• Home of woman accused of child neglect registered as a home school

    By: Kathryn Burcham


    UNION COUNTY, N.C. - Eyewitness News is digging deeper into a suspected child abuse case after a boy was found handcuffed to a porch in Union County.

    State documents show the five children living in the home were registered as home-schooled and that Wanda Larson listed herself as the teacher despite her job at Union County's Department of Social Services.

    Eyewitness News reporter Kathryn Burcham has been investigating the state's home-schooling regulations for months and asked leaders for answers in this latest case.

    The house on Austin Road now sits empty, and dark but state records from the Department of Nonpublic Education show the house has been registered as a school.

    Larson, now in jail on abuse and neglect charges, filed a notice of intent in March 2012, establishing the "Eclectic Primer School."

    State documents show she was listed as the school's principal and the instructor.

    But prior to 2012, there is no record the five children living in Larson's home were ever enrolled in Union County Public Schools, nor are they currently, according to education officials.

    It's unclear if the children removed from Larson's home ever received any public school instruction.

    State officials also confirmed to Channel 9 Monday that inspectors from the NCDNPE never visited Larson's home school in the past year-and-a-half or met with Larson in person to ensure the children were receiving private instruction.

    Earlier this month, state officials also did not check in on Rowan County teenager Erica Parsons during the two years after she disappeared from her Salisbury home. State legislators have asked Congressional aides to investigate if homeschooling laws in North Carolina go far enough to protect children.

    For more on this story, click here.

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