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South Carolina

November 11, 2016

Timely Letter Resolves Truancy Case

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Ten days after beginning their homeschool adventure, a South Carolina family received a notice from their local school district demanding that they attend a truancy hearing and bring their 12-year-old daughter.

The family’s daughter had begun the academic year in public school, but negative peer interaction and damaging behavioral influences led to trouble with the administration. The family had been considering homeschooling for several years, and in light of their daughter’s challenges, they finally decided to give it a try.

They carefully followed the public school’s withdrawal procedure (including notification they would be homeschooling) and registered with a homeschool association under Option 3 of South Carolina’s homeschool law.

The parents soon discovered that homeschooling helps their 12-year-old to focus on her education and dedicate the time necessary to learn effectively. They noticed an increased work ethic in their daughter and enjoyed the extra time they got to spend with her.

Good Advice

Following the recommendation of their homeschool association, the family joined HSLDA.

While their membership with HSLDA helps support homeschooling across the world, little did they know that they would be receiving an intimidating notice that would lead to a personal need for legal services.

With the truancy hearing just days away, the family requested HSLDA’s assistance.

That same day, HSLDA litigation attorney Darren Jones emailed a letter to the truancy interventionist, copying the school district’s attorney. In the letter, Jones verified that the family was operating a homeschool as authorized by South Carolina law and suggested that this should resolve the hearing altogether.

The next day, the truancy interventionist canceled the hearing.

HSLDA regularly assists families who find themselves stuck trying to navigate the bureaucratic policies and procedures of school districts and state agencies. Often, a carefully worded letter from a lawyer can prevent headaches and avoid unnecessary court involvement.

In this case, it saved the family a trip to the county judicial center.