Homeschooling parents in Missouri received menacing summons to appear in court regarding a truancy matter, but after pursuing legal advice, it turns out that the summons were bogus.
Even though homeschooling parents Anthony and Tiffany Swearengin had obeyed all their state’s education laws, they were, nonetheless, ordered to a truancy court. They were also warned that if they didn't show the state the documentation that it demanded, it might seek custody of their children.
Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff maintains that the court order was a fake.
"The document was prepared with the very focused intention of making people think it was legitimate — of deceiving people into thinking there really was a tribunal called the 'truancy court' and deceiving people into thinking that they really had to show up,” the attorney from the Purcellville, Virginia-based legal group insisted. “And it was all a sham."
Woodruff contends that Judge R. Craig Carter is behind the scheme, which is illegal. The lawyer of the Christian nonprofit organization has asked the Missouri Court of Appeals to stop Judge Carter's actions, the likes of which he's never seen before.
"This breaks new ground in terms of outrageous things officials will do to try to scare families back into public school," HSLDA’s legal expert insists.
Woodruff indicates that Missouri does have legitimate truancy courts, however, he notes that they are very informal and nonthreatening — and are designed to encourage regular school attendance.