Missourians: Call now to protect parental rights HB 557

Call Now to Protect Parental Rights

Homeschooling in Missouri.

Help protect parental rights.

Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff answers questions and assists members with legal issues in your state. He and his wife homeschooled their children.

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

A bill that will protect the rights of Missouri parents, HB 557, needs your help! The bill passed strongly through the House, but it is being held up in the Senate because Senator Tom Dempsey, the President of the Senate, has not scheduled it for a vote.

Time is very short. The legislative session ends May 15!

Action Requested

Please call Sen. Dempsey at (573) 751-1141. Please ask him politely to schedule the bill for a vote. You can leave a message if he does not answer personally.

Please call either today (Thursday) or Monday. The legislature is closed tomorrow (Friday).

Your message can be as simple as: “Please schedule HB 557 for a vote. The Missouri Legislature has never passed a law protecting the rights of parents. Now it’s time to put the rights of parents in writing. It should not be left up to the whim of the courts.”


There are three types of rights: absolute, fundamental, and ordinary. The government cannot regulate absolute rights at all. It can regulate ordinary rights for virtually any reason. But it can restrict fundamental rights only if there is a compelling reason and a less restrictive option is not available. When a right is considered fundamental, the citizen has a very good chance of prevailing against government encroachment.

Parental rights were considered fundamental until a U.S. Supreme Court case in 2000, Troxel vs. Granville, refused to say that parental rights were still fundamental. This caused tremendous confusion among judges. Some continued to treat parental rights as fundamental; others began downgrading parental rights to ordinary.

If a state has not enacted a law stating that parental rights are fundamental, there is nothing to prevent a judge from downgrading parental rights in that state. Missouri is one of the states that has never passed a law protecting parental rights.

It is unacceptable for the legislature to “punt” this issue to judges. It’s time for Missouri to end its silence on how parental rights should be protected.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!


Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

P.S. We greatly value you and your support—it is a privilege to serve you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or to recommend us as we defend the rights of homeschooling families? Join now >>

The HSLDA E-lert Service is a service of:

Home School Legal Defense Association • P.O. Box 3000 • Purcellville, Virginia 20134-9000
Phone: (540) 338-5600 • Fax: (540) 338-2733 • Email: info@hslda.org
Web: http://www.hslda.org

Subscription Information: You subscribed to the HSLDA E-lert Service as:

Subscribe | Unsubscribe | Change Settings

POSTMASTERS: This message is being sent to the most recent address we have for our subscribers. If this is an invalid email address or you have other problems, please reply to webmaster@hslda.org.

DISCLAIMER: This is considered a private and confidential message from HSLDA to its bonafide HSLDA E-lert Service subscribers. HSLDA cannot attest to the authenticity of copies posted, forwarded, or sent by any party other than HSLDA.

NOTE: Please do not reply or otherwise use this email address; hslda@hslda.org is for broadcast purposes only and is not intended to receive incoming messages. We cannot reply to any email sent to this address. If you have comments or questions, please send email to info@hslda.org or call HSLDA at 540-338-5600. HSLDA members can also email staff directly through the Members website at http://members.hslda.org/contact.asp. Thank you for your cooperation.

© 2015 HSLDA. All rights reserved.

Registration with the district to homeschool is not necessary

The following reminder was sent to me this morning.  Remember to sign up with HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) and FHE (Families for Home Education) to receive important updates about your homeschooling rights!!  If you are part of a local homeschool community many times you may obtain a discount on your membership with either groups by showing your membership card. 


