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January 4, 2016

St. Mary’s County Violates School Exemption Law

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The parents of a 5-year-old boy in St. Mary’s County wanted their son to be exempt from compulsory school attendance for one year, as is their right under state law. They wrote an appropriate letter on July 26 to school officials. Instead of acknowledging the exemption within five days, as required under law, the officials replied two days later and said the family must fill out a form.

YOUR ATTORNEY Scott Woodruff

Members of HSLDA, the family asked us for help shortly thereafter.

HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott A. Woodruff wrote the officials in August pointing out that they were violating state law by failing to grant the exemption within five days, by insisting that a form be used, and by insisting (as the form did) that families provide written assurance that they will register their child for school the following year.

On August 8, a school representative responded by phone and said that she would write a note on the family’s initial letter stating that they are homeschoolers and therefore don’t need to fill out the form. Woodruff urged the parents to contact the representative and explain that the exemption has nothing to do with homeschooling, and that the school needed to give the family actual written confirmation of the exemption.

On August 10, a representative gave the family written confirmation that their son was exempt from compulsory attendance laws for one year.