November 4, 2004

Social Workers Overreach on Allegation of Truancy

A Cape Girardeau family was anonymously reported for truancy, and HSLDA intervened to defend the family. After an investigation in which both social services and a juvenile officer took part, all claims were dismissed on February 7 after the juvenile officer found the family's homeschool logs were in good order.

On March 30, another anonymous truancy report was filed against the family.

Unlike some states Missouri law does not require daily attendance, but a total of 1,000 hours of instruction over the course of a full year. With suitable planning, a family could take a vacation from school between February 7 and March 30 and still fully comply with the law. It is preposterous for any agency to even consider opening a second truancy investigation only 50 days after the family was vindicated in the first one.

After we explained that it is impossible for a family to violate the law with a hypothetical 50-day period of alleged absence in the middle of the year, the social worker dropped the case.

Naturally, the family was teaching their children during this time and keeping good records. Subjecting the family to a second investigation in such a short period, however, would have been harassment. HSLDA is always ready to defend member families when government authorities overreach in their efforts to prosecute homeschoolers. The family will complete their 1,000 hours on schedule.