September 29, 2010

Radford Acknowledges “Parent” Includes Person In Charge of Child

The Philips (name changed to protect their privacy) decided to take their 15-year-old son Glen out of public school in Radford and send him to live with trusted relatives in a different part of the state where he would receive home instruction.

When Radford high school officials noticed that Glen was not coming back, they demanded that the Philips file a notice of intent to homeschool. The Philips explained that Glen was no longer living with them, but an official continued to demand information.

The relatives who were planning on providing home instruction were members of HSLDA.

Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff wrote a letter to the school official. He explained that Virginia law defines “parent” to include any person having control or charge of a child in these circumstances (Va. Code 7sect;22.1-1 and §22.1-254.A). Woodruff explained that it was the relatives, not the Philips, who were now obligated to make sure that the compulsory attendance law was followed concerning Glen, since the relatives were actually in charge and control of him. Woodruff asked the official to stop seeking further information from the family.

The official promptly wrote back. He agreed that the Philips no longer had any responsibility for Glen’s compliance with compulsory attendance, and agreed to stop seeking information.