The D.T. family wanted to exempt their 5-year-old from school attendance, so they sent the proper notice to the Salem public school system.

But rather than promptly acknowledging the exemption, Salem asked the family to fill out a form explaining in their “request” why they did not want to enroll their child in kindergarten, and send it to the local school.

The family asked us to help. HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff wrote a letter explaining that families are not required to use any form at all for the exemption. He reminded them that families do not need to submit a “request” for the exemption: They merely submit a notice. Finally Woodruff pointed out that state law requires the school division office—not the local school—to handle these exemptions.

Salem quickly responded, agreed that no form was necessary, and acknowledged the family’s exemption.

This article ran originally on HSLDA. Used with permission.

Scott Woodruff answers questions and assists members regarding legal issues in Virginia. He and his wife homeschooled their children.

Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Through annual memberships, HSLDA is tens of thousands of families united in service together, providing a strong voice when and where needed.

Publication date: January 9, 2013