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May 15, 2006

Texas: 'HSLDA is a Lifesaver!'

John and Cheryl DeBarge moved from Arizona to Castroville, Texas. They homeschool their two children.

Suddenly one day last week, a truant officer and a constable came to their door. They demanded entry into the house and wanted to talk to the children.

When the mother explained that she was homeschooling pursuant to the law and wanted the officials' questions in writing, the truant officer insisted on seeing the curriculum.

She immediately contacted the Home School Legal Defense Association and talked to Attorney Dewitt Black, who explained to her that she did not have to show the truant officer and constable her curriculum. Mrs. DeBarge told them that her attorney wanted to talk to them. They left abruptly.

HSLDA Attorney Chris Klicka then faxed a letter to the school district the next day, explaining that the family was legally homeschooling under the Leeper Michigan Supreme Court case. He also informed them that there was no requirement that the family notify the school or have their curriculum inspected by school officials.

Later that day, an official from the Medina School District called HSLDA, explaining that the police had an anonymous tip from someone within the DeBarge community. The allegation was that the homeschool children were "not supervised and vandalizing." This was completely false and malicious.

The school official understood that the tip was probably false and that the police would not pursue it further. But the police had turned the situation over to them, and they had to investigate.

The school official said however, "Once we received your letter we decided to back off. You said the magic words!" She was not aware that the family was not required, under Texas law, to notify the school, but would keep that in mind for the future.

The family praise God that the situation was resolved. Mrs. DeBarge said, "HSLDA is a lifesaver."

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