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3/6/2008 4:28:00 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA--Response to Ruling of California Court of Appeal

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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HSLDA--Response to Ruling of California Court of Appeal:
"Homeschooling is Illegal in California"

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

On February 28, 2008, the California Court of Appeals issued a ruling
in a juvenile court proceeding that declared that almost all forms of
homeschooling in California are in violation of state law. (Private
tutoring by certified teachers remains an option.) Moreover, the court
ruled that parents possess no constitutional right to homeschool their
children.

This case involved a family with a 20-year history of litigation in
the juvenile courts over the care of their children. Prior adverse
decisions had been rendered by the courts.

This family was not a member of Home School Legal Defense Association.
They were represented by court-appointed counsel throughout the
proceeding. Since it was by law a confidential proceeding, to the
best of our knowledge neither HSLDA nor any other legal advocacy
organization had any knowledge that the right of all homeschoolers in
California was depending upon the outcome of this family's case.

There are two appellate options at this time.

First, we have been told that the family is appealing this decision to
the California Supreme Court with their California counsel.

HSLDA will file an amicus brief on behalf of our 13,500 member
families in California. We will argue that a proper interpretation of
California statutes makes it clear that parents may legally teach
their own children under the private-school exemption. However, if the
court disagrees with our statutory argument, we will argue that the
California statutes as interpreted by the Court of Appeal violate the
constitutional rights of parents to direct the education and
upbringing of their children.

HSLDA welcomes other organizations and persons to assist with the
amicus process so that a full defense of home education, religious
freedom, and parental rights can be given to the California Supreme
Court.

The second appellate option is to seek to have this particular
decision "depublished." Depublication is a decision that can only be
made by the California Supreme Court. If the Court determines that the
decision should stand, regarding this family, on the facts presented,
but that the general pronouncements of law for all of homeschooling
should not be determined by this case, then the Court has the option
of "depublishing" the Court of Appeal's decision. This would mean that
the case is not binding precedent in California and has no effect on
any other family.

HSLDA will take the lead in an effort to seek to have this case
depublished.

Homeschooling has offered a great opportunity for families to give
their children a quality education with a moral and philosophical
approach that is consistent with each family's beliefs.

The ability to homeschool freely in California should not depend upon
one family in a closed-door proceeding. All families should have the
right to be heard since the rights of all are clearly at stake.

Sincerely,

J. Michael Smith
HSLDA President

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-> Extreme makeovers are for extreme circumstances...

Most homeschools don't need an extreme makeover, but there is
something to be said for attention to detail and recognition of
accomplishments. Watch the media and you'll soon see that not
everyone wants home educators and homeschooling to look good.
HSLDA works hard to shed light on the good work of home educators
so it's obvious that we don't need someone "making-over" our
homeschools. Join HSLDA and help us show the world that we're fine
as we are . . . thank you!

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1943

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Fax: (540) 338-2733
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