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10/6/2004 4:48:05 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Massachusetts--Help Defend Homeschooling!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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October 6, 2004


Massachusetts--Help Defend Homeschooling!


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

In late August Dr. Michael Zapantis, superintendent of the
Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District, sent a draft
homeschool policy to an HSLDA member family in that district. They
promptly forwarded it to me. The proposed policy was outrageous,
requiring parents to do the following:

* List the "minutes per week" they taught each subject;
* Turn in next year's application by May 15 of each year;
* Agree to "pre-assessment and post-assessment testing," to use any
test required by the superintendent, over and above standardized
testing;
* Allow the testing to be administered by personnel designated by the
superintendent with the date, time, and place of the testing to be
determined by the superintendent;
* Keep a weekly log of activities accomplished; and
* Submit work samples for review.

I promptly wrote Dr. Zapantis to remind him that homeschooling is a
matter of constitutional right, with multiple Supreme Judicial Court
rulings that limit the power of school districts. In particular, I
advised him that any school district regulations must be both
"reasonable" and "essential." I asked him to forward my letter to the
members of his school committee and to his school district's attorney.

We have just received word that Dr. Zapantis has now scheduled a
"forum" on homeschooling, to be held at the Overlook Middle School
Library in Ashburnham. The forum will take place Wednesday, October
13, at 6:00 p.m. in the middle school library. We need active
homeschoolers from north-central Massachusetts to help defend
homeschool freedoms in Ashburnham-Westminster.

If you can attend this meeting, please e-mail me at Scott@hslda.org .
Please use mapquest or some other service to get direction to 10
Oakmont Drive, Ashburnham, MA 01430 or call the school at 978-827-1425
for directions. Please bring well-behaved children if you think they
are able to endure an evening meeting of some length. (Try not to
bring small children who might be a distraction.) If you have
teenagers who would like to speak out in support of homeschooling,
this might be their first opportunity to stand up for liberty in the
public square.

You do not have to be prepared to speak to attend this meeting. Your
presence will make a difference to the handful of homeschoolers who
are now facing the very real possibility of a harsh homeschool policy.
If you cannot attend, consider babysitting for someone who can. If
you are not within driving distance of Ashburnham, please pray for
those who are!


Sincerely,

Scott W. Somerville, Esq.
Home School Legal Defense Association



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