Tag, -You're Truant!!

  • Or, The episode where Jenny (mild-mannered homeschool mom) meets the local truant officer.

  • Or, I had a visit from the local truant officer and it wasn't that bad? (except the part where my inner Bridget Jones was showing...)

  • Or, the local truant officer tried to give me wrong information and I shut him down.

-Don't mess with red-heads.

Actually, it really wasn't all that bad, internets...really. I've been homeschooling 10 years in California, and never had a problem, and I haven't personally known anyone to have a problem.

So, I opened the door one morning and found the local truant officer on my doorstep. The moment wasn't a bad one; he looked friendly, and he had one of those big tag i.d. cards hanging around his neck, so I could see right away who he was, and where he was from.

He asked about my oldest daughter Meg and where she was enrolled.

I stood tall and proud....This was my moment, homeschooling 10 years, dotting all my i's, crossing all my t's, keeping abreast of school law, being enrolled in a public homeschool charter school (now there was my big ace in the hole, my safety-net with the system, if you will....).

I confidently gave him the answer I had ready, on the tip of my tongue these many years....

"Meg is enrolled with such and such charter school!" And then he replied that the school had informed him that we had withdrawn her from the school.

Oh yeah, that.
We did. -My own personal 'duh' moment.

I went from confident homeschool mom to flustered/less than honest/might-be-hiding- something homeschool mom.

It got worse. I told him that I had forgotten, my other kids are in the charter school, but that we had just enrolled Meg for highschool with such and such Christian school- a private school.

He asked if she was then officially enrolled with them. This flustered me again, because it was June and we had sent in her application but I had not heard back if she was accepted. I told him she would be officially enrolled in September when school began, but that we were still in the process.

Awkward? Yes.
I began fervently praying that she was accepted.

Things took a turn, however, when he informed me that I needed to go down to the local public highschool, make an appointment with the principal, and get his permission to be allowed to enroll Meg at a private school.

hold on there, cowboy!
I. Don't. Think. So.

Enter, peeved homeschool mom. Flat-out untrue information. I asked him to show me the school code that stated that I needed to do this in order to have my child educated at a private school in California. He was surprised I had a difference of opinion on this, and said he didn't know where or if there was a code for this, it was just what he had been told by his superiors. This left me surprised and a disappointed that someone holding such a job would not have researched all the ins and outs of school law before enforcing it. He also said that this was the first time someone challenged him on this. This made me sad.

T.O. man said he would look up the relevant code and call me with the information.

I'm still waiting for that phone call.

So there ends my tale. It was not so bad. Know the law and you'll do fine.

(note: knowing the law also means knowing how to answer, and what to say and what not to say. I was probably saved from further hassle by knowing that homeschool is not a legal term in Ca. I answered correctly by saying my kids were in a charter school- although it is a homeschooling charter, and by saying my oldest was enrolled in a private school, although it is a private umbrella school with her being homeschooled by me. Not knowing how to answer could have brought further questioning, scrutiny and hassle. Again, know the law for your state! Click the small tag under this post that says 'homeschool California' for further detail on homeschooling in Ca!)