Tuesday, April 20, was a red-letter day in New York homeschool history for which we can give God the glory. Both the Cressy family and the Tolan family were in court to answer charges involving the homeschooling of their children. In both cases, the respective judges dismissed all charges against the families. Both judges questioned out loud why these cases were even in their courtrooms in the first place.
The Cressy family, as you may remember, had been arrested in December and were criminally charged with four counts of endangering the welfare of a child for not neglecting to file their homeschool paperwork for their children. They were arrested a week AFTER their paperwork was filed and accepted.
The Tolan family had been charged with withholding their son from school attendance (they were homeschooling him) and several charges of non-compliance with the homeschooling regulations involving alleged techinical issues with their Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP). These charges were also brought AFTER the Tolan family had received a compliance letter for their ammended IHIP.
The past several months have been very stressful on these families. Fortunately, HSLDA provided the legal defense for both families. The Cressy family had been threatened with the removal of their four children from their home as a result of their arrest (this particular issue had been resolved several weeks ago, but the endangerment charges remained). Mrs Tolan is now having significant health issues as a result of her family’s ordeal. Please especially keep the Tolan family in prayer as they recover from this.
On behalf of the two families, Loving Education At Home would like to sincerely thank all those who prayed for these situations. Your prayers have not only supported the two families during their ordeal, but have also helped protect homeschooling rights for all New York families. Nobody likes to lose in court and as the news of these homeschooling court victories travels, it should give NY school districts serious second thoughts about how they treat families who are just exercising their rights to homeschool their children.
We hope to publish the full stories of these two families’ experiences in the near future in the LEAH Messenger. Watch for them.