Originally Sent: 12/15/2014

From the HSLDA e-lert service…
Home School Legal Defense Association

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Heads Up in Green Bay

Homeschooling in Wisconsin.

HSLDA pledges to protect your rights.

Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff answers questions and assists members with legal issues in your state. He and his wife homeschooled their children.

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

A disturbing report on Fox11 online says, “Officers who are out in the community and see parents with young children will talk to those parents about why their kids aren’t in school.” The article cites Captain Bill Galvin of the Green Bay Police Department.

We respect and value the protection that wise, well-trained law enforcement provides. But when citizens are enjoying their constitutional right to move about freely and are unexpectedly stopped and questioned, they don’t feel protected. They feel intimidated. They may feel they need protection from the police.

Today HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott A. Woodruff called Green Bay Police Chief Thomas Molitor and had a friendly but frank conversation in which he emphasized the importance of the police respecting the constitutional rights of homeschool families.

Like most other efforts to arm-twist unwilling kids to attend public schools, this one will no doubt fizzle soon (if it ever actually gets started!). In the meantime, please enjoy your freedom! The likelihood that you or your kids will be stopped and questioned during the daytime (i.e., before 10 p.m.) by an officer is highly remote. But here are six simple points to remember if it happens.

How to Respond

  1. Ask for the officer’s name and badge number. If you’re feeling afraid, this may take some guts, but it’s important.
  2. If you suspect this person is only posing as a police officer, and you have a cell phone, promptly call the Green Bay Police Dispatch at (920) 391-7450 and ask if they really have an officer currently on duty with that name and badge number.
  3. Tell the officer your age, and your name and address (and your parents’, if you are under 18).
  4. Tell the officer you are homeschooled, but (this is important) do not provide any information about your homeschool program!
  5. If the officer has any other questions, respectfully but firmly tell him or her, “Please call attorney Scott Woodruff at Home School Legal Defense Association, (540) 338-5600.”
  6. It would be very helpful if you would then promptly contact HSLDA with the officer’s name and as much as you can remember of what he told you.

Remember Your Rights

Once you identify yourself and tell the officer that you are homeschooled, he has no legal grounds to ask you any further questions unless he has reason to believe you are involved in some sort of crime. Period.

You do not need to carry around “proof” that you homeschool. You do not need to carry around a copy of your most recent PI-1206 form. You or your kids do not need to suddenly start carrying identification around.

Occasionally, children who are obviously too young to be out and about without their parents are stopped by law enforcement. The guidance above does not apply in those situations.

HSLDA recently filed a lawsuit in another state because law enforcement violated a citizen’s constitutional rights. We previously filed suit against government agents in a different state for violating a member’s right to freedom of movement in a curfew context. We don’t want this to happen in Green Bay.

The trust and goodwill that exist between a community and law enforcement are both valuable and (as we have seen recently) fragile. We hope Chief Molitor will lead his department in a direction that will not risk damaging them.


Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.,
Senior Counsel,
Home School Legal Defense Association

P.S. We greatly value you and your support—it is a privilege to serve you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>

• • • •

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The HSLDA E-lert Service is a service of:

Home School Legal Defense Association • P.O. Box 3000 • Purcellville, Virginia 20134-9000
Phone: (540) 338-5600 • Fax: (540) 338-2733 • Email: info@hslda.org
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