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September 22, 2006

Legal Threat Evaporates after HSLDA Intervenes

Like many children with frequent illnesses, Kristen* had many absences from public school. Officials seemed very understanding of these absences—until Opal, Kristen’s mom, decided to homeschool her.

Opal sent a courteous letter explaining that as of April 1, Kristen would be educated in a home-based private school. A week later she received a letter saying she was being referred for truancy.

The caseworker threatened Opal with legal action. Opal cooperated fully to avoid legal trouble. She had frequent meetings with the caseworker and showed her Kristen’s work and books. The following summer, Opal joined Home School Legal Defense Association.

When the new school year began in August, Opal met with the caseworker again. She agreed that Kristen was doing fine.

The caseworker had no more contact with Opal until the following May, when the caseworker wrote and chastened her for not coming in for monitoring more often (although no meetings had been scheduled). As requested, Opal attended another meeting, during which the caseworker threatened her with legal action. Opal asked HSLDA for help.

HSLDA attorney Scott Woodruff consulted with Opal, reviewed the facts carefully, and determined that this harassment had gone on long enough. He wrote a letter to the caseworker in which he firmly explained there were no grounds for any legal action against the family. He asserted there was no need for her to have any further contact with the family and requested that she send all future correspondence to him rather than the family.

We have heard nothing from her since. Her silence is a vindication for this South Bend family.

*Not their real names