Monday, May 25, 2009

Okay, now they pissed me off

I just spent a glorious Memorial day afternoon typing a letter to our local superintendent (Hamilton Twp. school district in Atlantic County, NJ so local homeschoolers, beware). The letter speaks for itself so I'll just post the whole thing in its entirety (names changed to protect the guilty):

"Dear Ms. Superintendent:
As a courtesy, I am writing to inform you that my son Logan R., who attended XXXX School through April 14, 2009, has been homeschooled since that date and will continue to be educated at home unless we inform the district otherwise, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:38-25.

I received two calls and a letter from Mr. Principal (including one on my cell on Memorial Day weekend), as well as a call from Hamilton Twp. Attendance Officer, all expressing the dire need for me to send this letter. Ms. Officer threatened us with legal action. In fact, the letter we received from Mr. Principal contained the erroneous information that I needed to “request permission” from the superintendent in order to homeschool my son, which, as I am sure you are aware, is simply not true in the state of N.J.

According to the N.J. Dept. of Education's “Homeschooling Frequently Asked Questions” parents are not even required to notify the school district of their intent to homeschool. They do encourage homeschooling parents to send one if there is a possibility that the child might be suspected of truancy, which clearly was not an issue in our case. Logan's teacher was informed in writing a week before we pulled him out, the entire staff of Kid's Korner knew in advance, and Mr. Principal himself knew shortly thereafter. When I spoke to Mr. Principal on the phone, I assured him that I would send this letter. I always had every intention of doing so before the end of the school year, as a courtesy. I shouldn't have had to hear from him or anybody else again (especially not on a holiday weekend).

I appreciate the school district's desire to dot all its i's and cross all its t's, but we all know that the same thing could have been accomplished by simply slapping a Post-it on Logan's file that says “homeschooled.” It serves no purpose to alienate conscientious parents by making them feel like criminals. I've enclosed a copy of the Dept. of Education's FAQs in the hopes that the school district will stay within the bounds of the law and stop insisting that new homeschoolers “request permission” and/or send letters of notification they are not legally obligated to send unless the school suspects that their child is truant. Again, that was not an issue in our case.

So here's your letter, and presumably you now have all your ducks in a row. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me in writing at the above address. Thank you.
Denise R.


  1. Very nice letter, and wow, what a bummer you are having to deal with this. Good luck with all of your dealings with the district.

  2. LOL you have to laugh about the ignorance "Teaching" the children of today. I am so very sorry you had to go through this. Ignorance creates fear in some...I think schools today are in great fear.


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