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Home School Legal Defense Association

P.O. Box 3000, Purcellville, VA 20134

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Ian Slatter
May 21, 2010(540) 338-8663


Purcellville, VA—On May, 18 HSLDA filed a friend of the court brief in a New Hampshire custody case which threatens to establish a rule that could be harmful to homeschoolers. “If left unchallenged the ruling by the trial court could mean that public schools would always be favored over homeschooling in custody disputes,” said Mike Donnelly, staff attorney for HSLDA.

In a case that has made headlines across the country, a trial court ordered a homeschooled girl into public school based in large part on non-expert testimony of the guardian ad litem (GAL) assigned to the case. The GAL’s testimony implied that homeschooling could not meet the future social and academic needs of all adolescents, not only the child in this case—even though the court acknowledged that she was excelling both academically and socially while being homeschooled.

The homeschooling mother appealed the decision and is being represented by ADF allied attorney John Anthony Simmons. The case is pending before the New Hampshire Supreme Court. HSLDA was joined on the brief by Christian Home Educators of New Hampshire (CheNH) and Catholics United for Home Education (CUHE). The brief to the New Hampshire Supreme Court explains the benefits of homeschooling, summarizes the empirical research on homeschooling, and demonstrates that homeschooling is more than adequate to meet the developmental needs of adolescents.

“We reviewed nearly 60 articles and eight cases from other states,” said Donnelly. “They conclusively demonstrate that homeschooling is a highly effective form of education which definitely meets the academic and social needs of children of all ages, and that it is an error for a court to prefer public school over homeschooling, as the court did in this case.”

Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a 27-year-old, 85,000 member non-profit organization and the preeminent national association advocating the legal right of parents to homeschool their children.


 Other Resources

(Download a copy of HSLDA’s amicus brief (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).