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6/11/2010 5:25:48 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Virginia--Warren County RE Policy Advances

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Virginia--Warren County RE Policy Advances

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Last night Dr. Mary Kay Clark, HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff,
and others spoke to the Warren County School Board about changes they
would like to see in the current draft of the new religious exemption
policy.

Efforts to convince the board to add a provision giving notice to the
homeschool community before changing the policy again in the future
were not successful. However, the board agreed to delete the
requirement of supplying a birth date (which would have created a
security risk) for a child and replace it with supplying age in years
and months. The board also agreed to edit the policy to state
specifically that any list of religiously exempt students would not be
available to the public.

The religious exemption statute was intended to be a pillar of
freedom. School board member Joanne Cherefko, however, supported
several ideas that would have turned the exemption in the direction of
becoming a tool of control--including requiring exempt families to
submit to periodic reviews, and allowing the wishes of children to
trump the right of parents to make educational decisions.

After lengthy and rather intense discussion, however, no changes were
made to the draft in relation to those two issues.

Therefore, the policy that will move forward toward a final vote in
July is the policy previously presented:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=8443 with the birth date
requirement deleted and privacy protection for the list of excused
students.

The current draft is good, but not excellent. It lacks many of the
helpful features of the "consensus policy" that homeschoolers
presented to the board in April. On the other hand, it also lacks
many of the features favored by those who want to use it as a tool of
control.

Because the draft is good, I urge families to plan to come to the July
board meeting to support its final passage with no further
modifications.

Sincerely,

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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