Parents Arrested for Legally Having Son Home-Schooled

By National Center for Public Pol... | July 7, 2008 | 8:21 PM EDT

(Editor's Note: The following is the eighth of 100 stories regarding government regulation from the book Shattered Dreams, written by the National Center for Public Policy Research. will publish an additional story each day.)

A Virginia couple was arrested for legally home-schooling their child. Gerald and Angela Balderson were arrested on March 17, 2000 after truancy charges were filed against them by a local public school administrator. The Baldersons, however, point out that they followed proper procedures to have their son, Brett, legally schooled at home, and therefore were not in violation of truancy laws.

Virginia law requires home schoolers to notify the local public school superintendent of intent to home school. The Baldersons had submitted the proper notice on February 25, 2000.

Bryan Almasion, assistant principal at Richmond County Elementary School, filed the charges against the Baldersons. Virginia law, however, stipulates that only school superintendents, not other school administrators, can file truancy charges. In this situation, Almasion went around the superintendent and straight to the courts. The Home School Legal Defense Association maintains that, if Almasion had followed the law, the Baldersons could have avoided the humiliation of public arrests. Two days after the arrests the charges were dropped.

Source: Home School Legal Defense Association

Copyright 2003, National Center for Public Policy Research