Rally Day

Nashville reception invites you

April 4 rally day lets you mix with legislators who acted to protect tutorial services

— Tuesday, April 4
— Program begins at 9:30 in the historic War Memorial Auditorium
— Encouraging pep talks, music, singing
— Chance to meet your state senator or representative
Tennessee Capitol

By Lana Thornton

We will be about VERY IMPORTANT HOME SCHOOL MATTERS on Rally Day; specific details that impact our lives directly as we invite on to the War Memorial Auditorium stage the Tennessee lawmakers who have sponsored and will sponsor bills to benefit the homeschool community in our state.
We will hear important information about bills that will help or hurt us.
The address is 301 6th Avenue North, Nashville TN, 37243 (7th Ave. between Charlotte Ave. & Union St.) ‡‡
The presence of your family, your tutorial or support group is important for Rally Day.
Your presence affects our lawmakers, causing them to “see” and understand the commitment Tennessee home educators have to protect and expand our home school liberties — and not to allow them to be restricted or injured.

 

THEA helps tutorials gain protections

THE LAW THAT MAKES ALL TUTORIALS LEGAL IN TENNESSEE IS THE TENNESSEE HOMESCHOOL LAW.
In 2011 THEA wrote the language which codifies the legal option for parents to use tutorials in Tennessee.
THEA realized as families were increasingly relying on tutorials that there was a real potential for tutorials to be questioned legally. THEA had a serious concern regarding the very real possibility that unsupportive lawmakers or other authorities could challenge the legality of tutorials based on the fact that the definition of homeschooling with the use of tutorials was imprecise and could have been interpreted to not include tutorials leading to declaring them illegal, as unregulated private schools.
 So, THEA chose to clarify this ambiguity with precise language protecting all homeschoolers involved in using tutorials for their children’s education. THEA drafted language for the Tennessee law codifying the practice which allows the delegating of homeschool parental authority to tutorials, a practice which had grown in our state as in other states and one which Tennessee homeschoolers were following in growing numbers.
We were successful in presenting this clarifying language to our friends in the legislature and working with them were successful in getting this measure passed into law. THEA worked to make tutorials clearly legal.
So now we ask for your support on Rally Day as we gather to impact our lawmakers. We recommend that all Tennessee tutorials  make Rally Day a “Civics Education Day.”
We ask that tutorial overseers in the Chattanooga area encourage all families to attend and support THEA’s efforts to protect homeschool liberties.

 

Stand with THEA today

Missing one day of tutorial class (we’ve had no or few snow days) to come to Capitol Hill, to take part in Rally Day, to watch and learn in a committee hearing in the afternoon, to make an impact on our lawmakers in support the organization that has spent untold hours writing, lobbying and protecting the homeschool law that is the legal foundation for homeschooling and tutorials, is not a lot to ask — is it?
So be watchmen on the wall. Rally day reminds homeschool familes to be vigilant.

 

Nehemiah’s example

When Nehemiah rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem he did this with family groups who worked on the wall with their tools in one hand while holding their weapons in their other hand.
There is an important analogy here for homeschoolers. We are busy raising, training and educating our children, building them up by discipling and educating them, so we have our tools in one hand, but we must be ever vigilant holding on to and knowing how to wield the “weapons” to protect our parental rights and religious liberties.
Our “weapons” include knowing how to interact with our lawmakers, impacting our representatives to preserve and protect our parental rights and religious liberties. Causing them to understand the vibrancy of our Tennessee homeschool community is very important. They understand having good relationships with the people in their districts and our relationships with them can favorably impact their legislative decisions. We can do this on Rally Day.

