From the HSLDA E-lert Service:
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6/10/2003 3:34:48 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Florida--Legislature Now Closed for 2003

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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June 10, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Another legislative season is over and we would like to report on our
work and your valuable efforts for the 2003 Florida Legislative
Session.

COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE BILLS DEFEATED

The greatest victory was the defeat of H.B. 9 and S.B. 1330. These
bills would have raised the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 17.
This would have required you to report on your children an extra year
before they were beyond compulsory attendance age. It would have had
an unneeded fiscal impact on the taxpayers of Florida.

Thanks to your tireless efforts in emailing and calling your
representatives, we were able to kill these bills even though they
passed the education committee. We are convinced your calls played a
significant part in stopping the bill.

THREAT TO PARENTAL RIGHTS AVERTED

Over the years, HSLDA has represented member families in conflict
with grandparents who did not like homeschooling. These grandparents
would try to stop the homeschooling through various means including
turning the family over to the child welfare services. Thankfully,
most grandparents we come in contact with at HSLDA support
homeschooling and in some situations even participate in the
teaching.

However, S.B. 128 would have given grandparents and great
grandparents the right to sue parents for visitation rights. If this
bill became law, they could sue "natural parents who are still
married to each other" if "either or both parents have used their
parental authority to prohibit a relationship between the minor and
the grandparents or great grandparents."

Of course, if a grandparent brings such a suit under this act, the
court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child and
order family mediation and a psychological evaluation of the child.
Parental rights would be ignored.

Fortunately, the language HSLDA was concerned about was removed in a
committee replacement largely due to the homeschooler's opposition to
the measure. The entire bill later died in the appropriations
subcommittee.

Once again, your calls made the difference! Thank you for sacrificing
your time to respond to our alerts. It takes eternal vigilance to
protect your freedoms!

Sincerely,

Chris Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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