March 13, 2017
School officials in Paris, KY are attempting to overstep their boundaries by conducting unannounced visits to homeschooling families. According to the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), these visits are a clear violation of a state-wide agreement that was implemented to protect a family’s constitutional right to privacy.
The school officials claim they are only there to help the parents, but part of their plan to help involves demanding information from parents about attendance records and curriculum. They have even asked to meet the children to question them in some instances. One home school parent, Jenny Griffith, who received one of these visits said “I got the impression that district staff could become more difficult if I didn’t cooperate in answering their questions or bring out my child to meet them. I tried to handle the situation as civilly as possible, without adding any threat to them.” The officials also told her that the district intends on visiting every homeschooling family three times a year.
After being alerted of these visits, the HSLDA quickly got involved and warned parents of this threat to their fourth amendment rights. On the HSLDA website, they spell out for their members what their rights are and how they should handle the situation. According to Kentucky laws, a homeschool program operates as a private school. While private schools are required to keep attendance and scholarship records (i.e. report cards) in the same manner as the local public school, homeschooling parents do not need to open their homes and present these documents simply because a school official comes knocking
TJ Schmidt, a contact attorney for Kentucky through the HSLDA, also said that unless school officials receive some report or have some evidence that the parents are not educating their children, no further inquiry should be made. This agreement, known as the Best Practices Document, has been in place for more than 20 years. Schmidt also assured families that he and Cindy West, a local CHEK representative and veteran homeschooling mom in Bourbon County, have contacted the Paris Independent School District and are objecting to the visits on behalf of the parents. They expect the visits to cease but promise to monitor the situation. (RELATED: Get all the news Google is trying to hide at Censored.news.)
This is not the first time that the HSLDA has had to step in when dealing with a Kentucky school district. In 2015 homeschooling families in Gallatin County, KY received a packet from Roxann Booth, the director of pupil personnel, letting them know county officials would visit the home of every homeschool program through the coming school year. The packet also contained forms that requested detailed information not required by state law.
When the HSLDA was alerted about this violation Schmidt wrote a letter to Ms. Booth on behalf of the families informing her that the information requested went well beyond what is required under Kentucky law. And because home visits would violate each homeschooling individual’s privacy rights the HSLDA would legally challenge any attempt to carry out these visits. Within two weeks, every homeschooling family received a follow-up letter from Ms. Booth apologizing for the demands for additional information and the challenge to the legitimacy of their homeschool programs.
Public schools do not want any challenge to their plans to turn all of our children into politically correct social justice warriors with no ability to think for themselves. As we see from these examples, they know very well where the lines are but are more than willing to cross them until someone is brave enough to stand up and tell them that they refuse to conform.