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September 2, 2004

Texas School District Threatens Homeschooler With Truancy Warning

On August 26, 2004, an HSLDA member family received a letter from the Attendance Specialist of the Houston Independent School District. The poorly written letter, dated August 20, stated that,

I have information that last year she [family's student] was home school[ed]. Please provide proof that she is home school[ed]. I need proof of materials that were purchase[d] and who is presenting the curriculum...Failure to do so will result in a court case.

In addition to the letter, the Attendance Specialist attached an intimidating "truancy warning" and a "Home School Information" form to be completed.

The member family alerted HSLDA and Attorney Chris Klicka responded promptly. In a letter to the school district, dated August 27, 2004, Klicka made it clear that the truancy warning was completely unwarranted and heavy-handed. He noted that the family had already notified the school district that they were homeschooling and that all the demands in the school district's letter exceeded the requirements of law and violated the family's civil and statutory rights. He specified that no annual notification, completion of school district forms, or providing "proof" of curriculum is required in the State of Texas.

Nothing further has been heard from the school district.

If you live in the Houston Independent School District and receive a truancy warning and/or school district forms to fill out and return to the state, please contact our office immediately.