April 10, 2003

Family Gains Reprieve from Juvenile Court

When HSLDA attorney Scott Woodruff attended a hearing for fifteen-year-old Shannon Walker (name changed) of Virginia, he was surprised to be informed by the probation officer that the judge was planning to rule against his client and send homeschooled Shannon back to school.

Shannon's mother decided in early February to withdraw her from public school in order to homeschool. Mrs. Walker notified the school superintendent with a telephone call, and later submitted a letter informing the superintendent of her intent to homeschool. Because the letter was not sufficient to qualify as a notice of intent, the superintendent filed a petition in juvenile court alleging that Shannon was a child in need of supervision due to 47 consecutive unexcused absences.

HSLDA worked with Mrs. Walker to file a corrected notice of intent, and the HSLDA Litigation team contacted the superintendent to discuss the allegations and how they were being dealt with. In court on March 24, Attorney Woodruff got the prosecutor to agree to postpone the hearing in order to resolve the issues, and we expect the case to be dismissed.

Shannon, meanwhile, is free to continue progressing daily in her studies at home.