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9/11/2006 11:32:39 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Alabama--School Districts Threaten Truancy Charges

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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September 11, 2006

Alabama--School Districts Threaten Truancy Charges

Dear Alabama members:

School districts in at least two counties in Alabama have threatened
to file truancy charges against all church school students in their
respective counties.

In late August, public school officials in Marion and Cherokee
counties sent letters to all church schools in their area, insisting
that the school administrators provide proof of nonprofit status. The
letter from Cherokee County also demanded that the schools provide a
letter from a sponsoring church indicating that the church is located
in Alabama. The letters threatened to file truancy charges against all
of the students enrolled in the church schools unless the information
was provided.

This is an important development since the vast majority of parents
providing home instruction to their children in Alabama do so through
enrollment in church schools.

I have sent letters to the public school officials on behalf of a
number of church schools advising them that Alabama law does not
require church schools to provide any such information to school
districts. I also told them that there was no legal basis to assert
that a child attending a church school which has not provided such
information is truant.

Any HSLDA member families threatened with truancy charges based on
their church school's refusal to provide this type of information
should contact us immediately for assistance. We are prepared to
defend our member families from such unwarranted charges. In the
meantime, parents with children enrolled in a church school should be
sure that they have filed the required church school enrollment form
with the local public school superintendent.

Sincerely,

Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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