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9/22/2009 11:59:02 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Rhode Island--North Kingstown Sends Truant Officer

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Rhode Island--North Kingstown Sends Truant Officer

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

This morning I received a report that a truant officer came to the
home of a North Kingstown homeschool family. His primary complaint
was that the family had not responded to a letter the school system
had sent. The letter said the family must meet with a school official
and must identify the grade level of their child.

The family explained to the truant officer that they did not want to
meet with a school official, and that this part of the policy was
inserted without consulting with local homeschoolers. She also
explained that negotiations and meetings were being planned to change
that part of the policy. She said she would be willing to identify
the grade level of her child.

As the truant officer left, he appeared to be satisfied.

The family called Candy Lodge and provided the grade level for child.
Candy Lodge said she would forward the family's name to the school
committee for action at their next meeting.

Neither state law, nor the current North Kingstown policy, nor the
policy that was developed by consensus, require that a parent identify
the grade level of a child. The family above made a good strategic
decision, however, to disclose the grade level of their child since it
was a minor concession and appeared to fully resolve the situation
with the truant officer.

It is not uncommon for one homeschooled child to be operating on
multiple grade levels at one time. Many homeschool families do not
even try to pigeonhole their child into a specific grade. In fact,
when a family homeschools, putting a child into a hard and fast grade
level is simply not necessary. As we work to revise the North
Kingstown homeschool policy, hopefully it will become clear that
parents are not required to identify the grade of their child.

If you receive any letter or other communication from any North
Kingstown official, please let me know immediately. Your situation
may be different than others. Do not assume that your situation is
exactly like everyone else's.

Sincerely,

Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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