Debunked: Home Schooling Parents in Ohio Jailed

MikeG

Senior Member.
Natural News offered this headline last week:

Parents now being thrown in jail in America for homeschooling their children


(NaturalNews) America the police state has become a labyrinth of rules, regulations and mandates, the amount of which is impossible to know, let alone comply with.But you know, that ol' "ignorance of the law is no excuse" excuse wielded by faceless, un-elected bureaucrats wins out every time against the hapless, helpless citizen. In fact, some Americans cynically believe that rules are nearly impossible to comply with, and that they are written that way on purpose so as to justify the size, scope and power of the state.
Content from External Source
http://www.naturalnews.com/052940_homeschooling_Ohio_nanny_state.html

The claim here is pretty simple: The American police state is unjustly persecuting the “hapless, helpless citizen.” It is another example of the good versus evil story that is pretty common among conspiracy theorists.


Natural News derived most of the story from a post by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

A closer look reveals that no one has gone to jail. In fact, the story involves two sets of parents who failed to comply with state law regarding home schooling.

Even though both families continued to educate their children, their school districts decided to treat the children as “truant.” The schools also waited to contact the families until the children had accumulated more than a month of “absences,” instead of addressing the issue when the school began marking the children “absent.”

As soon as both families realized their errors, they took action to comply with their districts’ demands. After filing the paperwork, both families received a letter from their superintendent verifying that their homeschool program is in compliance with state law for the 2015-2016 school year. Then they brought criminal charges against the parents.

The criminal charge is “contributing to the delinquency of a minor,” a first-degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of up to $1,000 in fines and up to six months in the county jail. Each day that a child is “truant” can be considered a separate offense.
Content from External Source
http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/oh/201602020.asp


So what is the law? I looked into the “labyrinth of rules, regulations and mandates, the amount of which is impossible to know, let alone comply with,” according to Natural News.

It took about five minutes to find the Ohio Department of Education website with specific guidelines on home schooling. They seemed pretty clear to me.

Home School.png
http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Quality-School-Choice/Home-Schooling


The Ohio Home School Law is also readily available online

http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Quality-School-Choice/Home-Schooling

The same is true for the relevant Ohio Code.

http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/3301-34


The code says this about truancy:

(D) "Chronic truant" means any child of compulsory school age who is absent without legitimate excuse for absence from the public school the child is supposed to attend for seven or more consecutive school days, ten or more school days in one school month, or fifteen or more school days in a school year.
Content from External Source
http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2152.02

The parents involved clearly violated the law, exceeding “chronic” truancy by weeks, not days. It is unclear as to when school officials made written inquiries regarding the students’ absence, although it may have been difficult to actually find children who were not registered in school in the first place.

There are other remedies besides jail time for what is a misdemeanor. We’ll have to wait and see.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
It took about five minutes to find the Ohio Department of Education website with specific guidelines on home schooling. They seemed pretty clear to me.
Having some trouble reading your gif, so pasting the text here



REQUIREMENTS TO HOME SCHOOL
Parents should start by notifying the superintendent of the school district where they reside about their intent to home school their child/or children.

Parents agree to:

  1. Provide 900 hours of instruction per year;
  2. Notify the superintendent every year; and
  3. Provide an assessment of the students work, this link will provide the O.R.C. requirement.
a. have an Ohio licensed teacher administer one of the nationally normed tests, such as TerraNova, Stanford, Iowa

b. keep a portfolio of students work, have an Ohio licensed teacher provide a written assessment of the students work

c. the student can take the Ohio achievement tests with the public school district classroom

Many parents think that online schools fall into the category of home schooling, this is NOT true. In Ohio, some online schools are considered community/chartered schools and are public schools. http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Quality-School-Choice/Home-Schooling
Content from External Source

The parents involved clearly violated the law, exceeding “chronic” truancy by weeks, not days

The HSLDA links says
Both families were somewhat new to homeschooling in Ohio. One family filed a notice of intent when they began homeschooling last year, but did not know they had to file another notice for this school year.

