Dealing with the authorities (school officials, DSS, etc.)
What notification do I have to give the local public school or school district office?
Families have ten (10) days after the opening of school or establishing residency to arrange for the supervision of their homeschooling under Option 1 (the school district), Option 2 (SCAIHS), or Options 3 (an independent homeschool association). Failure to do so could result in truancy charges.
BEFORE withdrawing your child from school, it is best to contact and get approved to homeschool by the accountability group of your choice. Many groups (PACESC included) provide a letter verifying your membership.
If you feel you may need or would be more comfortable with legal protection/ councel, it is best to be approved by them prior to withdrawing your child. When choosing a private attorney, be sure they are a homeschool advocate and familiar with the homeschool law. Check out HSLDA, Home School Legal Defense Association, at www.hslda.org
- What is HSLDA? The Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit organization established in 1983 expressly for the purpose of defending the right of parents who choose to homeschool their children. Members pay annual membership dues and enjoy many services as well as legal councel.
- PACESC is a HSLDA Discount Group. Use the following Discount Group #: 299777
You may choose to withdraw at your local school or by contacting the local school district. If you are homeschooling through PACESC you DO NOT have to complete an application or information packet for the district. You may be required to sign a simple withdrawal form at the school or district office.
When you go to the school to officially withdraw, be sure to be polite. Do not feel pressured and do not answer accusations or get pulled into an arguement. You should have a printed copy of the current homeschool law and your membership confirmation letter. Simply inform the school official that you "wish to officially withdraw my child to homeschool. I will be homeschooling through PACESC and will need no further contact from the school. I would like to request a copy of my child's records".
Be sure to return all school property and pay all fees and fines due at time of withdrawal. Do not give them the excuse or opportunity to further contact you.
How do I obtain my child's records from their last school? (Bold added by PACESC)
As to your right as a parent to request and recieve your child's transcripts or records upon withdrawing your child from school....
Title 20 - Domestic Relations
LEGAL STATUS OF CHILDREN
SECTION 20-7-100. Rights and duties of parents in regard to their minor children.
The mother and father are the joint natural guardians of their minor children and are equally charged with the welfare and education of their minor children and the care and management of the estates of their minor children; and the mother and father have equal power, rights, and duties, and neither parent has any right paramount to the right of the other concerning the custody of the minor or the control of the services or the earnings of the minor or any other matter affecting the minor. Each parent, whether the custodial or noncustodial parent of the child, has equal access and the same right to obtain all educational records and medical records of their minor children and the right to participate in their children's school activities unless prohibited by order of the court. Neither parent shall forcibly take a child from the guardianship of the parent legally entitled to custody of the child.
What if I am contacted by authorities concerning my homeschooling?
DO NOT PANIC... BE RESPECTFULL BUT FIRM...
DO NOT ALLOW ANY OFFICIAL INTO YOUR HOME
CONFIRM WHO EXACTLY THE OFFICIAL IS AND WHY THEY ARE THERE
DO NOT VOLUNTEER ANY INFORMATION. IF YOU ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS KEEP INFORMATION FACTUAL AND BRIEF.
IF AN OFFICIAL IS PRESENT WITH A POLICE OFFICER AND INSISTS ON ENTERING YOUR HOME... ASK IF THEY HAVE A WARRANT. (BE AWARE THAT IF A POLICE OFFICER STATES THAT HE/SHE IS INVESTIGATING AN EMERGENCY SITUATION, THEN THEY MAY ENTER WITHOUT THE SEARCH WARRANT.)
- Meet the official at the door. Tell your children to remain indoors (do not give officials opportunity to engage your children). Do not invite school officials or DSS workers into your home. This could give opportunity for unwarranted scrutiny of not only your Homeschool, but also your household. Close the door behind you. If you must go back inside, leave the official to wait outside and close your door until you return to them outside.
- Determine the reason for their visit.
- Why are you here?
- What is your name?
- What is your telephone number and extension?
- What is your badge number or May I see your identification please.
- Show the official your membership paperwork and inform them that they can contact PACESC for verification.
- PACESC supplies its members with a Member Confirmation Letter and a Membership Card. Have one or both of these handy at all times or know where to locate it quickly.
- If a police officer states he/she is investigating an emergency situation, then they may enter without the search warrant. Ask the police officer to state what the emergency situation is, which allows entry without the search warrant. Politely and with respect, tell the police officer, "I am closing the door. If it is not locked, you do not have my permission to come in. If you open the door and come in without a warrant, which you state you do not have to have, I have not allowed you. Your entry without a warrant or my consent will allow a court to determine if said entry meets the requirements of the law.
- If an official with a police officer insist on coming into your house, under non-emergency circumstances tell them nice and calmly - "I am closing the door, it is not locked, you do not have my permission to come in. If you open the door and come in, I have not allowed you. You are doing so illegally; according to Calabretta v. Floyd, a Civil Rights Lawsuit, and I will seek legal action."
- Contact PACESC within 24 hours or any contact by an official. It is in your best interest that we are forewarned and aware of any situation we may be contacted about by any official. We can only act in your best interest when we are well informed and can respond with insight and authority. Please be prepared to tell us the name and title of the person who contacted you (so that we may be respectful in our dealings on your behalf), their contact information, and any information you have about the cause and circumstances of the visit or contact.
BE PREPARED. IT MAY NEVER HAPPEN TO YOU.
- Items to keep handy:
- PACESC Confirmation Letter and/or Membership Card
- PACESC Business Card (feel free to give it to them to shorten their stay)
- A printed copy of both statements above (when closing the door)
- A copy of the SC Homeschool Law that you are protected by
- Have read and understand your right as evidenced by Calabretta v. Floyd
*** Nothing we say or post is intended to be legal advice, and is distributed for information purpose only. It is not intended to be and does not constitute the giving of legal advice. For more information about the laws and regulations in SC, please contact your own attorney.***
Permission IS NOT granted to copy any information from this site without express written permission of the association. Forms may be printed in their entirety for their intended purpose only. Do not copy our logo for your own use!
PACESC*PO BOX 1767*MONCKS CORNER*SC 29461
PHONE: 843-899-4333 FAX: 866-723-8939