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1/28/2004 12:41:34 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Indiana--Senate may restrict homeschool freedom for teenagers - calls needed

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 28, 2004

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

We need your help to fight a dangerous bill being heard today in the
Senate Committee on Education and Career Development at 1:30 P.M. in
Room 431 of the State House. On January 12, 2004, Senator Luke Kenley
introduced Senate Bill 367, which establishes the conditions under
which a student may withdraw from school.

According to the language of the bill, it only applies to a student
who is at least 16 years of age but less than 18, has not graduated,
and who wishes to withdraw from school. In this case, an exit
interview must be conducted and attended by the student's parent or
guardian, the student, a designated school employee, and the school
principal. In order for the withdrawal to take place, the parent or
guardian and the principal must consent. Further, the withdrawal must
be for one of the following reasons: financial hardship requiring
employment of the student, that the student will not benefit from
continuing in school, or that the parent intends to begin providing
the student with instruction equivalent to that given in the public
school. The way the bill is worded, the principal could refuse to
consent to the withdrawal even if the parent intends to provide
equivalent instruction.

Further, this bill would give a principal the authority to refer the
family to a prosecuting attorney who will conduct an investigation
against the family merely for the principal's "disbelief" that the
family is providing their children with "equivalent" instruction to
that given in the public schools. The family must prove to the
satisfaction of the prosecuting attorney that they are providing
instruction that is "equivalent" to the instruction provided in the
public schools. If not, the parent may be prosecuted for truancy.

Not only would this bill limit our freedom to construe the term
"equivalent instruction," but it also gives a principal the power to
question a home education program's "equivalency" on his or her
impulse.

If you cannot attend the hearing, please call your legislators and
members of the Senate Education and Career Development Committee
today! Your message can be as simple as:

"Please vote against S.B. 367. It would authorize a school principal
to deny a parent's right to withdraw a child in order to conduct a
homeschool."

You can obtain the contact information for your representative by
using the legislative toolbox found on HSLDA's website:
www.hslda.org/toolbox.

Thank you for standing with us to protect homeschool freedoms!

Sincerely,
Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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