May 20, 2002

Problems in Punxsutawney

Home School Legal Defense Association recently assisted a new home schooling family in the Punxsutawney Area School District in Pennsylvania.

Mr. and Mrs. Wood [name changed to protect the family's privacy] withdrew their child from public school in March to begin home schooling. As required by Pennsylvania law, they filed a notarized affidavit before starting the home education program.

This affidavit prompted a demand from the school superintendent that the entire Wood family come in for a meeting. Although this not based on any part of the home school law, many school districts in Pennsylvania attempt to force parents to come in for a meeting with school personnel.

However, Punxsutawney's next action was unusual: they called the Woods' curriculum provider and summarily informed them that the Woods could not use their curriculum. Instead, they claimed that the Woods had to use the public school curriculum in order to be allowed to home school.

Mr. and Mrs. Woods immediately contacted HSLDA, and we wrote to the superintendent of Punxsutawney, informing him that his demands were illegal and that the Woods family was already in full compliance with the law. Since then, Mr. and Mrs. Woods have been allowed to home school in peace.