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12/28/2006 12:59:41 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New Jersey--West Windsor-Plainsboro Promises to Destroy Ill-gotten Personal Info

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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New Jersey--West Windsor-Plainsboro Promises to Destroy Ill-gotten
Personal Information


Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,


The superintendent of the West Windsor-Plainsboro school system
recently sent a letter to homeschool families telling them they "must"
submit certain personal information, including their children's
country of birth, language spoken at home, and race.

The letter said "the state of New Jersey" was seeking this
information. There is no law that requires homeschool families to
submit this information.

I called the superintendent, as well as the assistant superintendent
for pupil services. I left a message explaining that their demand for
information was improper and requested that they call me back so we
could resolve this.

This morning the assistant superintendent returned my call. He
immediately acknowledged that homeschool families are not required to
provide the information the school system was pursuing. He also
acknowledged that the state of New Jersey was not asking the school
system to collect this information from homeschool families. He
agreed to destroy all data homeschool families had submitted based on
the school system's erroneous letter.

In my conversation with him, it was apparent to me that the
unauthorized request for personal information was the result of one or
more simple misunderstandings, and not an attempt to create a new
policy or purposely inconvenience families.

Home School Legal Defense Association helps protect your right to
privacy. When trying to obtain personal information from families in
other situations, officials have often asked me, "What are your
clients trying to hide?" This deceptive ploy tries to turn the very
reasonable desire to protect one's privacy into an absurd accusation
of holding some guilty secret. My favorite reply to the official,
before I explain the constitutional basis for the right of privacy,
is: "Do you have curtains on your windows at home? What are YOU
trying to hide?" The same officials who want to manipulate families
to surrender their privacy, you see, have no intention of surrendering
their own.

We appreciate West Windsor-Plainsboro promptly and unconditionally
acknowledging that families have no duty to send the personal
information they requested.


Sincerely Yours,

Scott A. Woodruff, Attorney
Home School Legal Defense Association


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