Homeschool parent battles Fayette Schools’ central office officials for child’s lawful rights


Fayette County homeschool parents, know your rights under the Dexter-Mosely Act.

Georgia’s Dexter-Mosely Act, passed in 2021, grants homeschool students the legal right to participate in extra-curricular activities in public schools for the district in which they are zoned. Our daughter, who is entering ninth grade, has been homeschooling since fifth grade.

Last year, after several emails to the middle school principle and counselor, and after a long wait in the front office, we were finally able to enroll our daughter in the required Georgia Virtual Schools (GAVS) class so she could run cross country and track for our local high and middle schools.

She thrived in her homeschool program, finished top in the county for her track races, and was named the Top 8th Grade Runner for her cross-country team.

Last fall, I received a phone call from [an official] of the Fayette County School District. Ms. [official] proceeded to ask me several questions about the homeschool program of which my daughter was a member. When I asked about the purpose of her call, she replied that she believed my daughter was attending a private school and was not eligible to participate in cross-country and track.

It seemed Ms. [official] either did not understand what a homeschool program is or did not investigate the details of our daughter’s homeschool program. If she had, she would have realized her misunderstanding. Nevertheless, she did not bother me for the rest of the year and our daughter was able to run and flourish as an athlete.

This year, although still enrolled in her GAVS class to finish the year, my daughter was unenrolled from Fayette County School District by someone other than my husband or me. We learned [the same] Ms. [official] had been holding onto our daughter’s application for a while but would not approve her enrollment.

I emailed Ms. [official] several times and she ignored me. I requested a meeting with Ms. [official] and she did not respond. I requested a meeting with Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Patterson and he declined. I was stonewalled by the Fayette County School District while Ms. [official] unlawfully refused to enroll our daughter and would not tell us why.

Homeschool parents, your child has a right to participate in extra-curricular activities at the school for which you are districted. The Dexter-Mosely Act states:

A home study student, as defined in O.C.G.A. § 20-2-690(c), in grades 6-12 shall be eligible to participate in extracurricular activities and interscholastic (E/I) activities on behalf of the student’s resident school and under the sponsorship, direction, and control

of the resident school or resident school system, provided that EACH of the following requirements is met…

To summarize, the necessary requirements are the following:

• Notify the school district at least 30 calendar days before the beginning of the semester.

•Provide the superintendent and principal a copy of your child’s annual progress report, signed by you, the administrator.

NOTE: YOU, the parent, are the administrator for your child’s homeschool curriculum. Do not ask anybody else to provide this. For example, if your child participates with the Konos or Classical Conversations homeschool programs, or a hybrid of homeschool curriculums/programs, you are still the administrator. This is important because Ms. [official] will try to use this against you.

You must contact your school’s counselor to enroll your child in a Georgia Virtual Schools class. Currently, the only class Dr. Patterson will allow is a math class.

Since [some] tend to be petty, this is not surprising. Hopefully he will change this soon so that your child will be allowed to take a class of his or her choice that will actually benefit them. One battle at a time.

Your child must pass the GAVS class and remain in good standing with whomever is running their extra-curricular activity. In other words, your child must behave, be of the proper age, abide by all public school and transportation policies, and reside in the district of the public school.

If participating in anything competitive, your child must be subject to the same tryout process as everybody else and you must provide all necessary documentation for that activity.

A homeschool student is not eligible to participate until he/she has been homeschooling for 12 months after the date of the Declaration of Intent to homeschool submission to GaDOE.

To look up the Dexter-Mosely Act yourself, please visit: Guidance-Dexter Mosely Act.pdf

To research any regulations about homeschool:

It is extremely important to know your rights. I have heard parents say they’ve been told their homeschoolers cannot participate in anything that is accredited. That is false.

One school allegedly told a parent there was no room for homeschool students in its extra-curricular programs. False.

Ms. [official] has insisted that a homeschool program is a private school. Also false.

The bottom line is that administrators in the public school system have no incentive to understand the law as it applies to homeschool students. As parents, it is up to us.

Also, my husband and I looked for attorneys and it was very difficult to find someone brave enough to take our case. I did reach out to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association and they were very responsive. Here is their website:

Thankfully, social media and Fayette County Board of Education member Brian Anderson helped us pierce the [school official’s] veil. Brian Anderson is arguably the only member of the FCBOE who is interested in representing his constituents. Here is his email if you ever need help:

Hopefully, Ms. [official] will begin abiding by the law or be replaced with someone who will. Nevertheless, it is an exciting time to experience the rich rewards of homeschooling while having access to the public school extra-curricular activities for which your tax dollars help pay. The law is on your side. Know your rights, be persistent, and don’t give up.

Michele Cooper

Fayetteville, Ga.


  1. I will add to your recommendations: 1. Send a U.S. Postal Service Certified letter to the School Superintendent requesting approval and support for your offspring to “participate in extra-curricular activities in public schools for the district in which they are zoned.” Give the Superintendent 10 days to respond. 2. File a “pro se” civil suit against the Superintendent and FCBOE through the Magistrate Court of Fayette County, 1 Center Drive, Fayetteville, GA 30214, phone 770.716.4230. Include legal costs in the filing. 3. Follow-up as required. The Magistrate’s Court should resolve the issue.

    I commend you for demonstrating a lot of patience that I lacked when raising my children. It’s good to see.