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10/28/2010 4:44:33 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Rhode Island--Chariho Refuses to Fix Mess

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Rhode Island--Chariho Refuses to Fix Mess

Dear HSLDA Members:

By a narrow margin, the Chariho School Committee on Tuesday refused to
fix the mess it has created in trying to arm-twist homeschoolers to
fill out locator cards. But it decided to revise the odious cards to
include a check box for homeschoolers!

There is no substitute for citizens taking responsibility for their
own education. It is now up to every homeschool family in Chariho to
understand and protect their rights and pass the message to others.
Here are some things to bear in mind.

1. Chariho's attorney wrote in a memo to Barry Ricci that "Chariho
will not refuse to review a home school plan because the parent of a
child fails to provide a locator card given that the parents are
providing Chariho with their address on another document." This means
that homeschoolers can simply refuse to touch a locator card, and
their homeschool program should still be approved, assuming they have
provided an appropriate address through some other means (i.e., letter
of intent).

2. Chariho's written homeschool policy does NOT require locator cards
for homeschoolers at this time. If the school committee were to deny
a family's application for refusal to submit one, it would be outside
the boundary of their own policy and state law.

3. If any family's homeschool application is denied, they can appeal
to the commissioner of education. While confident predictions cannot
be made, I am inclined to believe the commissioner would overturn a
denial for a reason so trivial and so unrelated to education.

4. If a family refuses to deal with the locator card, as is their
right, they may expect a visit from an attendance officer. While you
have no obligation to open the door for, talk to, or invite an
attendance officer on such a mission into your home, I recommend that
you first find out for sure why she is there. Then simply show her a
copy of your letter of intent, confirm that you live where she found
you, confirm that the document is your letter of intent, then bid her
good day. I recommend that you do not allow it to become a "snooping
expedition" in which the officer tries to get you to give up private
information.

5. If you are a member of HSLDA, remember that we are available 24-7
to help you respond to a truant officer at your door.

6. Elections are coming very soon. If the good citizens of Chariho
can unseat just two unfriendly committee members and replace them with
homeschool-friendly folks, this issue could suddenly swing in a more
reasonable direction.

7. The expense of sending truant officers to visit families may
eventually convince the committee that the game is not worth the
candle.

This issue is not over. When it comes up again, HSLDA and RIGHT will
again push for a policy that better protects liberty. In the
meantime, please send a note of thanks to the four committee members
(Vecchio, Carney, Abbott, Ure, and Cole) who provided sensible support
for homeschool families.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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