June 26, 2013

Library Fixes Discriminatory Policy

Scott Woodruff answers questions and assists members regarding legal issues in Kansas. He and his wife homeschooled their children. Read more >>

You’ve heard of public school kids “playing hooky” and going to the mall or the local teen hangout. But who would skip school and use that illicit freedom to go to the local public library, of all places?

This seems to have been the worry of the Morton County library board when it adopted a rule that no child or teen was allowed to be in the library without a parent—but just during public school hours because “the staff cannot tell if the child is in truancy.” Once the local public school dismissed each day, teens no longer needed an adult chaperone under the rule.

Hurting Homeschoolers

This rule had virtually no impact on public school kids, of course, since they have their own school libraries and therefore don’t need to “go AWOL” to spend a few pleasant hours reading Les Miserables, Moby Dick, or Brothers Karamazov. But the rule fell heavily upon area homeschool families—whose kids really do spend hours in libraries.

And when an unaccompanied 12-year-old homeschooled student dropped by the library at 3 p.m. on a public school day and was promptly told to leave the premises, the parents brought the situation to HSLDA’s attention. HSLDA sent an e-lert to area families urging them to attend an impending library board meeting to oppose the policy. HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott A. Woodruff followed up with a phone call to the board chairman.

In the months that followed, the board listened to the homeschool community and subsequently abolished the rule. We appreciate the board’s responsiveness.

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Protect Your Family

If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>