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March 1, 2016

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Imagine your 14-year-old son finishes up his schoolwork and heads to a nearby park for a game of baseball with some friends. Midway through the third inning, he and his friends are approached by a police officer, who asks to see their proper identification.


Wait, identification? For what? What happened to freedom of movement?

Well, if your son happened to forget his ID at home, he could be slapped with a fine of up to $50 and up to 10 hours of community service, with heftier punishments for subsequent offenses.

“For what crime?” you ask. For failing to carry proper identification. House Bill 630, introduced in the Mississippi Legislature, would have implemented this un-American restriction on freedom in the Magnolia State. (Fortunately for all of us, this bill just died in committee.)

The Mississippi Legislature is notorious here at HSLDA for generating the largest sheer volume of bills that affect homeschoolers. But HSLDA is on the lookout in Mississippi—and all 50 states—for threats like this to your freedom to homeschool.

We did find several good bills that would provide protection for parental rights and repeal Common Core curriculum standards. But we also found others that would infringe on everyday freedom and expand the state’s involvement in the lives of families. H.B. 630 was one of those bad bills. Here are three other examples:

  • House Bill 39 would require all 11th grade students to take the GED. This may be a good idea for some students, but should it be required for all students, even those who are excelling academically? HSLDA says no, especially since homeschoolers would not be exempted.

  • House Bill 4 would assign educational report cards for parents. Parents would receive a grade of “satisfactory,” “in need of improvement,” or “unsatisfactory” for their communication and oversight of student achievement. HSLDA agrees that parents should be involved in their children’s education, but we think there is a better way to accomplish this goal—it’s called homeschooling!

  • At least 10 bills have been introduced that would expand the compulsory school attendance age. All of these bills have a common theme: they expand the state’s role in overseeing education. HSLDA believes that parents, not the government, are best situated to oversee the care and education of their children.

HSLDA is constantly reviewing legislation in each state legislature and keeping watch for homeschool freedom! Many of these bills are not moving, but stay alert for notifications of infringement on your freedom to homeschool. We will be watching. And should action be necessary, we—and all homeschool advocates—will rely on your action.