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June 4, 2012
On the Case:
Upset Neighbors Cause Problems for Homeschooling Family
|Staff Attorney Darren Jones is a member of HSLDA’s litigation team. He and his wife homeschool.
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The Kestars (names changed to protect privacy) recently moved to Pennsylvania next to neighbors who objected to their homeschooling their son Jacob. The Kestars’ neighbors called the Children and Youth Services Agency alleging that Jacob did not attend school. Despite the fact that Jacob was participating in a comprehensive 9th grade curriculum, the agency opened an investigation of educational neglect.
After a visit from an investigator escalated into a court hearing, the Kestars called Home School Legal Defense Association. The purpose of the hearing was to examine evidence that Jacob was truant and that the Kestars had neglected his education. The agency recommended to the court that Jacob “attend public school daily.”
During the investigation and subsequent legal proceedings, the Kestars carried out an earlier plan to move within Pennsylvania to a more permanent location. HSLDA assisted the Kestars in notifying their current school district that they were moving, as required by law.
Unfortunately, the Children and Youth Services Agency decided to proceed with prosecuting the Kestars for educational neglect. Thankfully, HSLDA was able to present evidence before the hearing that the Kestars were currently homeschooling in compliance with Pennsylvania homeschool law in their current school district. After examining the evidence, and confirming that the Kestars had moved and notified the school district, the prosecutor decided to dismiss the case.