From the HSLDA E-lert Service:
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Date:
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2/8/2013 10:15:44 AM
Scott Woodruff--HSLDA
Iowa: Calls Needed to Support Bill Protecting Children of Divorce

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Iowa: Calls Needed to Support Bill Protecting Children of Divorce

Dear Iowa Members and Friends:

If you live in the district of Representative Beth Wessel-Kroeschell,
we need your help in support of House File (HF) 109, an important bill
that HSLDA and the Network of Iowa Home Educators are advancing. We
are sending this e-lert just to ZIP codes that cover at least part of
her district--roughly the southern half of Ames and the rural area
south to about 280th Street, East to about I-35, and West to the Boone
County line.

HF 109 will prevent a judge from ordering a homeschooled child into
public school just because a spouse who leaves in the midst of a
divorce demands it--unless there is good reason. There will be an
important subcommittee hearing on the bill this coming Wednesday,
February 13.

ACTION REQUESTED

If she is your representative, please call her before Wednesday,
February 13 and ask her to support HF 109. Your message can be as
simple as, "Please support HF 109. Hurting kids should not be hurt
more by being jerked out of the educational setting that is normal for
them just because of a divorce."

Please call her at (515) 451-4307. Or you may call and leave a
message at (515) 281-3221. Go online at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17137 to find out if she is your
representative.

BACKGROUND

No one wants his family torn apart by divorce. But when it happens,
the hurt is often compounded when a misguided judge suddenly yanks the
children out of the educational setting that is normal for them and
orders them into a setting that is strange and unsettling. The kids
are under too much stress already. They should be spared the
additional distress of being jerked out of their familiar schooling.
Keeping their education "as is" can be an oasis of stability when they
feel like the rest of their world is spinning out of control.

If a family has homeschooled their kids for years, but then the father
moves out, files for divorce, and asks the judge to order that
homeschooling be prohibited, right now the judge has "blank check"
authority to forbid homeschooling. He can yank the kids out of
homeschooling for virtually no reason except that the unfaithful
spouse wants it.

The same tragedy can happen if kids have been attending a church
school for years and their Dad violates his marriage vow and suddenly
decides he's against Christian education.

House File (HF) 109 helps protect hurting kids from being hurt more by
giving guidance to judges. The bill tells judges that they must lean
toward keeping the kids in whatever educational setting that is
familiar to them. In legal terms, the bill creates a "rebuttable
presumption" that it is in the children's best interest to stay in
their familiar educational setting.

"Rebuttable presumption" does not mean that the judge is obligated to
keep the kids in the same setting--but there must be actual evidence
if he is going to order that their education be changed. The judge's
own personal opinion, or prejudice, or philosophical or political
opposition--which are often the real reason a change is ordered--will
no longer suffice.

The sad fact is that some judges are simply hostile to homeschooling
and Christian education and will never change their minds. This bill
will protect hurting kids from being hurt more by those judges.

In a very few cases, this bill may prevent a parent from switching
from public or private schooling to homeschooling in the middle of a
divorce. However, we believe this happens quite rarely. And in any
event it's a very small price to pay for the protection it will give
the vast majority of children in this situation.

The bill has broad support--even the Iowa Department of Education is
in favor.

HSLDA and Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators are united in
supporting this bill.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Sincerely,

Scott A. Woodruff
Senior Counsel
Home School Legal Defense Association

P.S. We greatly value you and your support--it is a privilege to serve
you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you
consider taking a moment today to join or to recommend us as we defend
the rights of homeschooling families? Join now:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17138

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-> How long are you in for?

Some families are facing what seems like a lifelong commitment to
homeschooling, with children at both ends of the spectrum -- some
graduating and some just reaching school age. If you're going to
be "in" for a while, consider a lifetime membership with HSLDA.
It's a good deal for families with more than 10 years of
homeschooling ahead.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1936

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