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Homeschool Families Facing Charges for Failing to File Paperwork on Time

  • Veronica Neffinger

    Veronica Neffinger wrote her first poem at age seven and went on to study English in college, focusing on 18th century literature. When she is not listening to baseball games, enjoying the…

  • 2016 Feb 09

Parents of two homeschooling families in Ohio could face fines and possible jail time for failing to file paperwork on time.

Christian Today reports that the parents of the two families have been charged with “contributing to the delinquency of a minor” which is a first-degree misdemeanor with a penalty of up to $1,000 and a possible six-month jail sentence. 

The parents were charged after they misunderstood Ohio’s requirements for homeschooling and failed to file paperwork on time.

One family filed an intent to homeschool last year, but was unaware that the notice needed to be re-filed this year. The other family filed the annual notice, but failed to also submit an educational assessment with it because they were mistakenly told by their school district that the assessment did not have a strict deadline.

The families have now been implicated in the “truancy” of their children, even though the children have continued to complete their lessons.

The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which is representing the families, said that the families’ errors were not intentional and that the school did not notify them immediately when the paperwork was not filed.

"As soon as both families realised their errors, they took action to comply with their districts' demands. After filing the paperwork, both families received a letter from their superintendent verifying that their homeschool programme is in compliance with state law for the 2015-2016 schoolyear. Then they brought criminal charges against the parents," HSLDA stated.

HSLDA attorney Peter Kamakawiwoole, Jr. added that the law “is clearly intended to deal with situations where parents are unwilling to correct persistent – and in some cases, dangerous – misbehaviour by their children,” and that this is not the case with these two families.  

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Publication date: February 9, 2016