The other family filed their annual notice of intent, but did not submit an educational assessment with their notice because they had not yet completed it, and had been told by their school district that there was no deadline for submitting the assessment
Content from External Source

adding this link for informational purposes. Apparently not only do you have to let the school know each year but you have to provide "outline of study and materials"

3301-34-03 Notification

A parent who elects to provide home education shall supply the following information to the superintendent:

  1. School year for which notification is made;
  2. Name of parent, address, and telephone number (telephone number optional);
  3. Name, address, and telephone number (telephone number optional) of person(s) who will be teaching the child the subjects set forth in paragraph (A)(5) of this rule, if other than the parent;
  4. Full name and birthdate of child to be educated at home;
  5. Assurance that home education will include the following, except that home education shall not be required to include any concept, topic, or practice that is in conflict with the sincerely held religious beliefs of the parent:
  • Language, reading, spelling, and writing:
  • Geography, history of the United States and Ohio; and national, state, and local government;
  • Mathematics;
  • Science;
  • Health;
  • Physical education;
  • Fine arts, including music; and
  • First aid, safety, and fire prevention.
  1. Brief outline of the intended curriculum for the current year. Such outline is for informational purposes only.
  2. List of textbooks, correspondence courses, commercial curricula, or other basic teaching materials that the parent intends to use for home education. Such list is for informational purposes only.
  3. Assurance that the child will be provided a minimum of nine hundred hours of home education each school year.
  4. Assurance that the home teacher has one of the following qualifications:
  • A high school diploma; or
  • The certificate of high school equivalence; or
  • Standardized test scores that demonstrate high school equivalence; or
  • Other equivalent credential found appropriate by the superintendent; or
  • Lacking the above, the home teacher must work under the direction of a person holding a baccalaureate degree from a recognized college until the child's or children's test results demonstrate reasonable proficiency or until the home teacher obtains a high school diploma or the certificate of high school equivalence.
  1. The parent(s) shall affirm the information supplied with his or her signature prior to providing it to the superintendent. http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Qu...-Schooling/Excused-Absence-for-Home-Education
Content from External Source


My guess is if this is their first "mistake" they will get a warning (or "probation"), so they have some motivation not to "forget" next year. Unfortunately schools are still legally responsible for the children's educational welfare.
 

REQUIREMENTS TO HOME SCHOOL
Parents should start by notifying the superintendent of the school district where they reside about their intent to home school their child/or children.

Parents agree to:

  1. Provide 900 hours of instruction per year;
  2. Notify the superintendent every year; and
  3. Provide an assessment of the students work, this link will provide the O.R.C. requirement.
a. have an Ohio licensed teacher administer one of the nationally normed tests, such as TerraNova, Stanford, Iowa

b. keep a portfolio of students work, have an Ohio licensed teacher provide a written assessment of the students work

c. the student can take the Ohio achievement tests with the public school district classroom

Many parents think that online schools fall into the category of home schooling, this is NOT true. In Ohio, some online schools are considered community/chartered schools and are public schools. http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Quality-School-Choice/Home-Schooling
Content from External Source

