Filed Against Homeschoolers

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 17, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

As the Texas legislative session is beginning, we are reviewing
several bills that we believe will impact homeschool freedoms.

CHILD WELFARE REFORM

Our primary focus for positive legislation this year is child welfare
reform. Every week, homeschoolers in Texas are harassed by the Child
Protective Services simply because of a malicious anonymous tipster.
We hope our amendments will help increase the due process protections
for parents faced these unwanted investigations.

HSLDA is continuing to work with key legislators to hammer out
legislation that would protect innocent families from unwanted
intrusions by social workers. We are excited about the possibility
of the passage of this bill and will be notifying you of the final
details in the near future.

RECENT TEXAS TRUANCY CASES

In the last 4 months, we have seen an increase in truancy cases filed
on HSLDA member families. Below are the summaries of these cases.
Please be in prayer for each of these families and for HSLDA's Tom
Sanders as he represents them in court.

Texas v. Anderson
In the small town of Onalaska, Texas, two hours north of Houston, the
Anderson family had withdrawn their child from the public school to
homeschool. Their second grade son had been repeatedly beaten up
while attending the public school. In October, 2002, they were
surprised by a summons to appear in court for truancy. Even though
the family was within their legal right to homeschool, they were
taken to court.

HSLDA attorney Tom Sanders first attempted to get the case dismissed,
but was rebuffed by the prosecutor. A new court date was set, and
Tom Sanders asked for a full jury trial. On January 8, 2003 one day
before the case was to be heard before the judge, the judge called
Tom Sanders and indicated that he was dismissing all the charges
against the Anderson family. The Anderson family now can breathe a
sigh of relief and continue their homeschooling.

Texas v. Frazen
In October 2002, the Frazen family of Austin decided to homeschool
their daughter after she was beaten up at school. They were
successfully homeschooling, using an accredited high school program
when they received a summons to court for "parent contributing to
truancy" and the daughter's "failure to attend school."

At the initial hearing an attempt to negotiate case closure was
unsuccessful. The justice of the peace said he would not enter a
judgment but referred Mrs. Frazen to the prosecutor.

Although Tom Sanders has tried to convince the Austin prosecutor's
office to drop the charges, the prosecutor will not listen to reason
and is intent on moving the Frazen family's case to trial in
February.

Texas v. Leonard
In Houston, the Leonard family notified the school district that
they were going to homeschool but school officials slapped truancy
charges on the 12-year-old daughter and her mother. At the initial
hearing, the prosecutor indicated that he does not want to drop the
case but intended to pursue it. After further negotiations with the
prosecutor and establishing the legality of the family's home school,
HSLDA expects the case to be dismissed by the end of January.

Texas v. Simmons
In Rosharon, Texas, the Simmons (name changed to protect family's
privacy) family had already graduated one homeschool student. They
decided to homeschool their teenage son, and withdrew him from the
public school after he got into some trouble with the law.

This homeschool teen was stopped by the police and put in juvenile
detention for two weeks over the Christmas holiday with the only
stated reason being truancy. The judge would not release the child
even though the school district was notified of his homeschooling.
The justice of the peace has now ordered the father to produce an
accredited curriculum by January 24. Tom Sanders is representing
this homeschool family and has filed a writ of habeas corpus.

Watch for the next week's "Texas Weekly Update" to read about
important bills which HSLDA will be dealing with in the state
legislature. Thank you for standing with us for family and
freedom in Texas.

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel


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