“Truant” in Lincoln, Illinois

Truancy laws are something my family has yet to deal with. My kids are not old enough to be out in the community without adult supervision. It will be an issue soon, though. My oldest is 9.5. I’ll have to find out our local laws fairly soon so I know what to expect when the day comes that he wants to ride his bike to the library on his own, or with his friends.

According to this Lincoln Courier newspaper, independent homeschooling kids in Lincoln, Illinois might be facing house arrest until after public school hours.

I’m sure there is far more to the issue than is being explained in this newspaper. But truancy is one thing that can sneak up on homeschoolers when we aren’t looking, because it seems, at first, like it is a public school issue.

What are the truancy/curfew laws in your district? Are they homeschooler friendly? Has your community faced similar truancy/curfew issues such as the ones being negotiated in Lincoln, Illinois?


9 Responses to ““Truant” in Lincoln, Illinois”

  1. Kerrie Says:

    I don’t know the truancy laws in my area, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Lately, I’ve found myself asking my 9.5 y.o. boys to stay inside during school hours to avoid drawing attention to themselves.

    We’re in Michigan, and I know how lucky we are to have laws that are very friendly to homeschoolers. I still worry about the consequences of standing out too much though.

  2. sunniemom Says:

    If you are following your state’s requirements for homeschooling, you don’t need to hide. I have found that if the folks in my community know that I am a homeschooler, they are understanding and supportive. My answering message states that we are homeschoolers. There is a “Do Not Disturb” sign on our front door to let salesmen and poll takers and vacuum cleaner demonstrators know NOT to knock on our door as our homeschool is in session. All the librarians know and recognize us. We attend fire station and police station open houses. Heck- buy the kids some T-shirts that say “I Am An Honor Student at My Street Homeschool”.

    I adamantly refuse to hide or feel intimidated- but then I am a basically obnoxious person anyway. :p

  3. Anna Says:

    We had a state law that was fought successfully last year with the organizational skills of the HSLDA. The worrisome-for-homeschoolers section was removed.

  4. Sheri Says:

    You know, it never occured to me.

    But since we’re the only homeschoolers (in my daughter’s age range-12) in our neighbourhood, there’s never been any cause for her to be out on her own during the day…unless her friends are having PD day in which case it would just be assumed that she attended the same school.

    And like sunniemom said, I’m following my provinces homeschool regulations so it wouldn’t have occured to me to be concerned about truancy…she’s not truant.

    I love the t-shirt idea. I should get one her to wear when we go out and run into people who inevitably ask “No school today?” or “Playing hookey Emma?”

  5. Stephanie Says:

    I think a problem would only arise if a city had a daytime youth curfew ordinance or if the child were causing a disturbance. My 16-year old routinely bikes 5 miles to and from piano lessons, and takes the bus around town during the day without any problem. Of course it’s never a problem until it becomes one, so he carries a cell phone to be able to call me if any officers need assurance that school is not in session.

  6. Stephanie Says:

    BTW, Tammy, check out my new blog. You’re mentioned at the end.

  7. thedeezone Says:

    Does the truancy law have to be enforced by the local school district? I was a very young looking 18-20 year-old and regularly faced problems at the local mall and a couple of store because of truancy issues. In fact, the community resource officer at one mall got to know me quite well.

    As a teacher I have had to deal with truancy and we were only able to do anything about habitual offenders. Of course, we were in Texas, a state that has very open homeschooling laws. When either a private or public school has a student removed and the parents claim homeschooling there really isn’t much the school can do. BTW, those cases were the expection not the rule.

  8. Summer Says:

    I wonder if that would be a good case to have kids carry a sort of homeschooler ID card in their pockets. Something they can pull out if the need arrises.

    I don’t know the actual truancy laws here yet, though I will soon. I do know of a local homeschooling girl who takes classes at the local community college who has had trouble on the days she walks to the college. Though generally a quick phone call clears it.

  9. sunniemom Says:

    Something about treating children as guilty until proven innocent just frosts my taters….

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