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July 16, 2012

Officials Cease Prosecution

Staff Attorney Mike Donnelly also serves as HSLDA’s director of international relations. He and his wife homeschool. Read more >>

A Bulgarian family has been afforded relief from aggressive social services investigators who had attempted to bring criminal charges against them simply over their choice to homeschool their children. A police investigation of the family who had withdrawn their 13-year-old son from the local public school due to bullying problems reported no evidence of neglect. The local prosecutor’s office agreed with the police findings and refused to initiate criminal proceedings in spite of requests by the CPS unit that the parents be prosecuted.

The family’s attorney, Viktor Kostov, thanked HSLDA and its members and friends for sending letters and emails to the Bulgarian officials involved in the case. Kostov is affiliated with the Alliance Defending Freedom.

“The wide publicity, both in Bulgaria and abroad, definitely helped the authorities take this case into careful consideration,” explains attorney Kostov. “Families who withdraw their children from the public school system often face persecution from government authorities. International attention is needed so that the authorities know their actions do not go unnoticed.”

Yavor Kostov and his family added their heartfelt gratitude to all who wrote in support of their choice to homeschool their child.

“It is hard to thank everyone in person,” states Yavor. “But without the moral, spiritual and practical help of all of our friends and sympathizers, a favorable decision on this case may have been unlikely. We are glad that common sense and justice have prevailed so far. Thank you all!”

Michael Donnelly, HSLDA’s director of international relations, welcomed the prosecutor’s decision.

“This is a step toward justice for the Kostov family,” states Donnelly. “We have asked these local officials to resolve this case without further interaction with the family. We are grateful to all our members and friends who advocated on behalf of this family. By acting together we were able to let the authorities know that the global home school community is paying attention and will not let arbitrary abuses like this go unchallenged.”

The family’s attorney notes that the future actions of the Vidin CPS and state school authorities toward the family are yet to be determined.

“We will continue to monitor the situation,” explains attorney Kostov. “Yet we are optimistic that this case will be resolved in favor of family privacy and values, pluralism in education, and in a boost to the right of parents to educate their children at home.”

 Other Resources

“Pastor Charged with Criminal Abuse Over Home Education”