Greetings fellow home educators,
As the school year approaches, FORMS from school districts are surfacing in home educators’ mailboxes . These forms come with the request that parents fill out all the information and thereby register their homeschool with the district.  Some parents, uncertain of their legal rights and understandably loathe to bring trouble on themselves, hasten to comply.
It seems like a logical time to address this perennial problem. MISSOURI LAW DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT YOU REGISTER WITH YOUR SCHOOL DISTRICT.
In recent years, school districts around the state have really stepped up their efforts to deceive (and I do not use that term lightly) home educating parents into believing that registration on an annual basis is required by the state.
This is an absolute falsehood. In fact, every time the school lawyers are contacted by HSLDA lawyers, they back down.  I have a copy of a letter that Scott Woodruff sent to the Ashland school district a few years ago.  Upon receiving Woodruff’s letter, the school quietly stopped harassing parents for that school year.  However they resumed the campaign to persuade families to register the following year. They go so far as to put an advertisement in the Ashland paper, putting the burden on homeschool families to register in order to not be considered truant!
You can look up on the DESE website to see that they correctly state that home educators are not required to register with the school districts.  They underline the word “may”.
Unfortunately, there are too many parents who comply with the erroneous demands of school districts; it emboldens the district personnel to continue to create these forms and to harass home educators.
What is in it for them?  MONEY.  There is some sort of formula through which they can collect more money from the state if they can list home educated children in their district as having registered with them.  Additionally, there is no shortage of those in the state system who have philosophical objections to families not enrolling  children in public school.  It is a control issue.
Why is it in our best interest to resist their demands?  To retain jurisdiction over our own children and the education programs we choose.  If we concede that the state should have the right to oversee our homeschool programs, then we will lose our footing as free and independent “schools”.  We will inevitably slide down that slippery slope of losing freedoms.  We have already seen in the last decade how legislators have tried to introduce bills that would  infringe on our freedoms. Bills that would require * mandatory testing * state teacher certification for parents *common core curriculum for all etc. etc.  It is not passé to be at the ready to defend our rights to choose home education!
Pleas KNOW the Missouri statute pertaining to compulsory school and particularly the section directly pertaining to home education.
If you feel obligated to respond to the school district in one way or another, having received a form,  then consider writing a letter — similar to the withdrawal letter sample offered on FHE website.  Craft your letter so that your message is not misconstrued as registration; it is merely notification of intent to homeschool, it verifies that you are familiar with the state statues and will comply; your children are not truant. You do not have to give names and ages of children.  You do not have to re-notify them on an annual basis. 
Thanks for defending your right, and the rights of all homeschoolers now and in the future. By all means, spread the word to homeschool families who may not be a part of your local support group.

Common Core State Standards

I received an email about the new state law requirement regarding the new “Common Core State Standards” that are being considered and possibly implemented into our children’s education.  Whether you are homeschooling or your children attend public school these “new” standards will not become part of their education.  While the information below is for the state of Missouri please look up how it will impact where you live.

Please be informed and aware of what your children are learning:


Hello all and good morning,

I also have been watching this closely as I was heavily involved with the OBE push quite a few years back, and once I figured out what it was, I no longer supported it.

 Attached is a FAQ created by the state of Missouri about Common Core so you can go to this meeting informed to the state’s position on the matter.

 Notice on page 7, there is this statement:

 How will the Common Core State Standards impact private and parochial schools and families that home school their children?

The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by the State Board of Education for all public schools, including charter schools, in Missouri. Private and parochial schools or families that are home schooling are not required to follow the CCSS. However, some private schools have announced plans to voluntarily adopt the CCSS.

 The official Missouri Common Core page can be found here:


 Remember that once implemented, laws can always be changed to require everyone to adopt these standards, and of course if adopted, there must be state testing of teachers (us), and students to make sure we are adhering to the new common core state standards.

This is a website that contains different lists of publishers who have decided to align (or not align) with Common Core: http://www.theeducationalfreedomcoalition.org/. 

From what I understand, the SAT and ACT are being aligned to the standards, so even if homeschoolers remain “exempt,” we will have to deal with this if our children decide to attend college.

I agree that it is wise to research the new system and its implications for your family, and if you feel led, it might be worth contacting your state legislator. Some states have opted not to adopt the new standards, and other states’ legislatures are considering whether or not to put a halt to Common Core’s implementation in their state.

