Thursday, June 7, 2007

Results Of Wednesday's Press Conference

As you know, I posted about the press conference where parents came out publicly to tell their stories to the press about the CT Department of Education and DCF abuses to homeschoolers in CT.

Legislators Rep. Arthur O'Neill and Rep. Pat Widlitz spoke about the problems occurring in the state. We'd like to thank them for their speaking out on this issue. Schools are not dis-enrolling children when requested by parents by letters of withdrawal or the voluntary filing of a Notice of Intent form. Schools are instead keeping children (especially kids with special needs) on enrollment lists and then calling them truant or claiming educational neglect, and then reporting them to DCF. Deborah Stevenson, of NHELD, introduced the parents who are victims of these abuses and they then told their stories to the press.

The press conference was taped by CT-N - Connecticut Network covers events at the State capitol. It is available for view here.

The story was carried on TV channel 3 - WFSB -
story here - video here
Although they reported slightly incorrectly about some points of the law regarding absenteeism or truancy, because these children are not truant or absent because their parents have already withdrawn them. The law is not clear about withdrawal from school because parents have always been able to withdraw their children with a note or even verbally. Now, schools are violating that ability by ignoring parental decisions to remove their children from school, and are primarily saying that you cannot withdraw your child without the school's consent.. which is of course a ridiculous violation of parental rights and has no basis in statute. They are demanding that parents turn over children's medical records, or submit to mental examinations, or anything else that the school wants. The video is a better view of what was said - than the print story. We are glad that they at least they gave the families and the issue some air-time.

The story was also carried by National Public Radio - They did a great job with this report. Listen to the whole report - here.
Read a short blurb here.

The story was covered first by The Hartford Advocate.

The legislature has unfinished business and is going into special session.
An additional forum on this issue is being planned for June 20 at the State Capitol.

Contact NHELD for more information.