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September 5, 2014

Homeschoolers Threatened with Truancy Charges

Senior Counsel Dee Black answers questions and assists members with legal issues in Tennessee. He and his wife homeschooled their children. Read more >>

Sometimes homeschoolers encounter legal problems even though they are in full compliance with the law of their state. Such was the case when a Home School Legal Defense Association member family in Houston County received a notice last month from the attendance officer that they would be referred to juvenile court if they didn’t enroll their children in public school and “complete registration for home school” within three days. One of the children named in the notice is 18 years old and is already a graduate of the family’s homeschool.

This saga began when the family received a form letter from an official at the board of education, telling them that they had to file a notice of intent to homeschool, complete a “Non-Public Reporting Form,” and register with the superintendent’s office. In response to this, HSLDA Senior Counsel Dewitt Black sent a letter to the official and informed him that state law does not require any of the things demanded of this family, citing the particular statute enacted by the Tennessee Legislature. Black explained that our members are homeschooling through enrollment of their children in a church-related school, in which case they do not have to have any contact with public school officials.

Despite this communication by HSLDA, two weeks later the family received the notice from the attendance officer that they had three days to meet the board of education’s demands or face truancy charges. HSLDA then advised the family to have their church-related school send a confirmation of enrollment of their school-age children to the public school officials. Apparently this additional documentation satisfied them, because the family has heard nothing further about this matter.

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Protect Your Family

If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>