April 18, 2001

Home Schooling Family Receives Unexpected Subpoena

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI—An HSLDA member family in the St. Louis, Missouri, area was served with a subpoena yesterday requiring that they submit proof of their home schooling to the county prosecutor.

The family had been the subject of a call to social services alleging that their seven-year-old child could not read. As is required by Missouri law, social services turned the allegation over to the school, who then passed it on to the local prosecuting attorney.

The attorney then served a subpoena on the family, which stated that they must bring the following information to the prosecutor's office:

  1. "A plan book, diary, or other written record indicating subjects taught and activities engaged in; (to include at least one thousand hours of instruction, at least six hundred hours of which will be in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies and science or academic courses that are related to the aforementioned subject areas and consonant with [the child]'s age and ability; and

  2. A portfolio of samples of [the child]'s academic work; and

  3. A record of evaluations of [the child]'s academic progress; or

  4. Other written, or credible evidence equivalent to number 1-3 above."

Alarmed by receiving this subpoena without any notice beforehand, the family immediately called HSLDA for assistance. We are currently negotiating with the prosecutor to resolve this matter.