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The California Education Department's misguided determination to stamp out private homeschooling almost prevented a family from receiving vital help for their son, but Home School Legal Defense Association stepped in to protect their right to homeschool.
This is the letter that Mrs. Rink* wrote to us:
Dear Mr. Smith,
Last week I spoke to Pat Ramirez about needing information to help us with our son Brian* to be able to continue with his speech therapy. For the past two years Brian has received speech therapy at a public school in our hometown of Benson,* California and we expected to do so again this year. However, we got a call from his teacher a couple of weeks ago about where our son would be attending school. Mrs. Ireland* has been very wonderful with our son and she in turn saw that he was making great leaps and bounds with his speech, not only while he was with her, but from the help that he was getting from home. She was not questioning the fact that his schooling was legitimate, but another teacher was there when she was filling out paperwork, and told her that our son would not be eligible to receive speech therapy at the public school as California law did not recognize a homeschool as a private school. Mrs. Ireland called us right away to see if there was anything that we could give to her in writing that would help her present our son's case to her program director. That is when we called Central Christian Academy* (CCA), the school we are joining, and they sent a fax showing that he was enrolled there in first grade. We also called for help from you at HSLDA and I wanted to do all that I could to keep our son in the program. Mrs. Ireland had said that this year our son should only need speech therapy once a week and that it would be for the purpose of fine-tuning the things that he has learned.
I was able to go to my meeting with a letter from CCA and from HSLDA faxed the same day. At the meeting with me, Mrs. Ireland said the program director had talked to her the afternoon before and asked if our son really needed to be in the program. She told him that Brian really does and that he has accomplished a lot in the past two years and that he was getting help from several family members at home and she wanted to help with the fine tuning. He said that he would do all he could to help keep our son in the program. At her meeting with the program director she presented him with the two letters and information from our son's file.
We are very happy to report that our son will stay in the speech therapy program again this year. We had several people praying for us in this situation and we were also praying for all involved in searching information for us there at HSLDA. We (and all of our family) are extremely grateful that the Lord has blessed us with all of you. This was a very upsetting situation that we were faced with for the first time.
May God Bless You All,
Mr. and Mrs. Rink
* [names changed to protect privacy]