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September 19, 2017

Official to Homeschoolers: Sorry, Didn’t Mean to Harass You

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Mike Donnelly by MIKE DONNELLY
Contact attorney for Ohio

The sheer number of homeschool students and the constant turnover of public school personnel in Ohio guarantee a certain amount of friction at the beginning of every school year.

In a recent case near Cincinnati, one of our member families submitted the HSLDA test scores assessment report form with their notice of intent to homeschool. Instead of sending the family the expected excuse letter, the school district demanded they send in the paperwork provided by the testing company. In other words, they weren’t willing to trust the parents and wanted more information.

Parents are empowered by the regulation that permits reporting the results of the assessment on the HSLDA form. The parent’s signature affirming the composite results is sufficient and authoritiative. Because of the regulation’s plain meaning, and absent evidence to the contrary, school districts can and should rely on the representations of citizens.

Compliance Confirmed

After I politely wrote to the school district to point this out, our members were pleased to receive a letter clarifying that they were “indeed compliant per [the Ohio code] submitting the results … in an appropriate format.”

The letter’s author continued: “I apologize that there was some confusion in my department about the official requirements. It is certainly not our practice or intent to ‘harass’ any resident when exercising their legal right to homeschool.”

It is always encouraging to receive this kind of response and affirmation of homeschooling when resolving a problem for a family. Homeschooling families should be able to devote their full attention to their families and children. HSLDA is here to take away this stress and worry by resolving these situations. We believe that homeschooling is a significant undertaking, and we all feel privileged to serve families who are educating their children at home. 

Although homeschooling is becoming increasingly accepted, there will continue to be situations that threaten individual families as well as the entire movement. HSLDA is here to defend both. If you’re not a member, consider joining today!