The story began during the 2017-2018 school year. Her seven-year-old son’s health struggles led to attendance problems at the local public school that year. According to the Home School Legal Defense Association, who would provide counsel to the mother, the mother provided doctor’s notes for her son’s absences, but that wasn’t enough.
That is when she made the decision to homeschool. She would be able to educate her son, while still having the flexibility that her son needed. It seemed like a great option.
She started homeschooling this past August. Homeschoolers in Mississippi have a considerable amount of freedom, but they must still file a notice of intent with the local school attendance officer. The cutoff date is September 15, more than a month about public schools begin.
But before the end of August, the mother was arrested on charges of truancy, booked at the sheriff’s office, and ordered to post bond. She was warned that she would face fines of up to $1,000 and a year in jail if she didn’t enroll her son in school.
HSLDA was able to persuade the local prosecutor to drop the case, and she is free to educate her son today.
Mississippi state law does provide parents with the freedom to educate their children at home, free of government intrusion. However, this isn’t the first time in the past year that local school districts have attempted to overstep their authority.
Mississippi families who choose to homeschool their children should not be susceptible to illegal attempts by school districts to regulate their education.