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2/15/2012 10:51:57 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Mississippi -- Calls Needed to Stop Worst Bill Ever

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Mississippi -- Calls Needed to Stop Worst Bill Ever

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Your calls and emails are needed to stop Mississippi House Bill 464,
which threatens your very right to homeschool your children. This bill
would impose a duty on school attendance officers to collect and
maintain unspecified and unlimited information on all children being
homeschooled and to report this information to the judge of the youth
court or chancery court. This information would be used "for the
purpose of exempting such children from the truancy laws of this
state." There is no requirement in the bill that there be any case
before the judge involving the child whose home instruction program
was being reviewed. The judge could simply review the information from
the attendance officer and decide that a child's home instruction
program was insufficient, using whatever standard the judge wanted to
apply. The fact that the parent had filed the required certificate of
enrollment with the attendance officer would not be sufficient.

Does any of this sound familiar?

On March 23, 2011, Judge Joe Dale Walker of the Chancery Court of the
Thirteenth District issued an order requiring attendance officers to
provide to him the names and addresses of all students and their
parents within his jurisdiction who were in a home instruction
program. There was no case in Judge Walker's court involving any
homeschooling family for which he supposedly needed this information.
According to Judge Walker, the purpose of his order was "to enforce
the compulsory school attendance law...." HSLDA represented families
from each of the five counties within the Thirteenth District and
challenged Judge Walker's order in the Mississippi Supreme Court. On
April 21, 2011, the court granted our petition and vacated the order.
(You may read our article about this case at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=13771 .)

But the battle is not over. On February 13, 2012, Representative Bob
Evans (District 91) filed HB 464, which would accomplish even more
than Judge Walker envisioned in his order last year. (Perhaps it is no
mere coincidence that Representative Evans and Judge Walker share the
same hometown--Monticello.) If this bill passes, youth court and
chancery court judges will rule homeschooling in Mississippi. They
alone will have the authority to decide whether a family may continue
to homeschool, even when the family has not been accused of failing to
comply with the law. Mississippi would change from one of the best
states in which to homeschool to the absolute worst.

HB 464 has been referred to the House Education Committee and to the
House Judiciary B Committee. Representative Evans and members of these
committees need to hear from thousands of Mississippi homeschoolers
who are willing to fight to preserve their God-given right to teach
their children at home without tyrannical government oversight.

Action Requested:

1. Please call and/or email Representative Evans and as many members
of the House Education Committee and House Judiciary B Committee as
possible with this message or something similar in your own words:

"Please vote against House Bill 464, which would require school
attendance officers to collect and maintain unspecified and unlimited
information on all children being homeschooled and to report this
information to the judge of the youth court or chancery court. Based
on this information, judges would have the authority to permit or deny
a family's right to conduct a home instruction program, even without
any case before the court. Current law provides an appropriate
procedure for enforcing the compulsory attendance requirements. "


Representative Bob Evans' contact information is as follows:

Capitol: 601-359-9393
Email: bevans@house.ms.gov
Telephone: 601-359-9393

Monticello: 601-587-9313 (H)
601-587-0615 (W)


The members of the House Education Committee are as follows:

Last names beginning with A-M please contact:

John L. Moore, Chairman;
601-359-3311
jmoore@house.ms.gov

Alyce G. Clarke, Vice-Chairman
601-359-3096
aclarke@house.ms.gov

William Tracy Arnold
662-728-9951
warnold@house.ms.gov

Nick Bain
662-287-1620
nbain@house.ms.gov

Toby Barker
601-359-2436
tbarker@house.ms.gov

Randy P. Boyd
662-231-0133
rboyd@house.ms.gov

Clara Burnett
601-359-2422
cburnett@house.ms.gov

Credell Calhoun
601-359-3327
ccalhoun@house.ms.gov

Gary Chism
662-327-0777
gchism@house.ms.gov

Carolyn Crawford
228-452-5029 (H)
ccrawford@house.ms.gov

Becky Currie
601-833-5953
bcurrie@house.ms.gov

Dennis DeBar
601-394-4400
ddebar@house.ms.gov

Reecy L. Dickson
601-359-9473
rdickson@house.ms.gov

Chuck Espy
601-359-2421
cespy@house.ms.gov

James Evans
601-359-3349
jevans@house.ms.gov

Last names beginning with N-Z please contact:

Herb Frierson
601-359-2434

Joe C. Gardner
601-359-3351
jgardner@house.ms.gov

Jeffrey S. Guice
228-875-1131
jguice@house.ms.gov

Eugene Forrest Hamilton
601-359-2461
efhamilton@house.ms.gov

Gregory Holloway
601-359-5334
gholloway@house.ms.gov

Wanda Jennings
601-359-9397
wjennings@house.ms.gov

Rita Martinson
601-359-2438
rmartinson@house.ms.gov

Steve Massengill
662-815-5000
smassengil@house.ms.gov

Brad Mayo
662-234-8111
bmayo@house.ms.gov

Kevin McGee
601-939-4910
kmcgee@house.ms.gov

Pat Nelson
662-393-6210
pnelson@house.ms.gov

Rufus Straughter
601-359-3396
rstraughter@house.ms.gov

Sara R. Thomas
601-359-9465
sthomas@house.ms.gov

Joseph L. Warren
601-359-3359
jwarren@house.ms.gov

Tom Weathersby
601-359-4076
tweathersby@house.ms.gov

Linda Whittington
601-359-2845
lwhittington@house.ms.gov

The members of the House Judiciary B Committee are as follows:

Last names beginning with A-M please contact:

Andy Gipson, Chairman
601-359-9488
agipson@house.ms.gov

Kimberly Campbell Buck, Vice-Chairman
601-359-3331
kbuck@house.ms.gov

Willie Bailey
601-359-1541
wbailey@house.ms.gov

Nick Bain
662-287-1620
nbain@house.ms.gov

David Baria
228-270-0001
dbaria@house.ms.gov

Charles Busby
228-769-0501
cbusby@house.ms.gov

Gary Chism
662-327-0777
gchism@house.ms.gov

Dennis DeBar
601-394-4400
ddebar@house.ms.gov

Casey Eure
228-297-2849
ceure@house.ms.gov

Jeffrey S. Guice
228-875-1131
jguice@house.ms.gov

Joey Hood
662-285-4663
jhood@house.ms.gov

Kevin Horan
662-226-2185
khoran@house.ms.gov

Last names beginning with N-Z please contact:

Timmy Ladner
228-518-0878
tladner@house.ms.gov

Sherra Hillman Lane
601-359-2861
slane@house.ms.gov

Sam C. Mims, V
601-359-2430
smims@house.ms.gov

Alex Monsour
601-415-7274
amonsour@house.ms.gov

John L. Moore
601-359-3311
jmoore@house.ms.gov

Brad A. Oberhousen
601-352-2990
boberhousen@house.ms.gov

Ferr Smith
601-359-9391
fsmith@house.ms.gov

Greg Snowden
601-359-3304
greg@gregsnowden.com

Tommy Taylor
662-843-8014
ttaylor@house.ms.gov

Joseph L. Warren
601-359-3359
jwarren@house.ms.gov

Jason White
662-289-8888
jwhite@house.ms.gov

Adrienne Wooten
601-359-2420
awooten@house.ms.gov

Henry Zuber III
601-359-2508
hzuber@house.ms.gov

2. Please forward this email to every family you know who is not a
member of HSLDA and urge them to contact Representative Evans and
members of the committees.

To view the text of this bill, please go to
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=13772

Please call or email today!

Very truly yours,

Dewitt T. Black, III
Senior Counsel
HSLDA



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