A major homeschooling organization has launched an investigation into how the New York public school system is treating parents who legally withdraw their children from the classroom in order to educate them at home. Reports indicate that some New York parents are becoming targets of Child Protective Services (CPS) because their children’s former schools are failing to submit the proper paperwork to the state to indicate that they are now being taught their studies at home, which is causing a slew of legal problems throughout the state.
Tanya Acevedo is one such parent from New York City who was recently paid a visit by CPS employees for alleged “educational neglect.” CPS investigators requested to search her home, and also asked to look into her refrigerator, to make sure that she was not abusing her children. Confused by the visit, Acevedo asked what was going on, and apparently it was reported that her son had not been attending classes at the local public school.
Acevedo had done everything she was supposed to do, including notifying the school that her son would no longer be attending classes because he was now going to be homeschooled. Acevedo filed all the necessary paperwork to notify the school of the change, and it was the school’s responsibility to then file that notice with the state. But in her case, the school failed to do so, which ended up flagging her household as a target of child abuse.
After the visit by CPS, Acevedo contacted the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) to seek help. In the meantime, she was visited a second time by CPS, and also had to call the New York Public School District numerous times to try to fix the problem. Eventually the case was dropped, but the trouble that Acevedo faced is now the subject of a lawsuit against the New York Public School District over what appears to be a common occurrence whenever a child is withdrawn to be homeschooled.
“Even though the school knew that Tanya had filed a notice of intent to homeschool, it reported her to CPS for ‘educational neglect’ because its policy required it to do so after so many ‘absences’ had accrued,” HSLDA vice president Jim Mason stated about the reason for the litigation. (RELATED: See more news about personal liberty at Liberty.news)
After looking into the matter further, Mason discovered that it is routine practice for New York public schools to disregard homeschool notices rather than file them with the state. This is their responsibility, as the notices are just that: notices. They are not indicative of parents asking for permission to homeschool their children, but rather they serve as notice that parents will, indeed, be homeschooling their children.
This is an important distinction because it further illustrates how the New York Public School District is neglecting its duty as a taxpayer-funded servant of the people to perform the will and bidding of the people: in this case, to properly notify other state agencies when a child is withdrawn from public school to be homeschooled, in order that other state agencies do not unjustly intervene because they do not have all the information they need about a child’s educational status.
“What happened to Tanya was the last straw,” Mason stated in an interview about how his organization plans to proceed.
“People forget that being schooled at home was the norm for most of human history. It’s important to remember that institutionalized schooling with educational professionals didn’t become the norm until about 1900. Along comes back home education, revived in the 1980s, and people don’t know what to make of it. It can and does work.”
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