March 28, 2012

Official Threatens Homeschooler with Truancy

J. Michael Smith is president of HSLDA. He has been an advocate for homeschooling for more than 30 years. Read more >>

Last week, four families in California who were pulling children out of public school were told that they couldn’t homeschool.

Ann Smith, (name changed to protect her privacy) living in Yucca Valley, pulled her child out of school because she felt her child’s special needs weren’t being met. She filed the private school affidavit and gave her official notice of withdrawal to the school district. The district official insisted that they had a right to do a “home welfare check.”

An official came to the Smith home to evaluate the private school there. After concluding that Ann was not teaching all the required subjects and not keeping an adequate attendance journal, the official left. Ann was led to believe that if she addressed their concerns, they would be OK with her homeschooling.

However, apparently after further consideration, school officials informed Ann that she was not in compliance and could not homeschool because she had not filed her affidavit between Oct. 1 and Oct 15. Officials also said she had to enroll her child in school or be subject to prosecution for truancy after being referred to a school attendance review board for a hearing.

The California Department of Education receives affidavits throughout the year for schools beginning after the Oct. 15 date. And the law provides after verification of the filing of the affidavit, the exemption from attendance at public school, shall be valid, not valid after filing of the affidavit between Oct. 1–15.

Mike Smith has sent a letter to the school district addressing these issues. We’ll see if the school district is willing to re-think their position.