I notice a few things about this list of requirements:
  • Some of the information is actually incorrect. If you go to the provided link for O.R.C. assessment requirements, you'll find, for example, that an Ohio-licensed teacher is not the only person who may administer the standardized test or review the student's portfolio.
  • The grammar, punctuation, and outline structure are abysmal. It's difficult to tell whether the student must take the test and provide a portfolio assessment. (In fact, students can use the test or the portfolio assessment or an agreed-upon "alternative academic assessment" which isn't even mentioned.)
Obviously, Natural News is doing its usual over-the-top reporting, with a headline that is false. I'm inclined to take the original HSLDA article a bit more seriously, even though they can be considered a biased source. HSLDA's assertion is that the parents are being criminally prosecuted for committing a clerical error. I don't have enough information to know for certain whether this is true, but it does seem believable.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I notice a few things about this list of requirements:
  • Some of the information is actually incorrect. If you go to the provided link for O.R.C. assessment requirements, you'll find, for example, that an Ohio-licensed teacher is not the only person who may administer the standardized test or review the student's portfolio.
  • The grammar, punctuation, and outline structure are abysmal. It's difficult to tell whether the student must take the test and provide a portfolio assessment. (In fact, students can use the test or the portfolio assessment or an agreed-upon "alternative academic assessment" which isn't even mentioned.)
Obviously, Natural News is doing its usual over-the-top reporting, with a headline that is false. I'm inclined to take the original HSLDA article a bit more seriously, even though they can be considered a biased source. HSLDA's assertion is that the parents are being criminally prosecuted for committing a clerical error. I don't have enough information to know for certain whether this is true, but it does seem believable.
yea the second link i provide (which i got OFF the first link*) is much more thorough.

3301-34-04 Academic Assessment
(A) The parent(s) shall send to the superintendent an academic assessment report of the child for the previous school year at the time of supplying subsequent notification.
(B) The academic assessment report shall include one of the following:

Results of a nationally normed, standardized achievement tests

(a) Such test shall be administered by:
  • (i) A Licensed or certified teacher; or
  • (ii) Another person mutually agreed upon by the parent(s) and the superintendent;
  • (iii) A person duly authorized by the publisher of the test.

(b) Results should demonstrate reasonable proficiency as compared to other children in the district at the same grade level. Any child that has a composite score at or above the twenty-fifth percentile shall be deemed to be performing at a level of reasonable proficiency.

(2) A written narrative indicating that a portfolio of samples of the child’s work has been reviewed and that the child’s academic progress for the year is in accordance with the child’s abilities.

(a) The written narrative shall be prepared by:

  • (i) A Licensed or certified teacher; or
  • (ii) Other person mutually agreed upon by the parent(s) and the superintendent.
(b) The parent(s) shall be responsible for the payment of fees charged for preparation of the narrative.

(3) An alternative academic assessment of the child’s proficiency mutually agreed upon by the parent and the superintendent.

(C) If the parent(s) chooses to have the standardized testing conducted as part of the school district scheduled testing program, there shall be no cost to the parent(s). The time and location for testing shall be established by the school district.
(D) If the parent(s) chooses to have the standardized testing conducted privately, the parent(s) shall pay for the testing. The time and location for testing shall be established by the parent(s).

Content from External Source
*upload_2016-2-17_22-43-18.png

The more specific statutes re: "truancy" are linked here. But all this really is just additional information to help people who are looking for more detailed information. And as you also state we don't now have enough information to determine if the schools were at fault for not following procedure. That the Court can decide.


The debunk is only, as you state, specifically the claim from Natural News:
[bunk]Parents now being thrown in jail in America for homeschooling their children [/bunk]
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
Parents now being thrown in jail in America for homeschooling their children

...some Americans cynically believe that rules are nearly impossible to comply with
Content from External Source
A closer look reveals that no one has gone to jail. In fact, the story involves two sets of parents who failed to comply with state law regarding home schooling.

If our starting point is the fairly well know fact that homeschooling is more common than it's ever been,
*
how the hell does nonsense like this get any traction?

As science (evolution, especially) and some politics/religion has led many conservative,
white families to try to shield their children from certain uncomfortable ideas...
http://www.nheri.org/research/research-facts-on-homeschooling.html

and sad racial realities now encourage more & more black families to steer clear of school for different reasons
http://www.theatlantic.com/educatio...of-homeschooling-among-black-families/385543/
we're seeing unprecedented home schooling

(and yes, it's often done for sad reasons, but, at the end of the day, the one-on-one attention a kid receives
will often outweigh the limited skills of a homeschooling parent)


Bottom line: Of course Natural News has the right to whine about evil, fascist government education...but you can't play the
"They're criminalizing homeschooling" card when the current system keeps making it easier...and the numbers reflect that.

