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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok...
i am trying to be calm and be sure i make some sense here...but please forgive me if i babble, because i am very, very rattled !!
i posted about 2 weeks ago about looking for info on massachusetts homeschool law because i desperately wanted to pull my kids out of the public school they have been in~~
i found the info i needed for the most part and have been getting myself organized in terms of ordering my materials and making a curriculum plan.
well, this is where things get a little messy.....
my children have been sick over and over since starting school this fall.
this is actually one of the reasons i have not wanted them to be in this school...it is like a petri dish of illness!!
there is a new principal in power as of this year. i loathe this woman !!
she is soooo unpleasant. so judgemental etc etc
:
she has decided to take it very personal that my kids have been out a lot and has completely lost her mind since i told her that i will be withdrawing them to homeschool. she sent a truent officer to the house when my kids were home with a cough so bad that my son had no voice!
in our town i have to actually meet w/ the assistant superintendant to get "approval" for my homeschool plan before i am "allowed" to homeschool.
we are supposed to be doing this early next week. well, i got incredibly pi$$ed after the truent officer thing yesterday and left a message at the school that the kids were not coming back at all and we would start our homeschooling a little early regardless of approval or not.
so this evening the principal called me and threatened me with cps and the whole 9 yards!!!
can she actually do this???? i mean, my house is clean, my kids are clean...i have nothing to hide, but i want to know SPECIFICLY where i stand and what my rights are here before i take this woman on! i think i am actually more scared of sending the kids back to here school than i am of cps at my door, just because she is soooo evil!
arrrgh...i feel like i am going to vomit i am so distressed right now!!
 

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I don't know what the laws are like in your state, but it all sounds so wrong! I just can't believe it that what they are doing to you is allowed!!

The laws here in England are very clear about the authorities not over stepping their boundaries, but they often do it anyways. That's why it is so important to know your rights!

Have you tried contacting a local or state homeschooling group? They may be able to help you with some legal advice.

What a
this principal is!!

to you mama!
 

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I did some looking for you and found a site with what looks to be very solid infor on Mass. homeschooling laws as well as contact info.

http://mhla.org/information/gettings...quirements.htm

It looks like you HAVE to get approval to begin homeschooling, so you need hold tight and just jump through the hoops.

Anyone can call CPS for any reason, and she can call on you. This isn't a specific homeschooling issue, and I would post on the parenting board about what to do if CPS comes knocking on your door. There are moms here on mothering who have dealt with it and could mostly likely offer good advice.

Good luck!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
my understanding was that yes...i did need approval of my homeschooling plan. but that at the beginning ,i only needed to "inform" them of my plans to homeschool. i sent a letter to the assistant superintendant of schools for my area(shrewsbury). she is the person in charge of the homeschooling here. i have been told that she is very supportive of homeschooling families~
my letter stated my intent to homeschool, and that i would be following up this coming week with a full outline of my curriculum. i really thought i was in good shape since we were only talking about a few days.
this principal is a major control freak if she is throwing a fit about wanting them there for a day or two when she knows they will not be coming back....
:
 

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I know nobody wants CPS called on them, but just for perspecive, in Washington state it takes at least 3 seperate calls for CPS to get involved in anything. CPS is usually overloaded dealing with kids in true danger. They also know sometimes people have an ax to grind.

Good luck with your problem. So sorry you have to go through this.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move
Anyone can call CPS for any reason, and she can call on you. This isn't a specific homeschooling issue, and I would post on the parenting board about what to do if CPS comes knocking on your door. There are moms here on mothering who have dealt with it and could mostly likely offer good advice.
Jumping in quickly here. I've read tidbits concerning cps there. Stuff that is need to know. From my understanding you do not have to open the door to a cps worker unless they have a warrant. If one does come to your door ask for their warrant. If they do not have one act confused and ask why they haven't followed due process or some such. If they do have one (doubtful) ask to see it. It may be a warrant specifically for the purpose of asking for a certain set of information, if it does not give them the go ahead to come in your home, do not allow them into your home! They have to follow due process to be given the right to usurp your right to privacy in your own home.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MissRubyandKen View Post
Jumping in quickly here. I've read tidbits concerning cps there. Stuff that is need to know. From my understanding you do not have to open the door to a cps worker unless they have a warrant. If one does come to your door ask for their warrant. If they do not have one act confused and ask why they haven't followed due process or some such. If they do have one (doubtful) ask to see it. It may be a warrant specifically for the purpose of asking for a certain set of information, if it does not give them the go ahead to come in your home, do not allow them into your home! They have to follow due process to be given the right to usurp your right to privacy in your own home.

