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District of Columbia
District of Columbia

May 1, 2012

Homeschooling Mother’s Name Removed from Registry

Staff Attorney Darren Jones is a member of HSLDA’s litigation team, which helps homeschool families who are facing legal challenges. He and his wife homeschool.

Based on an anonymous phone call, Washington, D.C., social services probed allegations of educational neglect against Ms. Heisman (names changed to protect privacy) in December 2011. Ms. Heisman began homeschooling her daughter Trella in the fall of 2011. Despite evidence of Trella’s academic studies, the investigator concluded that Ms. Heisman had neglected Trella’s education. Consequently, he added Ms. Heisman’s name to the D.C. Child Protection Register when he closed his investigation.

It wasn’t until after Ms. Heisman received the report from social services that she contacted Home School Legal Defense Association. In late March 2012, HSLDA Litigation Attorney Darren Jones represented Ms. Heisman at her hearing. Homeschoolers in Washington, D.C., file an annual notification of intent to homeschool with the school board. Ms. Heisman had filed her notification and received a confirmation letter from the D.C. School Board. With this evidence, Mr. Jones argued that Ms. Heisman did not commit educational neglect, and he called for the removal of her name from the abuse registry.

Shortly after the hearing, social services removed Ms. Heisman’s name from the Child Protection Register.

“I am happy that we were successful in assisting Mrs. Heisman,” said Jones. “She’s obviously a mom who’s trying to do what’s best for her family, and she didn’t need the burden of an educational neglect listing on the registry.”