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May 18, 2012

Prosecutor Drops Charges against Homeschool Dad

Staff Attorney Darren Jones is a member of HSLDA’s litigation team. He and his wife homeschool.

Mr. and Ms. Straun (names changed to protect privacy) share joint custody of their high school daughter. Kaitlyn lived with her mother in Texas and attended public school, where her friends negatively affected her behavior and grades. After getting in trouble with the school, Kaitlyn signed a court-monitored agreement to improve her behavior. Hoping to provide a better environment for their daughter to succeed, the Strauns decided Kaitlyn should move in with her father, in another county. The Strauns mutually agreed that homeschooling would be beneficial for Kaitlyn.

Unfortunately, because of Kaitlyn’s previous agreement, the local prosecutor brought charges against Mr. Straun and challenged the legality of Mr. Straun’s homeschool program. Mr. Straun immediately contacted Home School Legal Defense Association. HSLDA assisted our local counsel Tom Sanders in responding to the prosecutor. We gathered evidence that Kaitlyn had been withdrawn from her high school according to Texas state law, that Kaitlyn’s homeschool program was operating in a bona fide manner, and that Mr. Straun was teaching the subjects required by Texas law.

Realizing that Kaitlyn’s agreement did not preclude her ability to withdraw from public school to homeschool, the prosecutor quickly closed the case when he received proof that Mr. Straun was legally homeschooling. The Strauns were able to continue homeschooling Kaitlyn to meet her educational goals and social needs.

“I’ve seen homeschooling work to help teens get back on course,” said Staff Attorney Darren Jones. “And in this case, both parents were willing to help their daughter succeed in life. I’m glad HSLDA was able to assist them!”