Actually someone mentioned this on the MHLA list just last night. Just don't let them in! Homeschooling is legal in Massachusetts. Too bad.

Here's what you should do to get this woman off your back. (Don't deal with her at all. Screen calls. Don't let her bait you.) First, go to the AHEM (Advocates for Home Education in MAssachusetts) website. Download the sample LOI (letter of intent) from there, and tweak it to suit your children and curriculum. Include a request that all correspondence should be in writing, for the protection of both parties. Then **ADD THE FOLLOWING IN CONCLUSION**:

"If we do not hear back from you within 14 days of receipt of this letter we shall assume our plan to be approved."

Mail this letter immediately to the superintendent, registered mail/return receipt requested, and send a copy to the school principal, also registed/return receipt requested. She is not the one who can approve you, the superintendent is, but this makes it clear to her that the superintendent is involved.

(Meanwhile, if you can, get a doctor's note for your children so that you're technically in compliance over the next two weeks. It's probably not going to be an issue, though.)

See, they can complain about your plan all they want, but it doesn't matter a jot because the case law states that if they don't like it: a)the burden of proof (of its insufficiency) is on THEM, not you; and b) furthermore, you may continue homeschooling while they scurry around trying to prove that your plan is insufficient. In reality they won't, because they don't want to be bothered with an expensive and time-consuming court case that they couldn't win.

In the meantime, if you haven't done so already, PLEASE join the MHLA yahoo group. It's full of very knowledgeable people who will give you more specific and useful information and advice than I can.

ETA: Just re-read your original post. No, you don't HAVE to meet with them, even if they told you that. Case law also states that any demands made on paretns must be "essential" to the education of the children. Since only 14% of MA superintendents ask for meetings, they cannot be considered essential. Many homeschoolers in MA simply decline politely when asked for meetings. Superintendents often ask for more than they're legally allowed to ask for. That doesn't mean they can expect to get it.
 

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This all sounds pretty crappy. Would it help you to enroll your kids in a private school like clonlara? Not that I think you should have to, or that you need to be running, but maybe it would help smooth things through. Or something. I don't know. Ugh!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i am planning to use primarily the oak meadow curriculum(although in reality i am an unschooler
) and if it came down to it they have an enrollment program also.....
it feels incredibly great to feel the support of all of the wonderful mommies on here...it is making me feel braver by the moment!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In the meantime, if you haven't done so already, PLEASE join the MHLA yahoo group. It's full of very knowledgeable people who will give you more specific and useful information and advice than I can.

QUOTE]

just did this a coupe of days ago...have not had a chance to do much reading yet.....
 

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I wanted to write & offer you my support & encouragement!


The audacity of that woman thinking she can force something on your children you have decided against.


Check out this link - it's good advice on how to deal with CPS...learn your rights and memorize what to do. It might come in handy just in case!

http://familyrightsassociation.com/c...parents_guide/

You'll be fine, mama......it's just a matter of getting from here to there.
 

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Whether you want them to help you or not, I would inform hslda about this woman. If she is harrassing homeschoolers, they should be informed, because she might do it to another family in the future.

Here, you need to notify within 10 days of starting homeschool. In other words you can start, then send in your info for approval.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
quote-Whether you want them to help you or not, I would inform hslda about this woman-quote

strangely enough...my fiancee' just sent me the web link to the hslda web site and i had been reading and reading to inform myself ...got tons of info from their site and i also wrote down their emergancy contact phone # in case of "all out emergancy/crisis situation"......it is soothing to feel the support of the mamas on here and my man also made sure to tell me in very specific words that "under no circumstance" would we be letting this poor excuse for an elementary school principal gain any power over us~~~
....i made sure to tell him he was wonderful....i am not sure i would have the strength without the knowlege i have gained from here as well as his support....i
you all!!!!
 

