By Scott Woodruff
Senior Counsel, HSLDA
Better late than never.
On July 19, 2019, I asked Maine Commissioner of Education Pender Makin to put an end to telling local public school superintendents that they must collect the birth dates of homeschooled children. I received no reply.
On October 19, 2020, HSLDA Vice President James Mason followed up and told Makin that we were considering legal action against the Department over the issue.
Today, November 3, Makin sent a statewide bulletin formally retracting the birth date demand.
The many Maine families who withstood truancy threats and continued to defy the groundless demands played an important part in this epic reversal. A great deal of credit also goes to Representative Heidi Sampson (R-Alfred) and her effective personal outreach to Makin this fall.
Homeschoolers of Maine played a pivotal leadership role in standing strong and rallying families to resist the unlawful demands.
For those of you who bore the brunt of the situation because you were personally threatened with truancy, I wish Makin had conveyed an apology. You truly deserve one.
But this Thanksgiving all homeschoolers in Maine will have something extra for which to be thankful.
Scott is a seasoned attorney, homeschooling dad, and homeschool advocate with decades of involvement in homeschool legal issues and cases.