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January 28, 2010

Mother Faces False Truancy Charges

Right before Christmas, a Texas Home School Legal Defense Association member withdrew her son from public school to begin homeschooling him. She sent a letter to the school informing the administration of her decision to homeschool according to Texas law. However, shortly after sending the withdrawal letter, she received a request from the school to appear in person, sign withdrawal paperwork and submit a copy of her driver’s license.

Because this procedure is not required by law, she did not complete it. Nevertheless, the school insisted and mailed her forms to fill out regarding her homeschool program. Again, she declined to submit anything not required by law. Shortly thereafter, she received a summons to appear in court for truancy and discovered that the public school had not withdrawn her son but had been marking him absent!

HSLDA’s Texas attorney, Tom Sanders, immediately responded to the summons by sending a letter to the truancy court. He informed the court that the family was part of HSLDA and that the student was not truant, but homeschooled. Sanders’ letter indicated that he would be representing the family and preparing for a jury trial.

When Sanders spoke with court representatives, he was told that his letter was not sufficient and that the family would still be required to appear in court on the appointed date. However, as Sanders was drafting another letter, the court dismissed the case.