LDS Church Halts Use of Meetinghouses by Home Schoolers

LDS Church Halts Use of Meetinghouses by Home Schoolers

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Carole Mikita ReportingLatter-day Saint meetinghouses may no longer be used by home schoolers for activities. That announcement came from The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The letter, read at many church services last Sunday, says the decision was made to avoid safety and tax liabilities. Apparently a number of home schoolers, and there are as many as 40-thousand parents and children who chose that form of education in Utah, use church buildings for arts and crafts or sports activities. Bishops have made varying decisions about home schooling or day-care activities. The National LDS Homeschool Association has reported that many requests went to church headquarters for clarification.

The statement from the First Presidency concludes this way, "While the Church strongly encourages education, church facilities are dedicated for the purposes of worship, religious instruction, and other church-related activities."

Jon Yarrington, Utah Home Education Assoc. Pres.: "All of the children get together and play basketball, play volleyball, whatever, especially in the winter months because you can't use outside facilities. I know of some who have used the buildings for that purpose. People will have to use their minds and find different facilities. They say 'necessity is the mother of invention' so, we get to do that quite often anyway."

Yarrington says this announcement does not come as a surprise to him or a number of home schoolers. He's confident they'll find other facilities for activities.

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