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New Hampshire

November 3, 2005
Principal Retracts Truancy Threat in Special Needs Case

A Keene-area member family was dissatisfied with the effort of the public school to address their daughter's reading needs. They told the school they were going to homeschool and filed the required notice.

A few days later, the school principal wrote to the family. He said that their homeschool program must be "approved and registered" and that all handicapped children must be provided "free and appropriate education." He also said they could not homeschool their daughter unless they followed certain procedures and met certain requirements. If they did not comply he threatened to report the family to a truant officer.

The family asked for help. HSLDA attorney Scott Woodruff called the principal immediately and left him a message.

He followed up by faxing a letter explaining that children who have been identified as having special needs homeschool under the same rules as other families. Woodruff also explained that families are not required to be "approved and registered."

In addition, Woodruff told the principal that the threat to report the daughter as truant had caused the family needless anxiety. He challenged the principal to either withdraw his threat or submit evidence that the family had failed to satisfy any lawful requirement.

The principal promptly investigated and realized HSLDA was correct. He acknowledged his errors, assured the family he would not make a truancy report, and apologized for any anxiety his threat had caused.