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July 9, 2007

Fredericksburg Letter May Encourage Groundless Reports

The Fredericksburg supervisor of student services sent a letter to public school families telling them: “If you have concerns about a child aged birth through 21, who is a resident of Fredericksburg City and being home schooled, please call the guidance office at the appropriate school….”

The primary purpose of the letter was to discuss the availability of special education and related services. This invitation to report homeschool families for no reason other than a vague “concern,” however, is troubling. Even without such encouragement, homeschool families are often the subject of spurious complaints. This invitation could easily result in additional innocent families being subjected to needless investigation by government agencies. The invitation tends to perpetuate unfortunate myths about homeschooling.

An alert member of Home School Legal Defense Association sent the letter to HSLDA attorney Scott A. Woodruff. He immediately called the author of the letter and explained the problematic nature of the quoted statement. He requested that the author not publish it again. Once he realized the potential problems the statement could cause, the author quickly agreed to replace this with a more congenial and neutral statement when the letter was sent again.