January 19, 2011

HSLDA Helps Family Avoid Truancy Charges

When a Colorado family’s special needs son began struggling in public school, the parents decided to homeschool him. Having maintained good communication with the public school, the family thought that verbal notification of their son’s withdrawal was sufficient. However, the district homeschool coordinator and attendance advocate insisted that the family submit a description of their curriculum before they would formally change his student status in the system. They gave the family a deadline, stating that if they did not receive acceptable information, they would initiate truancy proceedings.

The family contacted HSLDA for advice. Staff attorney Mike Donnelly sent a letter to the attendance advocate explaining that truancy charges were unwarranted, not only because the family was in compliance with Colorado’s homeschool law but also because they had decided to homeschool at the end of the previous year and did not even send their son to public school in August 2010.

For the next month, HSLDA mediated communication between the family and the district. Finally, shortly before Christmas, HSLDA received written confirmation that the matter was concluded with no curriculum submission or truancy proceedings necessary.