September 4, 2001

Virginia County Makes Unlawful Demands on Home Schoolers

Frederick County Public Schools recently began distributing a new form to "assist" home schooling families who wish to take advantage of Virginia's lenient religious exemption law. Although the form contained numerous errors, Frederick County insisted that their specific form was necessary for home schoolers to be in compliance with the law.

The form required the following unlawful information: the family's telephone number, the students' grade levels, the name of the family's church and pastor, documents which "serve as the written basis for your religious training or belief," and specific public school curriculum or practice that conflicted with the parents' beliefs.

In Home School Legal Defense Association's letter to Frederick County, we stated that none of this information is required for compliance with Virginia's religious exemption law, and we addressed the numerous errors contained throughout the form. The Virginia legislature did not make the exemption law dependent upon the completion of a form. In order to avoid the possibility that Frederick County Public Schools will violate the right of parents by forcing them to use this illegal form, we will defend our members' right to not use it.