Immediate action Needed, today, April 30-HB 513, Protection of Parental Rights, Moving Forward

April 30, 2013

Dear FHE members and friends,

The follow is an Immediate Action Alert sent out by ParentalRightsMO.org.

Update as of 10:00am–Missouri HB 513, Protection of Parental Rights, will be heard on the Missouri House floor as early as today or as late as tomorrow.  Please call your Missouri State Representative and ask them to vote yes on HB 513. Representative Kurt Bahr is the sponsor of the bill, so if he is your representative do not call. He will vote yes! There is no longer a need to call Representative Deihl’s office. See the following elert for more information.

To find your Missouri State Representative’s  contact information go to http://www.house.mo.gov/legislatorlookup.aspx.

Thank you for your continued support,

Al and Sheryl Schmidt for the FHE Board

FHE Region 6 East Directors


1-877-696-6343 ext. 62




April 29, 2013

ParentalRightsMO.org elert:


Guess what! HB 513 is out of Rules and will be put on the House floor calendar. Woohoo! Here’s what you need to do…

1. Call your State Representative and ask him or her to vote yes on HB 513 to preserve the rights of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children. (Visit house.mo.gov if you need to look up your representative’s number.)

2.[No longer a need, skip this one]  If you have an extra few minutes, consider calling Representative Diehl (573-751-1544) and VERY briefly letting his assistant know that you feel it’s very important that HB 513 be scheduled on the House floor ASAP to protect parental rights.

3. Do NOT call Representative Bahr’s office if he is your representative. He is the sponsor of the bill and does not need to be asked to vote yes on it. It’s his bill; he will vote yes. 😉

Thank you for your efforts!

Jill Johnson

Missouri Coordinator for ParentalRights.org


Calls needed to stop Common Core initiative!!!

Call Now to Stop Federal Takeover of Missouri Education

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Powerful forces in Washington, D.C., are seeking to centralize control over education and dictate what children in America must learn—perhaps even homeschoolers. And they are doing it through an ingenious program called “Common Core State Standards.”

Federal control over education would mean that dominant groups could force-feed children exactly the doctrine and world view they want them to believe.

If they had been transparent and simply filed a bill in Congress to empower the federal government to control the content of education, a firestorm of criticism would have doomed it. But they were clever: they offered money to state bureaucrats to do “voluntarily” what they themselves could not do without generating a nationwide outcry.

The result is that 45 states-including Missouri—took the bait, gave up the right to choose what their children would learn, and promised to create a system that would require all public children to learn exactly the same things.

This could affect homeschoolers profoundly if it is not stopped. College admissions tests are already changing to submit to Common Core. The ability to enter college or get a scholarship could one day depend on having learned the Common Core. Getting a job or getting into the military could one day depend on learning the Common Core. Even some homeschool curriculum providers have announced that their books comply with Common Core!

Once all public school children are learning exactly the same things nationwide, the path is laid to force private schools and homeschools to comply. After all, why should some non-conformists be allowed to teach their kids anything they want when “everyone” is learning Common Core? It is not unthinkable that your freedom to teach your children what you know they should learn could vanish—or it could be penalized beyond anything we might now imagine.

The federalization of education content would be a huge step toward turning the clock back and ending homeschool freedom.

And if federalization is successful, the seemingly unquenchable lust for centralization will certainly set its eyes on the next target: internationalization. And in the international arena, it’s perfectly acceptable to completely forbid homeschooling: just ask the Konrad and Romeike families from Germany or the Johansson family from Sweden.

But in Missouri, there is hope for change! Two bills are pending in the Missouri Legislature that would extract the state from Common Core: SB 210 and HB 616. They need your help!

Action Requested

Please call your Missouri state senator and your representative right away. Keep in mind that state bureaucrats joined Common Core without any approval from the Missouri Legislature. Your lawmakers are not the bad guys! But they DO have the power to solve the problem.

