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Rhode Island

April 5, 2010

Truancy Threatened Over “Locator Card”

John Blanch (name changed to protect privacy) filed a notice of intent in Chariho in January and received a polite letter back inviting him to meet with school officials to discuss curriculum and fill out a “locator card.” John checked with HSLDA, and we confirmed that neither a meeting nor a “locator card” are legally required.

In a few days a truant officer showed up at the door. He threatened John’s family with truancy proceedings if he did not submit to the meeting and fill out the “locator card.” (Public school students—but not homeschool students—are required to submit a “locator card”.)

Dismayed that the “invitation” had morphed into a threat to take him to court, John quickly sought follow-up guidance from HSLDA. Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff, surprised at the aggressive posture of the truant officer, suggested that John contact the assistant superintendent and ask her to put into writing the message the truant officer was apparently trying to deliver on her behalf.

The assistant superintendent promptly replied. She dropped the demand for a meeting, as well as the demand for the locator card. She said all she wanted was for John to submit some curriculum information.

He submitted brief information about the curriculum his family uses, and the matter was concluded.