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September 20, 2007

School District Sends Social Worker to Collect Evaluation

On July 24, 2007, the Martins (name changed to protect family’s privacy) received a visit from a social worker. The social worker asked to speak with the children, but the request was denied by Mr. Martin. The social worker eventually backed down, but left a paper that said there would be no problems as long as the children’s year-end evaluations were sent right away.

The Martins contacted the Home School Legal Defense Association for advice.

HSLDA Attorney Chris Klicka found out that the Martins had already sent their evaluation via certified mail, even though their evaluation was not legally due until September because they originally notified of their homeschool program in late September. Since there is no standard deadline established by state law for submitting an annual evaluation, there was no need for a social worker to request in person the Martin’s evaluation.

Klicka sent a letter to the Miami-Dade school district to inform officials that they cannot create deadline for evaluations, and that sending a social worker was entirely unnecessary. He explained that the Martin family had been homeschooling for a number of years and that there was no evidence of them ever neglecting the education of their children. Therefore, Klicka wrote, the Martins would decline the social worker’s request to speak with their children.

The letter resolved the issue as the family has not been bothered since.

HSLDA Social Services Contact Policy

We desire to advise our members in every contact with a social worker and/or police officer in investigations resulting from allegations of abuse or neglect. If homeschooling is an issue, we will represent our member families until the issue is resolved. On Fourth Amendment unreasonable search and seizure issues, HSLDA will advise our members whenever the privacy of their home is violated by forced or coerced entry for the purpose of an unsubstantiated investigation. HSLDA membership benefits do not extend to court actions resulting from non-homeschooling matters. However, in circumstances where there is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment, HSLDA may, as we have done in the past, choose to take the case in an effort to establish legal precedent.