Homeschooling Mom's in West Tx?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Shannoniganshens, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. Shannoniganshens

    Shannoniganshens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2010
    West TX
    I started homeschooling this year, my oldest has diabetes T1 and had some scary lows last year in public school and during the summer he had lows. I have my reasons for homeschooling, always wanted to do it, and now have decided to. I sent my withdraw letter to the school on Aug.24th, and today I received a letter from the municipal court to appear the 14th for failure to register? The school responded to my letter, said they wouldn't need anything else from me, why this? I did sign up with HSLDA, I'm just confused, I document everything, we are going all year round, with 1-2 week breaks every three months (pending on holidays). Anyone else from the Odessa/Midland area that homeschool? Have I made life harder than it already was for my son? They want me to have him appear in court also? Court room is no where for a child to be, in my opinion, unless they have stolen or broken the law. We dedicate Mon-Fri, 8-4 sometimes 5 or 6 in the evening to school. I'm scared and I'm mad. Is there anyone out there in Tx who can help comfort this uneasy scared feeling, I almost feel like I have broken the law, but I know my son will advance in so many ways, he's G/T, yesterday I gave him a practice G.E.D. test, just for fun on math and he only missed 3 questions out of 64, he's only 13 years old, we have a strict curriculum and lessons . AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, I guess is all I can say, I am waiting for a legal counselor to contact me from HSLDA............. [​IMG] [​IMG] I just wanted a safe environment for my child. Any opinions ? Nice reassuring ones? javascript:insert_text('[​IMG]', '');
  2. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    I can't help out with the legalities but I am certain that HSLDA will be able to straighten it out. If you have documented everything and have followed the laws for your state, I imagine it is just some sort of mistake on their part. Probably some paperwork didn't get completed or they failed to send your withdrawal letter to the correct person. Let us know how it's going as things progress!
  3. PineappleMama

    PineappleMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    In Leeper vs Arlington and/or TEA vs Leeper the Texas Supreme Court ruled that Home School families are for all intents and purposes Private Schools and thus are NOT under the umbrella of TEA, the local ISD, etc.

    So long as you are teaching Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and Good Citizenship.

    By law you aren't even required to notify the district if you decide to HS, it's a COURTESY.

    Go to court, WITHOUT your child, and show them the letter you sent in AS A COURTESY, as well as siting the Texas Supreme Court decision... unless the LOCAL judge is a total moron who thinks he/she is so important they can overrule State SUPREME court rulings they'll dismiss the whole thing.

    This district and the courts involved just opened themselves up to a major harassment suit... if they've got an ounce of smarts or self-preservation they'll back out quietly and let you live in peace. Did I mention that Leeper was a class action suit brought to court by a batch of harassed HS families?

    You can read a bit more at the link below... or just google leeper vs arlington, or even Texas Home School Laws...

    One quote from that page The Governor of Texas says: "In Texas, we view home schooling as something to be respected and protected - respected for the energy and commitment of parents; protected from the interference of government. Texas does not index or monitor home school programs."

    Okay, can't resist... ONE more... direct from the Texas Education Code...

    Sec. 1.001. APPLICABILITY

    (a) This code applies to all educational institutions supported in whole or in part by state tax funds unless specifically excluded by this code.

    The ENTIRE Texas Education Code ONLY applies to schools who accept state funds... if your curriculum, salary, utilities, etc aren't being funded by the state then the TEC does not apply to you.

    We delivered a notice of withdrawal/letter of assurance to DD's and DS's schools on Friday before school started, Monday there was no "Your child is absent call"... so they simply removed them and that was that. No calls, letters, faxes, emails, or other harassment... of course it WAS my town that was named in that suit so maybe they learned their lesson... perhaps M/O just doesn't know about this ruling... I doubt it... seeing as it's 15+ years old... but it's possible I guess that there's NEVER been a single HSer in their district... *snort* More likely they're just bullies... but in this case the STATE law is 100% on your side so do not fear...

