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2/17/2004 2:17:34 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Texas--Two Homeschool Families Facing Truancy and Neglect Charges Win Dismissals

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 17, 2004


Texas--Two Homeschool Families Facing Truancy and Neglect Charges Win
Dismissals


Dear HSLDA members and friends:


The C family of Austin was successfully homeschooling their children
when an anonymous tipster decided to make their life miserable by
giving a false report to the Children Protective Services (CPS). The
tipster recklessly accused the family of neglect since their children
were "all homeschooled" and their 14 year old could not "read, write,
or spell" and "does all the cooking" and performs care-giving for the
other children. Other outlandish allegations included assertions
that one child had the mental capacity of half her age, another child
could not read or write and two had major medical problems.

The family called HSLDA and we supplied the social worker with
evidence from a doctor and teacher that these allegations were
completely bogus. But the social worker was not satisfied and
insisted on pushing for a court order to interrogate the children
separately at the local child abuse center. There was no reason to
further traumatize the family. However, the social worker was upset
that the family was not cooperating "her way." Even the prosecutors
were hesitant but were pressured by the CPS to file a court order.

HSLDA attorney Tom Sanders represented the family in court and was
able to dissuade the judge from granting the social worker's request
to have the children separately and extensively interrogated at the
child abuse center. Instead the judge simply allowed a short
interview with the children with a friend of the family (a law
enforcement official) present to keep the social worker from going on
a fishing expedition. The investigation was soon dropped.

The H family of Dallas County withdrew their child from school at the
beginning of this school year in order to homeschool them.
Everything was going fine. Then suddenly in January, the family
received a court summons charging them "with failure to attend
school." The charges read, that the child "unlawfully,
intentionally, knowingly failed to attend school for three or more
days within a four week period. " The family had no idea what this
was about and what prompted the charges. Their calls to the school
district were rebuffed.

HSLDA attorney Tom Sanders negotiated with the district attorney
stating that family had the right to homeschool. The charges were
promptly dismissed!

Texas continues to be our most litigious state.


Sincerely,

Chris Klicka
Senior Counsel
Home School Legal Defense Association



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