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September 14, 2006

Family Summoned to Court

The Rivers* family was shocked when a deputy sheriff showed up at their door in Ouachita Parish earlier this summer and served them with a court summons. After closing their door and reading the documents the family learned that they were being called in for a truancy hearing. Desperate for help in a time of need, the Rivers called Home School Legal Defense Association.

The Rivers had never been in trouble before now. In fact, they had never been contacted by the local parish officials since their decision to beginning teaching their son at home four years before.

Since the hearing was only a few weeks away, HSLDA Staff Attorney Tj Schmidt immediately began contacting various parish officials. After speaking with the juvenile court, several local school officials, and the attendance officers for the parish, Schmidt learned that the Rivers family had been turned over to the court for truancy when their son’s name could not be found as a home study or private school student on the Ouachita Parish lists.

The family had filed as a private school with the Louisiana Department of Education (LA DOE) only days before for the 2006-2007 school year. With a copy of that information Schmidt was able to get the court to remove the Rivers from hearing schedule. After receiving confirmation that the LA DOE had received the family's notice, HSLDA convinced the court to drop the case entirely.

* Not their real name.