August 20, 2012

Homeschool Family Summoned to Police Station

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

On August 14, 2012, a member family in California received a phone call from their local police department. The family was told that their children had not been enrolled in school for the new year and that they had to come to the police station to provide proof of enrollment.

The homeschool mom explained that her children had been withdrawn from public school during the previous school year and had been homeschooled since that time. The police officer responded that paperwork had to be submitted, so the mom headed to the police station. On her way there, she called the HSLDA attorney who had assisted her in April with the withdrawal of her children from the public school.

HSLDA called the local police department and explained to the sergeant handling the matter that family’s children are no longer enrolled in public school. We also explained that homeschooling parents in California must file a private school affidavit each year between October 1–15, and that the affidavit filed by the family for the 2011–2012 school year is valid until the next filing is due in October.

The police sergeant agreed to accept a faxed copy of the private school affidavit from our attorney, who also called the local school district to verify the matter was closed. It is unusual for a school district to request proof of enrollment at a private school from children who have already withdrawn from the public school and who have not re-enrolled.

The district said the contact with the family was initiated because of a complaint from a neighbor, and that they have closed the matter. It’s unfortunate that homeschoolers are at the mercy of their neighbors. It’s important to establish good friendships with neighbors to educate them about the benefits of homeschooling.