July 17, 2001
Mother Slapped with Truancy Charges

AUSTIN COUNTY—While a Home School Legal Defense Association member was in the process of removing her child from public school in Austin County because of neurological problems, the local public school slapped the mother with truancy charges and a judge placed her on probation for 30 days.

When the mother explained that she was beginning to teach her daughter at home, the judge-who admitted he really did not know the law regarding home schooling-told her she could continue to home school if she would agree to one of two options. First, the judge said the mother could agree to report back him to him every six months and have her daughter take the annual Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) test used in the public schools. In the alternative, he said, she could have her 15-year-old pass the GED. However, neither option is required by state law.

HSLDA's legal staff provided counsel to this mother on her rights and helped her work through the situation-resulting in the successful withdrawal of her daughter from public school to freely home school without any of the judge's restrictions.