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October 22, 2012

On the Case:

Truancy Charges Dismissed!

Staff Attorney Darren Jones is a member of HSLDA’s litigation team. He and his wife homeschool.

Despite initial miscommunication, an Alabama court finally dismissed a truancy case against homeschooling mother Tarrie Husson last week (name changed to protect privacy).

Ms. Husson decided last year to withdraw her 1st and 3rd grade children from public school to homeschool, in part because of her son’s health problems. In Alabama, most homeschoolers enroll their children in a church school which operates as an “umbrella” school. Ms. Husson enrolled in the school at the church she attends and applied for membership with Home School Legal Defense Association.

The church school sent withdrawal paperwork to the elementary school on the Husson children’s behalf. But the public school claimed to not have received it. The school principal came to Ms. Husson’s house to inform her that her children were truant. After the visit, the church school again sent the withdrawal forms to the local public school.

Since the church school had sent the withdrawal forms twice, Ms. Husson was surprised to receive a summons to appear in court for truancy. She immediately contacted HSLDA, and we represented Ms. Husson at her hearing in May. We presented proof that Ms. Husson was homeschooling in compliance with Alabama state law and that her children were not truant. But because it was the end of the school year, the judge wanted to verify that Ms. Husson continued to comply with the homeschool law and scheduled a review hearing for October.

On October 17, 2012, we again represented Ms. Husson at her hearing. After reviewing evidence that her children were still enrolled in the church school, the judge completely dismissed the truancy charges against Ms. Husson.

“My son is healthier now than he ever was in public school,” said Ms. Husson, “and my children enjoy homeschooling.”