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4/24/2003 3:42:03 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Kentucky--Harlan County Demands Meetings With Homeschoolers

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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April 24, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Truant officers in Harlan County, Kentucky, have begun to demand
meetings with every homeschooler in the area. Harlan County has not
explained why they are doing this, but local homeschoolers suspect it
may be related to Harlan County's controversial proposal to
consolidate the county's three high schools into one expensive new
central high school. Each family that homeschools has a big impact
on Harlan County, which has lost a greater percentage of its school
enrollment over the last few years than any other county in Kentucky.

The demands by truant officers are highly questionable but not
necessarily illegal. Kentucky law requires homeschools to keep
certain records, and "be open to inspection by Directors of Pupil
Personnel and officials of the Department of Education" (KRS.
sec.159.040). School officials have no authority to enter
homeschools, however, since homes are protected by the Fourth
Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Christian Home Educators of
Kentucky and the Kentucky Home Education Association agree in their
"Best Practices Document" that "the privacy of the home must be
recognized and no visit inside the home may be conducted without the
consent of an adult resident or a duly issued warrant." If Harlan
County is exercising its right to inspect records in a lawful manner
for a legitimate reason, Home School Legal Defense Association will
advise its members to obey the law. If, however, Kentucky school
officials think that "cracking down" on homeschoolers is an easy way
boost public school enrollment, Harlan County homeschoolers plan to
prove them wrong.

We encourage all HSLDA members to consult with HSLDA if school
officials demand a home visit or inspection of private educational
records. While the law requires all Kentucky private schools,
including homeschools, to be "open for inspection," it does not
require them to submit to intimidation tactics.

Very truly yours,

Scott W. Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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