A family in New York State was threatened with scrutiny by a social worker because parents chose to homeschool their son, the Home School Legal Defense Association says.
The dispute began in Mid-August when the unidentified family in the Minisink Valley Central School District in Orange County, New York, decided to homeschool their son. New York State law requires that parents file a document called an individual home instruction plan, or IHIP, with the school district in order to homeschool.
The parents received the necessary paperwork more than a month later, HSDLA reported. A week after receiving the documents, the parents got a disturbing phone call from a person identified as Lisa Delia, the secretary to Minisink Valley Central’s superintendent of schools. Delia told the parents that they had to turn in the IHIP immediately
“According to state law,” HSLDA wrote in a blog, “a parent has four weeks from receipt of the IHIP form to return it.”
That, though, mattered little to Delia, according to HSLDA.
“She also informed the family that she would be assigning them a social worker and that their son had to remain in public school until the IHIP was approved,” HSLDA added.
Not surprisingly, the family was alarmed.
HSLDA staff attorney Tj Schmidt contacted Delia, “who admitted that she had called the family but denied saying anything about child protective services (CPS),” HSLDA said. “Schmidt informed Delia that state law allows a family four weeks to complete the IHIP and that the family wasn’t responsible for the district’s long delay in getting them the form. Schmidt also pointed out that state law does not require a child to remain in public school until the IHIP is ‘approved.’”
Delia later acknowledged that she had referenced CPS, but insisted she meant she would contact a social worker only if the IHIP was not submitted, HSLDA said.
Shortly after that conversation, Assistant Superintendent Christian Ranaudo contacted HSDLA and admitted that the family was in compliance with state law and that they had four weeks to submit the paperwork – and that no social worker would be assigned.
Once again, parents in America have had to turn to an attorney to get local school officials to follow state laws on homeschooling.
The Minisink Valley Central School District is located around Port Jervis, New York, or the near intersection of the states of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
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