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March 11, 2013

On the Case:

Discrimination against Homeschooling Senior Prevented

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.

Robert and Liz Solatan (names changed to protect privacy) joined HSLDA during their son’s senior year of high school. John was scheduled to graduate in December 2012, a semester later than most of his peers, because he fell behind while enrolled in a Florida public school.

Mrs. Solatan received child support payments from John’s father that would have ended when John turned 18 in March unless she could prove that John was still attending school. When Mrs. Solatan tried to extend John’s child support payments, she was questioned by the court about her right to “hold her son back” as a homeschool student. The judge seemed unfamiliar with Florida homeschooling law.

A few months later, Mrs. Solatan read an HSLDA article in which we had helped extend child support payments for a homeschool student who was still finishing school after his 18th birthday. She subsequently contacted HSLDA.

Compliance Verified

HSLDA was concerned that the court would automatically refuse to extend the child support payments because it did not understand that homeschooling was a viable educational option. Attorney Darren Jones immediately contacted the court on the Solatans’ behalf. He described the legal options for homeschooling in Florida and verified that the Solatans were in compliance with Florida homeschool law.

When Mrs. Solatan presented HSLDA’s letter, the court agreed with our arguments. According to Mrs. Solatan, “We won! I did not have to do anything except to show your letter and my notarized statements noting my son’s graduation date.”

If John had been in a public school, there would have been no question about his eligibility for child support payments until graduation. Homeschooling families facing discrimination, similar to the Solatans’ situation, should contact us. We invite you to support HSLDA with your membership, donations, and prayers while we continue to support homeschooling rights.

 Other Resources

“Child Support Payments Reinstated”