The message to your state senator could be as simple as “Please vote YES on SB 210. Give Missouri back the right to choose its own educational destiny.”

The message to your state representative could be as simple as “Please vote YES on HB 616. Give Missouri back the right to choose its own educational destiny.” You should feel free to develop a message that is more personal using information from this e-lert or other sources. Since this affects all parents, it is not necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooler.

Also please call your two U.S. senators (Blunt and McCaskill). Iowa’s Senator Chuck Grassley is circulating a letter for U.S. senators to sign opposing the funding of a nationalized curriculum. Your message to Senators Blunt and McCaskill can be as simple as: “Please sign onto Senator Grassley’s letter urging Congress to defund the Common Core Curriculum Standards Initiative. The federal government should not be using taxpayer dollars to pressure the states into adopting educational goals and curriculum which should be decided by local parents, teachers, and schools.”

Contact Information

Use this link to find your Missouri state senator and representative and their contact information.

Use the link below to get contact information for U.S. senators Blunt and McCaskill: Call 202 224-3121 or visit this page to get contact information for your U.S. senators.


For an explanation of how Common Core got started, read this article by HSLDA’s Director of Federal Relations, Will Estrada.

“What if I told you that Obama’s education-policy reforms, arguably pushed through without the good graces of the law, were crippling children’s imagination, stifling their creativity and on the whole setting them up to become less moral, kind empathetic people?”Read the rest of this National Review article.

The Heritage Foundation believes Common Core decreases a student’s ability to develop analytical thinking.

This article by a former Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education under Clinton and Bush explains how federal money controlled the entire operation and how little input was received.

Implementation of Common Core in California means that bright 8th graders can no longer take Algebra I, because one set of Common Core standards is required for every grade. (California Education Code 60605.11(b)(3)). Massachusetts had to water down its math standards to comply with Common Core.

The College Board, owner of the SAT college admission test, is already changing the test to comply with Common Core.

This Cato article discusses the pressure to turn national education standards into federal education standards.

“The Common Core State Standards have no more legitimacy than the plans of your local village idiot to reform education.”

This Christian Post editorial asserts that “There is no evidence that the curriculum works, and it will destroy innovation amongst states.”

The left-leaning Brookings Institute says Common Core won’t improve the education kids get. Brookings says that neither the quality nor rigor of state standards is related to student achievement.

Although the Common Core is paraded as the work of states working together, the U.S. Department of Education is already jumping in.

In addition to an organization that controls the Common Core standards themselves, there is a group creating a national curriculum that implements the Common Core standards, and at least two groups are creating a national test that will test students on their knowledge of the Common Core standards.

A bill is pending in Iowa that will create a state panel to encourage businesses to give hiring preferences to students who earn a “certificate of competency” from their public school. While it’s difficult to tell if this is directly related to Common Core, it is a very troubling example of how state legislatures can link hiring preferences with certain preferred types of education. See p.33 starting at line 23.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Sincerely Yours,
Scott A. Woodruff, Esq., Senior Counsel, HSLDA


Missouri Parental Rights Update: Please keep fighting for your state and be aware!

I just signed up with parental rights.org facebook page to be updated on new happenings within our state and parental rights.  I will post the update below but at this time I would like to really encourage everyone to be on the lookout for new bills and proposals that can pop up at any time for a vote.  While some bills seem harmless they may at times contain laws that could completely eliminate your right as a parent!!  The choice to medicate, educate and life decisions may very quickly end up in the hands of the government. Please, please stay alert!!!

Parental rights.org  (facebook update)
Missouri: Good news today. The Parental RIghts bill passed out of committee in the House!
Thank you everyone! HB 513, the parental rights bill in Missouri, is moving in the right direction. Today the executive session was completed and HCS voted do pass (out of the committee). The bill now goes to the House floor for debate and a vote. I will keep you up-to-date as to when calls will be needed to your representatives.”
Please go to parentalrights.org on facebook to sign up or like their page to receive notifications!!