I was busy with the baby, and told the 8 year old she could go outside to play, as long as it was behind the fence. It was 1980 something and homeschool parents were still being hauled before the Justice of the Peace in defense of the truant criminal laws. So I wanted her to be safe while she was outside without me.
Later, when she was finished playing, she came in for a snack. She proceeded to tell me all about how the neighbor got her ball for her. He was very nice but was asking why she was not in school.
Now we had already had a major problem with this neighbor, and he was actively turning us into the city hall for code violations. So when she told me that the Vice Principal of a HISD school was asking her questions, the color went out of my face!
She was so happy, but it was hard for me to explain to her how she had put the family in jeopardy. My mind was churning as to what I could do, should do, and how to handle it. With a new baby, my house was a wreck most days. And I was really still learning about homeschooling so what did I know. I asked the forums, they suggested CPS drills, where the kids hide each time someone comes to the door. Such a sad way to live, but that’s what we did for many years.
Then, on June 9th, 1994, with the signing of the Leeper Supreme Court decision, we were free to homeschool, to go out during the day to museums and parks, and free to be left alone without the fear of being arrested and arraigned in front of a Justice of the Peace.
Fast forward 30 years and Texas Home Educators helps celebrate Leeper Day, declared by Governor Abbott on June 9th, to help homeschoolers understand their history and their privilege of homeschooling in peace. Although there are no formal celebration events this year, we hope all families will take a few moments to remember the families that fought for their right to homeschool without government intervention. You can read the Leeper decisions on the History of Homeschool Page.
Before Leeper Day, it was actually dangerous for children to ride their bikes around the block or play in the front yard. So for the last 3 years, we encourage groups to go out in public on Leeper Day to help celebrate our freedom. Since this year Leeper Day is on a Saturday, we did not plan any formal events. But we hope to have several in 2020, when Leeper Day will be on a Tuesday.
If your family did something great today to remember Leeper Day, feel free to post a picture or tell your story in the comments.