SCHOOL TO HOMESCHOOLERS: SIGN UP OR FACE CRIMINAL CHARGES | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

SCHOOL TO HOMESCHOOLERS: SIGN UP OR FACE CRIMINAL CHARGES

A number of homeschool parents in Florida have been ordered by a public school district to register their children in classes within three days or face “criminal prosecution” under state law.

A meeting within the next week likely will determine whether school officials will face a lawsuit in response to the threat.

The issue is being addressed by the Home School Legal Defense Association, which said its members in the Santa Rosa County School District received letters demanding information that parents are not required to provide under state law.

The information included Social Security number, race and grade level.

The parents also received a letter demanding they comply with a new district policy requiring them to show proof of residency and to prove they no longer were registered in whatever district they most recently had been under.

HSLDA said its staff attorney, TJ Schmidt, wrote to Terri Moore, who was secretary in what used to be called the Alternative Academics and Continuous Improvement Department, as well as Santa Rosa Supt. Tim Wyrosdick “pointing out that Florida law does not require proof of residency or any of the additional information that the district requested.”

A weeks-long silence by the district suggested to HSLDA that the policy had been changed to comply with state law.

“How wrong we were,” HSLDA said.

The homeschooling families now were receiving “termination” letters from Moore, who had moved on to become a secretary to Laura Austin, principal of the Santa Rosa Blended Academy/Home Education Department.

The parents were bluntly told the district was “terminating your request to file your intent to home school in Santa Rosa County School District.”

The letter said, according to HSLDA, each family had three days “to register your student in public or private school.”

“Failure of a parent or guardian to enroll a student in an attendance option after termination of a home education program shall constitute non-compliance with the compulsory attendance requirement and may result in criminal prosecution of the parent under Section 1003.27(2), F.S.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

To forbid parents from home schooling only demonstrates that the Florida education system is really scared to death that the homeschoolers will do far better than will public schooled kids.

I hope this case goes all the way to the Supreme Court, and is successful for homeschooling parents.

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