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January 15, 2016

We Will Be Required to Pursue Truancy


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A southeast Wisconsin homeschool family filed their annual report of enrollment (often referred to as the PI-1206 form) by October 15 as required by Wisconsin statute 115.30(3), but in the spring they moved to a different county. The following fall, they filed their PI-1206 in their new home county as the law requires. When the former school system noticed that they had not received a PI-1206 from the family, however, they sent a threatening letter—delivered by a deputy sheriff, no less.

The family asked HSLDA for help. After Senior Counsel Scott A. Woodruff explained their rights to them, they said they did not want to give in to the threats.

YOUR ATTORNEY Scott Woodruff

Woodruff therefore wrote a letter on the family’s behalf. The school’s letter said that “until you complete form PI-1206 online, your child(ren) is considered truant…and we…will be required to pursue truancy.” Woodruff’s letter therefore explained to the school representative that no Wisconsin law requires a family to file the PI-1206 online, and that failing to file it does not make a family truant.

The school’s letter demanded that the family submit their new address or the name of the private school the children might be attending. Woodruff’s letter therefore explained that no Wisconsin law requires homeschool families to notify their old school system that they have moved or switched to a different method of education.

Finally, Woodruff questioned the school representative as to whether the lawful duties of a deputy sheriff include delivering ordinary mail. It was obviously the school’s intent to intimidate the family by having a law enforcement officer deliver the letter rather than a mail carrier. Fortunately, this family did not scare so easily.

Since the school representative believed (according to her letter) that she was required to pursue truancy if the family did not comply with the demands, it seems likely that she obtained legal counsel after receiving Woodruff’s letter. Since the family never heard anything further from the school system, we infer that their own attorney agreed that they had no leg to stand on.