    Hope that helped!! [​IMG]
  4. Shannoniganshens

    Shannoniganshens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2010
    West TX
    I knew and read the Texas laws on homeschooling, I actually thought I fell into some hype, thinking it was o.k. for me to home school. Thank you so much for the reassurance, I made myself sick yesterday and all night I didn't get any sleep. We are following the curriculum required + typing, science, a second language and computer programming, we go to the library every Saturday . We go over public school hours and our own 8-4 hours we had set for our home schooling. I document everything, have weekly lessons planned out, have reading logs,an attendance record, I make small notes about problem areas I notice, so that we can work on them the next week, improvements made, ect. Plus I have in my home school files the Texas Law, the letter of withdraw, the response from the school's principal and now this letter from the court, and today my Aunt came by, the school had sent to her home, a letter about my sons attendance, that he had unexcused absences, since Aug. 25, I really don't understand, I'm hoping it's a mistake, the principal responded promptly, called my home and sent me an email Aug.26. and to me everything looked like it was handled properly, so we started our home school journey .
    I won't take my son into their court room, the court is requesting our address, where he resides and his school knows this information, they knew last year, he would not be attending or be registered at his school because we had moved out of their district, I had a teacher call me and ask and she knew, just because she loved having my son and I told her he would not attend their school and would be in a private school (originally I had planned on an online school). My younger children's school, their principal emails me once a week, I am donating eggs to their school in 2 weeks to their science department. She's just a very nice lady, who thinks my kids are so unique, she would always ask what my secret was, because they were the happiest, funniest and well mannered children she had in years. We talk about how the kids are doing, the chickens, she wants one of our science hatching chicks. My oldest's school, I guess I should of known, very formal and short. But it addressed everything stated in my withdraw letter and she told me that it was o.k. because I didn't register him, therefor they didn't need anything else from me.
    I will keep everyone updated, I hope it's just a matter of miscommunication. [​IMG] and there are no further problems.
  5. PineappleMama

    PineappleMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    So this is CLEARLY not the school that's coming after you... since you're on good terms with the staff they know the situation... so it must be either the district or TEA... given that TEA was siting in that suit as well I doubt TEA would step into the same pile twice so I'd say it's pretty obvious that it is the district that is attacking.

    Have you by chance discussed this attack with any of the staff you're conversing with? 10-1 they don't know a thing about any action against you... but they might have some advice to offer?

    Breathe, just breathe.
  6. Shannoniganshens

    Shannoniganshens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2010
    West TX
    The principal I am friends with said she doesn't know anything about it, and that she can't give any advice, due to they provide her with her job, I understand where she is coming from. She did say that it is most likely miscommunication, that when she has dealt with this school for transferring 6th to 7th graders, she will get trouble calls from parents, the way this district is set up, your on another side of the street with the school down the block you have to pay a fee for your child to attend that one school or go to the school 10 or so blocks away, this particular school is very unorganized, it's one of the best in town, but it took me 2 days to get my son registered when we moved here,last year, and they never got his school records or tried (I think), then he couldn't attend until they had all his diabetes information, i.d.,prescriptions, and then the big meeting with all his teachers, that was a hassle to even get done. Anyways took us a week and a half before he could attend classes. The letter about the absences is from the school, signed by the principal and attendance recorder. I talked to the attendance lady at the school today and she said that they didn't receive notice!!! The principal is right across from the attendance office, she is going to call me back when she finds something out. She did say that if I had chosen to keep my son in public school, we wouldn't have any of these problems to begin with, but it is my choice. [​IMG] is kind of what I thought in my head. I just told her that their school doesn't meet his needs, he has the state required curriculum + more and thanked her. I'm guessing none of these people remember all the problems we had last year with his diabetes, they really aren't problems, just he gets hypoglycemic and sometimes doesn't realize he's low, he just goes blank, can't talk, I know the signs of it, they were sending him down halls to the nurses office without aid , thats what our big meeting with the teachers was about. He missed a lot of days or was taken out during the day because of his lows, they didn't know how to handle it (would give him strawberry milk,raise him high fast), then tried to take me to court over to many absences, we got all that cleared up, we are new to diabetes, 1 year this month and it's been a rough road. I know they have forgotten how pushy I am and involved with my son, [​IMG] they forgot me [​IMG], and I was up at that school everyday 2 or 3 times a day. *Sigh, I do hope all of this is cleared up, I'm just waiting, printing up and making copies of all my documentation, getting ready for Tuesday, I moved today's schooling to Sunday so that I could get everything prepared, I really don't know what is going on!!! So I am just googling on pins and needles, I can't wait for HSLDA to call, the woman I talked to said I would be contacted today, I really can't WAIT!!!!!!! It's scary.
  7. Shannoniganshens

    Shannoniganshens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2010
    West TX
    [​IMG] Thank you Pineapple , the only home school group I have found is in Midland, I emailed them when I first started but they never responded, to register with them there is a fee , thats so you can contact other home schoolers, place ads? get access to tutors, all other sites I have tried are no longer running sites, the best help I have had, are based in Lubbock and they offer so much, I really like them, but they are 2 hours away, I thought or hoped, I could start a home school group in our area, once I got our own down. I love to help people, I've got this deal with myself, everyday do something good (good deed) outside of my home, at least one. I've stuck to this for 2 years now. I expect nothing in return just something I woke up and decided to do. Again thank you [​IMG]:hugs
  8. PineappleMama

    PineappleMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Had a friend who's son was diabetic and he too ended up missing a lot of class... they worried constantly because just running around in the back yard could effect his levels... n'mind at school. It was frightening just hearing about it, I can't imagine actually being there.