Can't have it both ways. This is 3 steps beyond willful ignorance.





* Since no one used the term "Home schooling" for what passed for education at home, before the widespread availability of free public schooling...
 

MikeG

Senior Member.
Having some trouble reading your gif, so pasting the text here



REQUIREMENTS TO HOME SCHOOL
Parents should start by notifying the superintendent of the school district where they reside about their intent to home school their child/or children.

Parents agree to:

  1. Provide 900 hours of instruction per year;
  2. Notify the superintendent every year; and
  3. Provide an assessment of the students work, this link will provide the O.R.C. requirement.
a. have an Ohio licensed teacher administer one of the nationally normed tests, such as TerraNova, Stanford, Iowa

b. keep a portfolio of students work, have an Ohio licensed teacher provide a written assessment of the students work

c. the student can take the Ohio achievement tests with the public school district classroom

Many parents think that online schools fall into the category of home schooling, this is NOT true. In Ohio, some online schools are considered community/chartered schools and are public schools. http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Quality-School-Choice/Home-Schooling
Content from External Source



The HSLDA links says
Both families were somewhat new to homeschooling in Ohio. One family filed a notice of intent when they began homeschooling last year, but did not know they had to file another notice for this school year.

The other family filed their annual notice of intent, but did not submit an educational assessment with their notice because they had not yet completed it, and had been told by their school district that there was no deadline for submitting the assessment
Content from External Source

adding this link for informational purposes. Apparently not only do you have to let the school know each year but you have to provide "outline of study and materials"

3301-34-03 Notification

A parent who elects to provide home education shall supply the following information to the superintendent:

  1. School year for which notification is made;
  2. Name of parent, address, and telephone number (telephone number optional);
  3. Name, address, and telephone number (telephone number optional) of person(s) who will be teaching the child the subjects set forth in paragraph (A)(5) of this rule, if other than the parent;
  4. Full name and birthdate of child to be educated at home;
  5. Assurance that home education will include the following, except that home education shall not be required to include any concept, topic, or practice that is in conflict with the sincerely held religious beliefs of the parent:
  • Language, reading, spelling, and writing:
  • Geography, history of the United States and Ohio; and national, state, and local government;
  • Mathematics;
  • Science;
  • Health;
  • Physical education;
  • Fine arts, including music; and
  • First aid, safety, and fire prevention.
  1. Brief outline of the intended curriculum for the current year. Such outline is for informational purposes only.
  2. List of textbooks, correspondence courses, commercial curricula, or other basic teaching materials that the parent intends to use for home education. Such list is for informational purposes only.
  3. Assurance that the child will be provided a minimum of nine hundred hours of home education each school year.
  4. Assurance that the home teacher has one of the following qualifications:
  • A high school diploma; or
  • The certificate of high school equivalence; or
  • Standardized test scores that demonstrate high school equivalence; or
  • Other equivalent credential found appropriate by the superintendent; or
  • Lacking the above, the home teacher must work under the direction of a person holding a baccalaureate degree from a recognized college until the child's or children's test results demonstrate reasonable proficiency or until the home teacher obtains a high school diploma or the certificate of high school equivalence.
  1. The parent(s) shall affirm the information supplied with his or her signature prior to providing it to the superintendent. http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Qu...-Schooling/Excused-Absence-for-Home-Education
Content from External Source


My guess is if this is their first "mistake" they will get a warning (or "probation"), so they have some motivation not to "forget" next year. Unfortunately schools are still legally responsible for the children's educational welfare.

Agreed and thank you for the reposting the text.

I was surprised at the standard for a parent who is homeschooling; a GED or high school diploma. Pretty amazing given the certification standards my education majors must meet. Not what I'd call the actions of a "police state."
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I was surprised at the standard for a parent who is homeschooling; a GED or high school diploma. Pretty amazing given the certification standards my education majors must meet.
i know, thats why everyone says teachers are over paid ;)

but seriously i think parents get the curriculum for the most part online..which was made and designed by real teachers.
 
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