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GO TO: CONTENTS | INTRODUCTION | TIMELINE

This year, home school statutes or regulations were adopted in Maryland, Minnesota, Vermont, and West Virginia.
(Non-HSLDA cases are marked with an “ * ”)

February 4 — South Carolina: South Carolina home schoolers and HSLDA were able to convince the legislature to kill the South Carolina Department of Education regulations, which would have required all home schoolers to have a bachelor’s degree.

February 16 — Maryland: Maryland home schoolers convinced the Maryland Legislature to remove the home visit requirement from the Department of Education’s regulations.

March 5 — Maine: The Maine Commissioner of Education reversed a local school board’s denial for the Dionne family, thereby allowing them to home school. The family earlier had a truant officer enter the home insisting on taking the children to public school until HSLDA warned him they would bring kidnapping charges.

March 17 — Nebraska: Nebraska home schoolers defeated L.B. 682, which would have repealed the religious exemption provision and restored the teacher certification requirement.

March 25 — Ohio: The Ohio Supreme Court upheld the conviction of the Schmidt family in Ohio v. Schmidt. The Court relied on the prosecutor’s version of the facts, which asserted that the family did not exhaust their administrative remedies. The facts presented at trial, however, showed that the Schmidts had met with the superintendent several times. Since the record of the trial was destroyed by the Court of Common Pleas’ defective recording equipment, the Court could not compare the prosecutor’s version with the actual record.

March 26 — North Dakota: Gerald and Sheryl Lund and Richard and Kathy Reimche were put on trial—again—for the crime of home schooling their children. Both were again declared guilty. HSLDA appealed their case to the North Dakota Supreme Court.

April 13 — Texas: Leeper, et al v. Arlington Independent School District, et al, round one — Judge Charles Murray ruled that home schools were to be considered private schools and allowed to operate freely. This case resulted in the dismissal of approximately 20 criminal prosecutions of HSLDA families throughout Texas.

April — Washington, DC: A three-tier policy for predicting attrition and determining enlistment desirability was adopted by the joint military services. Home school graduates were arbitrarily placed in Tier II.

May 6 — Colorado: The district court in Gunmson County ruled in favor of an HSLDA family in Hinsdale County School Board v. Main. The court granted the family a religious exemption from the approval requirement based on their First Amendment rights.

June 27 — Massachusetts: The federal court found that in the case of New Life Baptist Church Academy v. East Longmeadow School District that the district’s approval process was not the least restrictive means for ensuring the state’s interest in the children’s education.*

August 7 — Ohio: As a result of a dramatic turn of events in the middle of trial, in which the superintendent testified that he had conferred with the trial judge prior to filing the complaint for truancy, the judge ruled that Robin Diegel had not been given an opportunity for a hearing before the superintendent, and granted HSLDA’s motion for dismissal.

August 7 — Rhode Island: In Kinstead v. East Greenwich School Committee, home visits were declared unconstitutional and removed as a requirement for approval.

August 19 — Iowa: The State Supreme Court remanded Iowa v. Trucke to the district court for dismissal, because charges against the family had been filed prematurely. The statute requires parents to send their children to school 120 days each year. The Truckes were charged with truancy 30 days into the school year, when no parent could possibly have been in compliance with the law.

September 3 — North Dakota: In North Dakota v. Melin, the judge ruled that the teacher certification requirement was unduly burdening the Melins’ religious freedom, was not necessarily fulfilling the state’s interest, and was not the least restrictive means available to the state to preserve its interest. Although this decision was later reversed by the State Supreme Court, it was a surprising victory in a hostile state.

September 29 — Pennsylvania: The 11 school district superintendents in Jeffery, et al v. O’Donnell, et al entered a motion requesting the appointment of guardians for the home schooled children in the case. Federal Judge Kosik denied the motion and protected the parents’ rights.

Now read about the year 1988.