    Even if HSing wasn't a totally protected right in Texas this district has shown blatantly that they are incapable of providing the care needed for your child in particular... so, for his health AND education you have no choice but to HS. Moot point in Texas, but something I'd bring up anyways just to show in addition to their totally ignoring state law they're also totally ignoring your child's records.

    And they think YOU are the negligent one... sheesh.

    Definitely have all that info... his medical records, records from last year (and how the district totally bombed), and his school records so far this year... legally they have NO right at all to see your attendance records... NONE because TEC, including attendance minimums, do NOT apply to Private Schools and as I said before HS is Private as far as the courts are concerned.

    Site that section of state code, and also the Leeper thing... you shouldn't even need ANY other documentation, the judge should be able to see those precedents, in black and white, and that should be it. Anyone asking to see attendance is blatantly breaking the law, the district asking is a major No No (Leeper) whether it's attendance or curriculum... MAJOR no no... one that you can sue for, one that HAS been sued (and won) before.

    Given how tight education funds are right now (isn't everything) I'm really REALLY surprised that a district would set themselves up for this kind of hit. Have they gotten a new Super or something? Maybe from another state? Only thing I can think of.

    Edit... another link...

    the original ruling in Leeper, the appeal (upheld) also Pierce v. Society of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and then TEA's attack on Leeper too... boy they REALLY just did NOT want to let it go... just couldn't stand that they didn't have absolute control over these families...

    Then here's the Texas Home School Coalition... their FAQ page is very helpful...

    in particular caught my eye...

    1. I have decided to homeschool. What do I need to do? My child is enrolled in public school.

    The first thing you need to do is obtain a curriculum. It is wise to find a local support group to help you set up your school.

    Although you are not legally required to register with the school district or receive their permission to home school, you should withdraw your child(ren) from the public school. Failure to do so, could result in school officials filing charges of thwarting compulsory attendance or failure to attend school against you and/or your child(ren). Therefore, once you have a curriculum in hand, write the principal of the school your child attends (or will be attending if you are writing while school is not in session) and tell him that you are withdrawing your child from his school in order to teach him at home. Send the letter certified mail return receipt requested to receive proof of delivery. If the school subsequently contacts you and says that you must do more (come to the central office, fill out a form, etc.), do not go to the school. Follow the directives on this link.

    The Texas Education Agency has told the school districts in Texas that such a letter meets the guidelines of cooperation with the school district in compliance with the compulsory attendance laws. (See the commissioner’s letter.) Unless the school district has evidence that your letter of assurance is not true, this should be the end of your contact with the school district over withdrawal. Click here for more information on getting

    The very interesting thing about this is that ALL DISTRICTS were notified by TEA of these laws... your district is choosing to ignore them.

    And secondly... the one that I think is your major issue...

    2. What if a school district official calls or a truant officer comes to the door?

    Be polite and friendly. Smile. Stay calm.

    Get his name and business card.

    Ask what prompted his visit or call.

    Tell him, "My children are privately educated at home."

    Answer other questions with, "I will be glad to cooperate as far as the law requires, but you will need to give me your request in writing."

    Repeat the above statements as often as necessary. Do not be afraid of silence.

    After he leaves, write down everything that occurred.

    Call THSC Association, (806) 744-4441, as soon as possible to report the contact.

    Do not allow him to enter your home or to speak to your children. The only legal ways into your home are with your permission or a search warrant. If you receive a written request, respond with a letter of assurance. (See sample.) If you do not respond to a written request in a timely manner, the school district can file truancy charges against you for lack of cooperation.

    Your district seems to have totally bypassed truancy officers?? Did anyone ever visit? Call? Write? Or did they go straight to the court attack? I would give these folks a call... sounds like they're used to dealing with this sort of thing...
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  9. Shannoniganshens

