From the HSLDA E-lert Service:
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Date:
From:
Subject:

1/23/2006 12:06:27 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
South Dakota--Unconstitutional Plan to Restrict Homeschool Freedom

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Last Thursday, Senate Bill 110 was filed. This bill would give school
officials a powerful new tool to force children to stay in public
school systems that are failing them.

If a school official merely files a truancy petition, the family's
right to homeschool disappears--without a trial, and without an
opportunity to defend themselves. They can homeschool only with the
permission of the judge, and he can deny permission for any reason at
all.

Homeschooling instantly changes from a God-given right to a privilege
that hangs on the mood of a judge.

By forcing an unhappy child to stay in the system that is failing
them, S.B. 110 heartlessly maximizes the likelihood of punishment but
minimizes the opportunity for a student to get a second chance.
Children with bad attendance records may be the children who need
homeschooling the most.

Action Requested:

1. If you are represented by any of the legislators listed below
please call them immediately and ask them to withdraw their support
for this bill.

Your message can be based on the points in the "Background" section,
or as simple as: "Please withdraw your support for S.B. 110. It is
unconstitutional because it allows a judge to take away a parent's
right to homeschool before a fair trial."

2. Inform other homeschool families of the danger of this bill since
one of the bill's sponsors may be trying persuade homeschool families
to support this bill.

Senators:

Sen. Dave Knudsen
Home: 605-338-9431
Business: 605-357-1222
Fax: 605-335-3639

Sen. John Koskan
Home: 605-452-3448
Business: 605-452-3422

Sen. Garry Moore
Home: 605-665-2301
Capitol: 605-224-5951
Business: 605-665-3294
Fax: 605-665-3398

Sen. Dan Sutton
Home: 605-997-3328
Business: 605-997-3777

Representatives:

Joni M. Cutler
Home: 605-371-1120
Capitol: 605-224-6877
Business: 605-323-6548
Fax: 605-361-5954

Thomas Deadrick
Home: 605-337-3999
Capitol: 605-773-3851
Business: 605-337-3021
Fax: 605-337-3811

Margaret V. Gillespie
Home: 605-987-3672
Business: 605-934-2140
Fax: 605-934-2551

Pat Haley
Home: 605-352-4969
Capitol: 605-224-5951
Business: 605-352-5875
Fax: 605-352-8171

Dale Hargens
Home: 605-853-2142
Capitol: 605-870-1459
Business: 605-853-2142
Fax: 605-853-0273

Thomas Hennies
Home: 605-348-0372

Ed McLaughlin
Home: 605-343-8713
Capitol: 605-224-0411
Business: 605-343-8713
Fax: 605-348-6708

Gordon Pederson
Home: 605-279-2610
Capitol: 605-224-0411
Fax: 605-279-2610

Tim Rounds
Home: 605-224-6588
Capitol: 605-224-6588
Business: 605-224-8799
Fax: 605-224-8795

Hal G. Wick
Home: 605-332-1360
Fax: 605-332-4365

Mark Willadsen
Home: 605-361-6104
Capitol: 605-224-4200
Business: 605-332-2130
Fax: 605-332-0459

Use our legislative toolbox at http://capwiz.com/hslda/home/ to
determine if one of these is your senator or representative.

Background:

1. The U.S. Constitution prohibits a person from being punished
before a fair trial. A person who has been accused of a crime is
presumed innocent. It is unconstitutional to take away someone's
freedom while they are still presumed innocent.

2. After a fair trial, if a person is actually found guilty of
failing to send his child to school, the judge under current law has
all the power he needs to make sure the person obeys the law in the
future. The judge can impose significant fines and imprisonment. No
new law is necessary.

3. S.B. 110 does not treat all families accused of truancy equally.
If two accused parents decide to take their children out of a public
school that is failing their children and put them in another
educational setting, the parent who wants to put his child in a
private school has an unfettered right. The parent who wants to
provide alternative instruction does not. The judge is not allowed to
substitute his own opinion for the parent's in the first case, but he
would be in the second case. Therefore, S.B. 110 is discriminatory.

4. When a child misses many school days, there is always a reason.
It may be prolonged illness, threats by bullies, intimidation,
humiliation by a teacher, ostracism by fellow students, unmet needs,
or chronic feelings of failure or helplessness. These children may
feel they are being forced into an education that simply does not fit
them. With homeschooling, the education can be tailor-made to fit the
child perfectly. It is heartless to give a judge power to prevent a
student from homeschooling when the parents know it is his very best
hope for a successful education.

5. It is bad policy to focus on truancy, which is a symptom, rather
than on the underlying causes. Truancy is only a problem when a child
hates the kind of education he's receiving. In contrast, truancy is
essentially non-existent among homeschool and private school students.

6. If schools are given the power to prevent a child from starting a
homeschool program, it is easy to envision this power being abused.
School districts fearful of losing funds through shrinking enrollment
might be quick to use this new power to prevent more students from
leaving. New powers are often used in unexpected ways.

7. Some families decide to homeschool after conflicts with school
administrators who often help parents conclude that the public system
is not best for their child. These conflicts sometimes bring threats
of truancy charges. All these families might lose their right to
homeschool under S.B. 110.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely,


Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> There may be no such thing as a free lunch...

...but there is a way to get a free membership! Through our
Three-for-Free program, you can get a free one-year renewal for
simply referring three of your homeschooling friends into
membership with HSLDA.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=2078

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