School District Continues to Persecute NY Homeschool Family
The Tolan family has continued to receive harassment from their school district ever since withdrawing their 12-year old son from middle school last October. Their son has a severe medical condition which makes frequent absences from school necessary. This condition has been medically documented from birth and each period of absence had been documented with doctor’s notes. In spite of the doctor’s documentation, the school district, in conjunction with CPS, charged the family with educational neglect because of these absences, while at the same time being unable or unwilling to provide the services and environment medically necessary for the child’s continued attendance. Fortunately, the family court judge in charge of the case dismissed those charges last year.

Finally, in response to the school district’s on-going actions and attitudes, the Tolan’s withdrew their son from the school in order to provide for his education at home. With the assistance of HSLDA, the family submitted all the required homeschool paperwork in accordance with Regulation 100.10. However, the school district apparently did not agree with the family’s decision to homeschool. The school district and CPS continued to harass and oppose the family. This opposition has now culminated in warrants being issued against the family, charging them with withholding their son from school attendance since October, and several charges of being out of compliance with 100.10 (due to various alleged technicalities).

The son has made significant progress since beginning homeschooling last October – at that time he was barely able to read. However, in an example of great irony, he was the first member of his family to arrive at the front door and to read the warrants (where they had been left taped to the door by the authorities). Unfortunately as a result, his newfound abilities did not benefit his emotional state.

The warrants require the family to appear in court on Wednesday, March 24th. HSLDA is providing for the family’s defense and this first court appearance is expected to be a formality. Your prayers are requested as this case proceeds toward resolution:

  1. Pray that the peace of God will surround this family and protect them from worry and anxiety as they navigate through this period in their lives.
  2. Pray for the wisdom and legal skill of HSLDA, and the local attorneys that they engage on behalf of the Tolan family.
  3. Pray for the judge on the case that he will be able to clearly see what is happening here and render judgment accordingly.

Other News

The Cressy Family: This is the family that was arrested around Christmas time for not filing their homeschool paperwork. It was hoped that their case would be resolved by now, but the case has been continued by routine legal delays. The Cressy’s are still due to go on trial on four charges of endangering the welfare of a child (for not filing their paperwork). It is expected that this case may go to trial in April. HSLDA continues to provide for and supervise their defense. Please pray for the same things for the Cressy’s as for the Tolan’s (as listed above).

Legislative News:
The threat from NY Senate Bill S4779B and its Assembly companion A6702C appear to be over for this session, although the bills are still technically alive in committee. These bills would have allowed health care practitioners to give a vaccine to prevent a particular sexually transmitted disease to young girls without parental consent. For more details see the original LEAH Alert and the follow-up Alert.

Bills to extend the compulsory age have also been introduced this session of the New York legislature. S1437 (& A9486) would extend the compulsory school attendance age to 18, while S4555 (& A8042) would lower the age to 5 and require full-day kindergarten. Such bills would require homeschoolers to the file paperwork required by the regulations for those additional years (and to provide the indicated programs of schooling). Extending the compulsory age would also increase taxes necessary for the additional teachers and facilities to accommodate those additional years for public school students. Read more details at the HSLDA New York page. (HSLDA incorrectly shows S4555 to be A4555-an Assembly bill – they have been advised of this error.)