Homeschoolers & The Law
As I ponder the above definition of homeschool, it saddens me to see that our legal rights are being chipped away in this country, in our state, at the county level and in our cities. When my homeschooler was a young lad, I never gave truancy laws a second glance, ya know, you see little kids out and about during the day with Mom. You never think much of it.
Now, as the Mom of a teenage boy, my mind thinks a bit differently.
What is your first thought when you see a group of teenage boys shooting hoops at the local park during the middle of a school day? Or a trio of teen boys walking through the mall, laughing and having a good time on a school day? "What are those hoodlums doing out of school?" What more or less would a truancy officer or police officer think? Think of that police officer alone, walking into a situation with a group of teen boys, he is going to be poised and ready for action if necessary.
Exactly, this is the reason why we need to be thinking about how truancy laws in our state, county and city could effect us.
If you don't think this is something to be concerned about in your homeschool, just do a google search for HSLDA truancy and see what you come up with. You will find many, many cases across our nation and you might think, ah, not a big deal, I just tell the police that I'm homeschooling. Read these cases and see the nightmares that these parents and childen have lived through. It may not be as easy as "We homeschool." It's not that easy anymore, an investigation can be opened up and you proceed from there.
Here is our real concern, this is about daytime curfews and truancy, this was a real case that a homeschool family went through, with the kids being arrested. HSLDA Court Report.
As homeschoolers it's easy for us to live in our own nice little bubble, but it's key for us to know what is going on, read the newspaper, find out what the different board meetings have on their agenda. Look for truancy, public school issues, student issues, curfew changes and anything that you can think of that looks child or school related. If you know any board members, ask them that as a homeschooler you want to know if there are any of these issues coming up to be voted on, because it's key that we know about these issues BEFORE a vote goes through.
It's easier to stop a pending law, than to change a law.
We must remain on guard, yet not be paranoid. Just in my state alone in less than 60 days we have had 3 truancy laws brought up, 2 of those were passed and are now in effect. We also need to look ahead, asking ourselves where do we want our homeschools to be in 5 years, 10 years, 15 years. You may have little ones that no one will question now, but one day soon they will be teens.
As the mom of a young man, I'm starting to think about my grandchildren, how sad would that be if our children's desire to homeschool their children is not possible because we did nothing to protect homeschooling laws.
We then have failed our children.