February 26, 2007

Homeschooler Visited by Truant Officer Demanding to See Curriculum

A truant officer from the Charlevoix area school district made a surprise visit to home of the Daniels* family earlier this month to inquire as to the schooling of Mr. Daniels’ child.

While the officer waited at the doorstep, Mr. Daniels, an HSLDA member, immediately contacted Home School Legal Defense Association. Senior Counsel Chris Klicka took the call and asked Mr. Daniels to pass the phone over to the officer. Klicka assured the officer that the family was legally homeschooling and promised a letter confirming that the family was meeting the requirements of the law. The truant officer still demanded to see the family’s curriculum and be invited into the family's home—but Klicka held firm, refusing to let the officer inside.

Later that day, Klicka followed the phone conversation up with a letter confirming the validity and legality of the Daniels’ family home education program. He explained that the burden to prove the family is not home educating is carried by the school district, and that homeschool families are presumed to be fulfilling this law unless probable cause or credible evidence could be produced indicating that the family is not homeschooling.

In addition, Klicka’s letter informed the truant officer that the Daniels family was respectfully declining the officer's request to see the family’s curriculum and come into the family’s home, as the truant officer had no legal right to request this.

Both the family and HSLDA have not heard from the truant officer since.

* Name changed to protect family’s privacy.