    Shannoniganshens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2010
    West TX
    O.k, THSC is where I got my information from when I first started, I followed their steps on the withdraw letter, I have not been contacted by a truancy officer, in my withdraw letter I provided my phone numbers and email address, I did not include my address, we just bought our house and moved out here month after school was let out (they have it in their records,though, the nurse put it down so she could send me his school meter and said she would put it in his records)but I thought for sure, that my phone number and email would be enough for the letter and maybe avoid a surprise visit . My reason for not giving them my address was my fear of CPS, I have dealt with them when my son was diagnosed with diabetes, how we found out he had diabetes was he stayed at his grandmothers in another town for the summer, when he returned he was so skinny and sick looking, had gone from a size 16 husky to 12 slim, as soon as I opened the car door to hug my baby I went in to tears, swooped him up put him in my car and rushed him to the E.R., from there I was locked away from him as if I had done something wrong and they called CPS, after the head nurse was off the phone, she asked me a list of questions, all my answers showed her I was not the one to be concerned over, at the time, no one knew what was wrong with him. I almost lost my son one more day and he would of been in a coma or died, a week in ICU and the day before we were let out the CPS worker came, I was more than helpful and friendly to her, then she talked to my ex husband and my family and I went threw months of torture from this woman. She listened to rumors from that small town, even made a deal with some neighbor drug addicts, handled (grabbed her arm to make her stay) my daughter up at the school, chased her threw the school, it was just ridiculous all of it, this woman had it in for me, would lie to my face and pull all kinds of twists and turns to get "the truth " out of me. Accused me of leaving my son all by himself, said she watched my home and new that I left every night, so all know it was my husband, he worked morning tower on a rig. She talked to all the wrong people, not the doctors, dietitian,school nurse, friends, I don't know what I did to this woman or what my ex had said, but it got to where she was talking to my children up at the school, telling them lies, making threats, my youngest children's teachers would not let her take them anymore, she had scared my daughter to where she wouldn't leave class for lunch or to go home, she would cry for an hour , the teacher said, after her interviews (none I approved of or was contacted about) I told this woman to leave my children alone and she said she could talk to them when and where she wanted and I had no choice. So I left the county and here I am, after leaving the county, I obtained a lawyer, the woman had sent me a txt?!!! Saying she had child endangerment charges on me and new that I was a danger to my children (mind you this woman or any CPS worker ever contacted the grandmother, who had my son, who neglected my baby) and that I had to give her my location. I txt her with my contact information, and that I had obtained a lawyer and that I knew my rights and I never heard another word from her again(year ago this month) My lawyer had tried to contact her at her office and cell and never got a return call. So long story short, because I heard CPS gets involved, I chose not to give my address in my letter, but plenty of ways to contact me. I would never hurt my children, I love them. My address with the school is my Aunts house as mailing and my address as home, but no one has showed up at our houses, just this summoning to court and an attendance warning. One sent to home and the other sent to my Aunts. Whats weird is I was contacted by several different people over the summer from this school, from nurses to the principal all called my cell phone. And the automated calls from the district, that do call about attendance and events, I haven't received one since school started. Anyways, I'm going to call the number you provided. Thank you.
  10. PineappleMama

    PineappleMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good grief... this may sound odd but did you verify with CPS that this lady was actual a worker there?

    If she wasn't then saying "I have a lawyer" would scare her off... but if she was legit then that simply would mean that she would continue her 'investigation' but that your lawyer would handle contact... that should NOT have stopped action if there was an actual investigation going on... not at all. Something about that just is NOT kosher.

    When my Aunt was involved with them was when I found out that they can go to the kids' school and pull them and be left alone with the child at any time and the school won't do squat to stop it... heck they didn't even ask for ID (like they do for the kids' own mother to see them) before letting this person go off into a windowless room with NO parental or staff supervision.

    Scared the crap out of me to be honest... because ANYONE could walk in and say "I'm CPS and I need Joe Smith" and they'll just hand the kid over no questions asked. And while the law states that all interviews must be recorded, and backup tape/batteries brought, if they don't have them it's just a "aw shucks they broke" note in the file... NOTHING you can do about it. The school won't even verify that they do have recording equipment before handing a child over. Now, true enough if this was an agent, background checked, SAFE person there wouldn't be a problem... but fact is that ANYONE with kids who's dealt with them knows about this little hole in security... the parents who were falsely accused, no problem... but the ones who really are hurting their kids... they now know that they can waltz into ANY school and get their hands on a child just by saying their name/grade and claiming they're an agent.

    Really really NOT good IMHO... I talked to the attendance clerk (the one who mans the desk and calls kids down when someone's there to see them/pick them up) as well as the AP and Principle and they didn't even seem to CARE that this loophole exists... they are SO terrified of CPS that in order to protect their jobs they'll fail to protect kids. Just turn a blind eye.

    In the end my aunt went to Oklahoma... as per CPS's recommendation... out in the boonies of Oklahoma... next thing they know the sheriff is knocking on the door because CPS called and demanded he go there and interrogate, enforce, etc etc... he checked, saw they had a roof, food, clothes, etc and told the guy if he wanted more info than that he'd have to carry his arse up there himself... but not to expect any help from the locals on getting out to their place.

    That's just one instance... doesn't count the numerous times (in the middle of one Right Now) that Sis's been investigated though hers is totally deserved... so yeah, way more experience with them than I ever wanted... but that leads me to wonder what the devil was up with this one... that's NOT normal procedure at all...

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