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2/1/2008 1:38:14 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
District of Columbia--Weathering the Storm in the Wake of Tragedy

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 1, 2008

District of Columbia--Weathering the Storm in the Wake of Tragedy

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

In the wake of the recent tragedy surrounding Banita Jacks, the legal
atmosphere of homeschooling has been changing.

In the weeks following the tragedy, a member family received a visit
from the District of Columbia Child Protective Services. While the
allegations were not about homeschooling, after the caseworker learned
that the family teaches their three children at home, the caseworker
warned the family to expect homeschooling to become part of the
investigation. The caseworker warned the family that because of the
recent deaths of four young girls in D.C., Child Protective Services
was "really going to crack down" on homeschooling. The caseworker even
suggested that the family get an attorney.

Mayor Adrian Fenty has promised to establish a system to "better
track" homeschooling families in the District of Columbia. Mayor
Fenty is following through on that promise, and the Office of the
State Superintendent of Education is currently working to develop
policies on homeschool notification and attendance.

HSLDA is actively working to preserve homeschooling freedom in the
District. Recently, Mike Smith, president of HSLDA, and I met with
those responsible for the policies, and we continue to actively
communicate with them. We have explained to them what the D.C. law
requires, and we will work to preserve homeschoolers' freedom in the
District of Columbia.

For now, there is no need to change your current home education
program, but we will keep you updated as things progress. Please feel
free to contact our office with any questions.

Sincerely,


Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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