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Old 08-21-2011, 10:39 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,841 times
Reputation: 10

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Please help. I am a single mom of 4, 3 of which are still in my home and in high school. I have been homeschooling my children for the past two years now. I have never had a problem till recently. I am great about keeping records of all their work and tests and transcripts.

A few months back, I had a call from a DHS worker claiming child neglect on me. She never even came to my house but did talk to me over the phone. I offered to show her all that I had. She informed me that she was going to close the alligations as unfounded. A month later, I got a letter in the mail telling me to appear in court. I got the letter on a Saturday and had to be in court the following Monday at 9:00 am. No time to find out what is going on. Then they informed me that they were opening a case against me for child neglect just because I chose to homeschool my children last year. Then they also court ordered me to enroll my children in public school this year. Is this legal and what can I do about it to protect my children?

Please any info will help.

Athena
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Chattanooga, TN
2,790 posts, read 3,876,460 times
Reputation: 4296
I have a cousin who homeschools her children in Mississippi. I don't know the specifics, but I know it IS legal. Also I know that it is more complicated than just keeping good records. For what it's worth, she is a licensed teacher who taught for several years in the public school system before her kids were old enough for school.

I recommend checking out a few help web sites for starters. A simple Google search for "homeschooling in MS" turned up:
Home School Legal Defense Association: Homeschooling in Mississippi - legal oriented, appears to follow and comment on MS laws, and lists support groups
Mississippi Homeschooling Information - resource site, that has links to several other homeschooling organizations
Homeschooling In Mississippi - looks like a "how to" site

Any of those sites and their associated forums will have more specific information than a general city-data forum.

Next use those sites to get contact info for people who can answer questions. If you fight the state all alone you WILL lose unless you have unlimited resources and time to fight back. If you have a local, state, or even national organization behind you, providing moral support and legal advice, the fight gets MUCH easier.

Few state agencies have the budget these days to go after unknown offenders. Putting your kids in the public school system actually COSTS the state money, so there is no real incentive for them to look. Most likely someone reported you. Maybe a concerned/nosy neighbor, someone who doesn't like you, or else someone with your local school district. Your school district is losing out on state education money because your kids aren't on their rolls, and they have an incentive to get your kids in a seat.

Good luck!
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
42,646 posts, read 41,381,512 times
Reputation: 81968
Did you fill out a certificate of enrollment with your local school system, the system your kids would normally attend? It's a state requirement for home-schoolers.

You have to register your kids with the system even if you homeschool. You can't just keep your kids home and teach them. Not saying you're doing this, but it may be someone at the school who knows the kids "should" be there but aren't that reported you.
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