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November 12, 2007

CPS Tries to Review Homeschool Records

Recently, a Home School Legal Defense Association member family in Baton Rouge was reported to Child Protective Services (CPS). One of the allegations that the caseworker was investigating was that Mr. and Mrs. Morgan (name changed to protect family’s privacy) were teaching their children at home. When the caseworker insisted that she would need to review all of their homeschool records, the Morgans contacted HSLDA for help.

HSLDA Staff Attorney Tj Schmidt contacted the caseworker and pointed out that Mr. and Mrs. Morgan were exercising their constitutional right to direct the upbringing and education of their children. Schmidt informed the caseworker that the Morgan family was in compliance with Louisiana law and had filed their notice each year with the Department of Education (DOE) as a private school.

When the caseworker demanded to see the homeschool records, she insisted that she had to see the records for all of the Morgan children. While the Morgans are homeschooling several of their children, only one child is over age 7. All of the other children were not even required to be in school.

Through HSLDA, the family declined to allow the caseworker to review any of their homeschool records but reassured her that they were teaching their children. Due to the allegations, the family provided a copy of their notice to the DOE along with some very general information about the curriculum used with their oldest child.

After receiving the letter and information from HSLDA, the caseworker dropped all demands to see the homeschool records.

HSLDA Social Services Contact Policy

We desire to advise our members in every contact with a social worker and/or police officer in investigations resulting from allegations of abuse or neglect. If homeschooling is an issue, we will represent our member families until the issue is resolved. On Fourth Amendment unreasonable search and seizure issues, HSLDA will advise our members whenever the privacy of their home is violated by forced or coerced entry for the purpose of an unsubstantiated investigation. HSLDA membership benefits do not extend to court actions resulting from non-homeschooling matters. However, in circumstances where there is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment, HSLDA may, as we have done in the past, choose to take the case in an effort to establish legal precedent.