December 17, 2001

New York District Threatens Educational Neglect Charge

Recently, Manhattan High Schools District threatened to charge a Home School Legal Defense Association member family with educational neglect unless they complied with the district's illegal reporting demands.

Under New York law, home schooling families are required to submit quarterly reports to the district. Because the law recognizes that home schoolers use different schedules, parents choose the specific dates to submit their reports.

However, an official from the district superintendent's office arbitrarily assigned due dates for the reports. Usually, when a district sets these dates, most home schoolers simply ignore them, and the district does not attempt to enforce them. This time, however, when an HSLDA member family decided to set their own dates, they received a hostile letter from Manhattan threatening them with educational neglect charges if they did not follow the school district's schedule.

When the family called HSLDA for assistance, we immediately contacted the Manhattan High Schools official, informing him that the district had no authority to designate quarterly report submission dates. Since then, the family has not received further threats.