October 19, 2001

Maryland School District Backs Away from Racial Profile Demand

After receiving a strongly worded letter from Home School Legal Defense Association, Washington County Public Schools revised its Assurance of Consent form by dropping a requirement that parents disclose their children's race.

Home schooling families in Maryland must provide the local school district with a Notice of Consent form stating the option under which they choose to home school. Many school districts use this opportunity to attempt to obtain much more information than the law requires.

Washington County's new form required parents to submit racial information on their children. However, nothing in Maryland home school law allows this question, nor is race a factor in the right to home school.

HSLDA wrote to the Washington County Director of Student Services, expressing shock and dismay that Washington County would even consider demanding racial information. More than a month later, the school district's attorney responded, informing us that the district would revise the form to ensure that parents knew this information was optional.