Originally Sent: 9/22/2014
|From the HSLDA e-lert service|
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Update: Meeting with Indianapolis Police Department—Southwest District
Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:
Thank you for all your prayers for me (HSLDA Staff Attorney Tj Schmidt) as I met on September 18 with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Southwest Taskforce about homeschooling.
Attending this meeting were about 40 members of the community, the IMPD Southwest commander, other officers from the Southwest District and Downtown District, a couple of local elected officials including a representative from the mayor’s office, and Debi Ketron with the Indiana Association of Home Educators (IAHE).
I spoke for 20 minutes about homeschooling and the concerns parents had expressed about the previous month’s IMPD Southwest Taskforce Newsletter urging people to contact 911 if they saw children they thought “should be in school.”
I explained the legal authority for homeschooling in Indiana and the long history that Indiana has of protecting the right of parents to teach their children at home as a nonpublic school. I pointed out that though homeschool parents in Indiana are required to teach for the same number of days as public schools, there is no legal requirement to follow the same school hours.
In the meeting I also described several perfectly legitimate educational opportunities that might result in homeschool students being seen in public during school hours. I informed the taskforce that encouraging the general public to call 911 in these situations without more information would subject homeschool parents and their children to unwarranted harassment.
While wrapping up I encouraged the IMPD to work with IAHE, HSLDA, and other homeschool organizations to foster better relations with the homeschool community. I also left several materials for those attending to better understand homeschooling and the most current research about the success of homeschool students.
I believe the meeting helped the IMPD realize the potential harm of their previous position. The Southwest District commander appreciated the information and position of homeschooling families in Indiana. We expect future interaction with the IMPD Southwest District will be very positive. In fact, a couple of the officials attending the meeting came up to me privately afterwards and informed me that they, or their extended family members, were homeschooling and expressed their appreciation that HSLDA came out for the meeting.
Thanks again for your prayers, and thank you for all you do for the cause of homeschooling!
Feel free to forward this email to your homeschool friends. If you aren’t a member with HSLDA and would like to join, click here.
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