From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


8/3/2006 1:28:32 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
South Dakota--Fight for Privacy Continues

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

August 3, 2006

South Dakota--Fight for Privacy Continues

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

On July 21, 2006, Rapid City's Home School Secretary sent homeschool
families a troubling letter that was at odds with the landmark privacy
policy HSLDA, local homeschool families and the school board hammered
out in 2004.

The letter urged families to return two forms "as soon as possible"--
a "Homeschool Temporary Waiver of Confidentiality" form and an
"Alternative School Program Partial Waiver of Confidentiality" form.
The only explanation the letter provided as to why families were
suddenly being urged to sign these forms was that it was "very

Home School Legal Defense Association Staff Attorney Scott Woodruff
called the Home School Secretary. He asked if families' privacy would
be jeopardized if they simply ignored the forms. She could not
provide an answer.

The privacy policy adopted in June of 2004 says that a specified
official may "provide a form to a family...asking them if they wish to
receive registration information" from the local school. The policy
also clearly states that families are free to ignore the form.
Paragraph VI says, "If the family does not complete the form ... there
shall be no waiver and the information shall not be released."

This policy requires that families' privacy be protected even if they
choose to ignore the "partial waiver" form.

While Rapid City's privacy policy allows families to temporarily waive
confidentiality if they want to, it only applies in very narrow
circumstances--if there is an "emergency" or if specified officials
are not available. The "temporary waiver" form included in the July
letter would be suitable for use in one of these rare instances.
There is no justification, however, for mailing these out
blanket-style to all families and asking them for signatures.

HSLDA will take steps to make sure that the administration understands
that families' privacy must be protected even if they disregard the
"partial waiver" form, and will strongly discourage them from sending
"temporary waiver" forms out blanket-style again. With the help of
vigilant homeschool families, we will defend the important privacy
protections we won in 2004.


Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

-> How many news articles did you read this morning over your

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