November 29, 2011

Litigation Team Influential in Dismissal of Truancy Charges

Dave and Linda Lawrence (names changed to protect privacy) did not expect truancy charges when they decided to homeschool their children this August instead of re-enrolling them in a virtual charter school. In compliance with state law, Mrs. Lawrence sent in her annual notification to homeschool to the local superintendent. Wisely, the Lawrence family also decided to join HSLDA as members.

About a month later, a truancy officer contacted the Lawrences, alleging that they had never turned in the notification to the school. Because the school had lost her notification and had no record of her filing for that year, Mrs. Lawrence sent in the annual notification again, this time by certified mail. She received a response from the school acknowledging that they had received the letter and that the homeschool was operating in accordance with Ohio state law.

While the Lawrences thought the simple misunderstanding had been quickly resolved, they were astonished to receive court summons for truancy charges in early November. They immediately contacted HSLDA for legal advice. Darren Jones, HSLDA’s litigation attorney, called the truancy officer and explained that the school superintendent had acknowledged that they received the required notification and that the family was operating their homeschool lawfully in Ohio. The truancy officer agreed with Mr. Jones’ explanation and promised to contact the prosecutor to dismiss the case. The day before the Lawrences were supposed to appear in court, the truancy charges were dismissed. HSLDA’s assistance was invaluable for this innocent family who, due to the mistakes of the local school district, were charged with truancy.