September 4, 2001

Unlawful "Visits" Mandated by Massachusetts School District

The Wakefield School District in Massachusetts sent out a letter to home schooling families, attempting to place new burdens on home schoolers in the district.

The new policy mandated that all home schoolers must meet with their local principal at least three times every school year. At each meeting, the family would be required to submit dated work samples that would be kept on permanent record at the school.

In addition, Wakefield insisted upon the right to conduct home visits, even though in HSLDA's Brunelle case the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled these visits unconstitutional.

The policy also required parents to have their children annually checked by a public school nurse of the superintendent's choosing. Wakefield included a list of requirements for this medical inspection, including a full physical at several grade levels. This would allow the school to maintain current records for every home schooled child.

HSLDA contacted Wakefield School District on behalf of our member families, explaining that Massachusetts law does not require any of the mandates specified in the new policy. We demanded that the school district stop telling home schoolers that these requirements were mandatory. We are ready to defend our members if Wakefield attempts to enforce any of their illegal requirements.