 

Good report, big day

Rally Day is the day at our state Capitol for Tennessee homeschooling families to bring the good report of home education to our elected lawmakers.
This is really a way to be Watchmen on the Wall as we let our friends and those who want to strap us with more regulation know of our strength and vibrancy. We do this though displays of our student’s work and achievements on tables that line the busy hallway of their underground Legislative Plaza office complex, while we gather in the historic War Memorial Auditorium connected to their underground office complex for a program celebrating our student’s many accomplishments and the vibrancy of home education in Tennessee. We come together to rejoice in the vitality and strength of home education in multiple ways, though music, student’s speeches and more.  We will also hear from Mike Donnelly, an international and national home school leader, HSLDA global outreach director, Patrick Henry College professor of constitutional law and the new HSLDA attorney for our state.
Mike Donnelly
We also hope to hear from our state legislators.
This year several bills have been introduced that would affect home education in Tennessee. Most have been introduced by legislators wanting to help homeschoolers, but some might not really help.  We are tracking each of these bills directly and through the support of HSLDA. By Rally Day many of these bills will likely be settled, so, not only is your presence on Rally Day important, but your engagement between now and Rally Day 2017 is also vital.

 

What can my family do at rally day?

1
One of the most important parts of our Rally Day is YOU & YOUR FAMILY. Tennessee home school family groups, friend groups, support groups, arranging meetings with your state Senator and state Representative is so important.
Meet legislator. Call now and make a 10-15 minute appointment with each of your two lawmakers. See below guidelines on how to reach them. The best times to schedule your meeting will be after the Rally ends, between 11:30 and 4:30 p.m. or, if you can arrange this, prior to the Rally, before 8:45 a.m.
Call their office and make an appointment to meet them on Tuesday, April 5. Bring your children, have them write a letter to their legislators thanking them for their service to our state, take pictures of your family or group with your lawmakers. Request an autographed copy of the “Tennessee Blue Book” (now orange), which is a great resource of Tennessee Civics and History.  Be sure to ask them to sign their “Blue Book”
Remember these are your representatives in a republican, representative form of government, dependent on your vote to hold office and therefore accountable to you.
When you meet face-to-face with your legislators you are putting a face on homeschooling for them, so that when they vote on legislation which will impact us, they will think of you and your family. This is a crucial part, perhaps the MOST important part, of our Day on Capitol Hill..  We very much encourage homeschooling dads and moms to bring your children and plan a visit to your legislators, represent Tennessee home educators and count this as a civics lesson for your children.
To “Find Your Legislator” go to this website: www.legislature.state.tn.us, click on the Find My Legislator link on the right side of the page, on the next page type in your street  address and city, hit search & up will come your two legislators, your state Senator & Representative with their names, pictures, email addresses & the Districts they represent.
Then go back a page, click on members under the senate and representatives to find their office location and their office phone numbers. Place a call to their office for your appointment on Rally Day. They are always glad to meet their constituents.
We continue to hear from the majority of legislators and their staff that they love Rally Day, they love seeing family groups in their hallways and offices, that there is no other day on Capitol Hill like Rally Day.. AND that is because of you..Plan to be there with your family.
2
Prepare an exhibit to be displayed in the hallway of the Legislative Plaza showing what your homeschool is doing. If you have an exhibit you’d like to display, please contact Pam Archer at <davidandpam.archer@att.net> or call her at 615-516-6157.  THEA will rent the tables for you & provide the to-the floor tablecloth. You supply the display with either a 3’ or 6’ footprint.. If you miss Pam, leave a message with your contact information & whether you need 3’ or 6’ space for your display. Contact her soon as space is limited.
3
Deliver cookies to your lawmaker’s offices.  Cookies will be prepared for you to take with you when you visit your legislators. The Cookies are our gift to the legislator’s staff and the staff cannot wait to get their cookies. Delivery begins when the program is over and continues through the afternoon.  The Cookie Table is on the lowest level, the underground Legislative Plaza office complex, near Speaker Beth Harwell’s office.
4
Attend Rally Day lunch for homeschoolers. Lunches must be bought ahead of time via www.tnhea.org/rally-day-buy-lunch
THEA always works to be frugal, so we’ll only buy lunch for those who register and prepay.
Ask about a student congress competition.