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No. 2

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Personal Data Destroyed at HSLDA’s Request

The new superintendent of Regional School Unit 2 (Monmouth, Richmond, Dresden, Farmingdale, and Hallowell) sent letters to area homeschooling families asking them to fill out a survey about their reasons for homeschooling. Some families sent back responses that included personal information, such as their names and addresses.

When some Home School Legal Defense Association member families told us about the survey, HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff checked Maine’s freedom of information statutes. He concluded that all the information collected by the superintendent’s survey could be treated as public information. If so, anyone could obtain access to it upon request.

Maine’s homeschool law declares that information families submit as part of the homeschool process is confidential. But the surveys families mailed to the superintendent would not be protected, and they contained no warning to this effect.

Woodruff urged the superintendent to destroy all surveys he received that contained personal information about families, so the information would not be subject to public release. The superintendent quickly responded, agreed, and later confirmed that he had complied with Woodruff’s request.

—by Scott A. Woodruff