A homeschool family was almost forced to send their special-needs daughter to public school because someone thought their house was messy.
An anonymous tipster told Montana’s Child & Family Services that the family’s home was messy, leading to a visit from a case worker who found that the house actually was clean, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) reported.
But even though there wasn’t a mess, the family’s troubles were far from over.
The case worker came back a week later and began asking questions about the parents’ 9-year-old daughter.
“The family was aware of their daughter’s unique challenges,” HSLDA reported. “They had already had her evaluated by a private psychologist, who determined that her needs were being met in her current home environment, and they were working closely with an ophthalmologist to care for her vision.”
A month later, the case worker returned and asked the girl to read, which she did. The case worker then decided that she should be tested in a public school – and he threatened legal action if the family did not go along.
The state only backed off after HSDLA attorney Dan Beasley wrote to the specialist about what is required under Montana law.
“[Beasley[ explained that the family was in compliance with Montana law and that they were under no legal obligation to access services through the public school,” HSLDA reported. “The specialist quickly responded with an email clarifying that he was not trying to force services on the family, but he wanted to make sure they were aware of the free services available through the school district. He also had some questions about the legal requirements for homeschooling.”
Beasley then replied back to the case worker, and the family has not heard from the case worker since.
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