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OK, I haven't started homeschooling yet (but dh are so excited that we are on the same page with it
) and maybe it's lack of sleep or the bad weather or something but........

I WANNA KICK THAT WOMAN'S BUTT!
:


How dare she?!?! Thank God for you there are actually wise mamas on this thread who have given you amazing and constructive advice that will actually help you.
I just wanted you to know that Vermont is not that far from you and if you need a brute squad (an invasion of crunchy moms from the north, if you will) pm me. I'm a pacifist but I'm rethinking it right now.
:

to you mama. You are doing the right thing for your kids!
 

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I am so sorry Allison!

I have a friend who is having some very, very minor problems, just to tell you what the HSDLA has done for her.

The simplest thing as the secretary of the school, principal, and superintent all have been callling her to ask for her children's date of birth. Very simple thing, but all the information that they need to know is in her Letter of Intent. They all have been simply harrassing her. And she's been homeschooling her children for 10 YEARS!

HSDLA called the school for her. Put an end to it all.

Just wanted to share with you. I plan on becoming a member when my oldest has to legally go to school, which will be next fall.

Good luck to you. Hang in there, do it all legally....

I wish that I could beat that woman up for you!
(extending sympathy here!)
 

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http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=537485

This is a thread that leads to a discussion of a homeschool legal group from a few weeks ago.

I would be very upset as well. I'm sorry you're dealing with that woman on a powertrip. I agree that you should overlook her completely and deal with the superintendent. Any dealings with her are going to give her fuel for more harrassment. I've also heard bad things about michigan CPS though as well. I'd do anything possible to be prepared for them and you've been given some great advice here.

good luck
Lisa
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
just stopping by to say hello and thank everyone again for all the support.
although i am feeling more sure of myself i am still stressing pretty hard here...i lean toward having some serious issues with processing anxiety properly and as a resuly have extremely high blood pressure~ needless to say, the last few days have left me completey drained and my blood pressure is so high my ears are ringing.....
:
the big day to get through will be monday, since on tuesday we will be going to see the superintendant. i plan to get up early on monday so that i can make some phone calls and try to be one step ahead of the crazy principal.
there is no way i will send my kids back to that school.it is my job to protect them and i had nightmares all last night of the emotional distress i could imagine this lunatic putting them through if they were on her turf.
send positive/strengthening vibes in my direction if you have any to spare~~~ i just have this feeling i am going to need them!!
by the way, i am in massachusetts , not michigan.
 

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CPS generally does not have jurisdiction over educational matters. The dept. of educ. does. That doesn't mean they won't try to find a reason to assert jurisdiction though.
 

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Eris;6386443 Would it help you to enroll your kids in a private school like clonlara.org [/QUOTE said:
Im not sure if you checked out this site or not but Im thinking if you homeschool, you still have to deal with the school system with testing and evaluation. If you want to get away from them completely, this might be your answer.

Peace to you mama. Do something nice for yourself this sunday to bring that blood pressure back down.
 

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Eh, some folks won't like it but oh well here it goes...

I would have been right there full of outrage a few years ago. Now I understand a little better where the school district is coming from. At least where I live, what happens all too often is that parents pull their kids out of school not because they want to homeschool, unschool, or in any way be with their kids, but simply because they want to avoid truancy. Some folks find it too much hassle to get their kids to school and they figure it would be easier to leave them at home. Or, they would like to keep them home as babysitters and they don't intend to give the children time to be educated at all. Or, they are abusive parents who would like to avoid scrutiny. Often times the school gets these kids back after they've been home neglected for six months or a year or two and they get a tired of this pattern.

So, while yes, it is irritating when you aren't pulling your kids out for these reasons, do you at all see the school's perspective that they have some responsibility to try to protect kids against this kind of situation? Given you aren't going to neglect your kids how hard would it be to just have a little meeting and let them know your plan? A friend here who went through a similar situation (pulling kids out midyear and the school asking for a meeting) found out part of why the administrator was asking for a meeting is that they wanted feedback about how they failed her kids!

I don't believe that there is a good way for government to regulate homeschooling, but I do feel some concern for the kids of the minority of parents who use homeschooling as a protection as they engage in the abuse or neglect of their kids.
 
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