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12/6/2002 2:32:52 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Massachusetts--Ware Homeschoolers Need Your Help

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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December 6, 2002

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

On Thursday, December 12, 2002, the Ware School Committee will have
one final opportunity to avoid embarrassing and costly litigation. As
matters stand today, Ware is poised to make a terrible mistake. They
plan to reject a homeschool proposal despite clear evidence that it
meets or exceeds all Massachusetts standards.

REQUESTED ACTION

Thursday night's school committee meeting may provide one last
opportunity to resolve this conflict out of court. The school
committee has agreed to public discussion about their policy. We need
many Massachusetts homeschoolers to attend the meeting. If you live
between Worcester and Springfield and are available for Thursday
night's meeting, please email me as soon as possible at
scott@hslda.org. You do not have to be a homeschooler to come out and
show your support for homeschool freedoms, so please pass this
message on to friends of liberty throughout Western Massachusetts.

The school committee meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m., and will be
held in the Ware public high school, 237 West Street, Ware, MA,
01082. The high school is located about 7 miles off the turnpike on
Route 32. Take the Palmer exit (Exit 8) and follow Rt. 32 north for
approximately seven miles. Ware High School is one mile past the Wal-
Mart. Take the second left into the school complex and follow that
driveway to the front of the school. The meeting will be held in the
library, which is straight ahead through the big doors.

BACKGROUND

Dr. and Mrs. Steven O'Brien are both certified teachers. Dr. O'Brien
is a university professor. They are providing a fairly traditional
home education program to their one young child, but Ware has
announced its intention of rejecting their homeschool proposal unless
they agree to meet face-to-face with school officials. Although no
Massachusetts court has ever upheld such a demand, Ware has made it
clear that they intend to enforce their policy, no matter how
unreasonable it may be.

The elected officials who represent the district have never adopted
the "policy" that Ware is threatening to enforce. Instead, one school
administrator made up the mandatory face-to-face meeting requirement
on her own initiative. When HSLDA explained that the requirement was
unenforceable, Ware consulted their attorney, who advised them that
"school systems have the right to review and approve curriculum and
materials/books and to document a child's progress." With this legal
input, Ware has refused to budge.

If Ware is willing to reconsider their misguided policy, and if
Massachusetts homeschoolers are willing to turn out in support of
freedom, next Thursday night could mark a new beginning for Ware's
embattled homeschoolers. Please let me know if you can be there!

Very truly yours,

Scott W. Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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