Homeschooling and social services

The Stumbos' (in NC) troubles began in September 1999 when their 2-year-old daughter slipped outside halfway through dressing – without any clothes – to chase her new kitten. Although an older sibling retrieved her a few minutes later, it was too late. A passerby reported the family to social services.

Two hours later, a social worker showed up at the Stumbos' door, demanding to enter their home and privately interview each child. At HSLDA's advice, the Stumbos refused to let the social worker in.

Despite having no probable cause for entry and private interviews, the social worker convinced a judge to issue a court order forcing the family to comply. HSLDA immediately challenged the order, but the North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld it, deciding that the order did not constitute a “search” under the Fourth Amendment. The Stumbos then appealed to the state Supreme Court, which heard the case in February 2002.

This is a great victory for families in North Carolina and potentially in the rest of the nation. Although the decision is only legally binding in North Carolina, it provides more precedent for HSLDA to use in defense innocent families across the United States. The “battle for the front door” continues to be a vital component for HSLDA in protecting our rights to home educate our children.

For more information on this case visit Homeschool Legal Defense Association's website at:HSDLA.

Texas has a law that says that social workers coming in is a search under the Fourth Amendment. I will tell you, though, that this is most homeschooler's nightmare. Getting an “anonymous” tip that has no backing in fact and coming in to try and disrupt the family. I know that there are evil people in the world. Some of them are probably even homeschooling, but most of us aren't. I know this is one of my fears as a homeschooling mom.

A family in Dallas (not homeschoolers) lost their kids to social services after the dad took a picture of the mom breastfeeding. It was called in by the film developing clerk. They arrested them for forcing a minor to do a sexual act. HELLO!

A family in Oklahoma (also not homeschoolers) lost their granddaughter to a child pornography ring. Her mother is on drugs and her father an alcoholic. The mother also lives and works in a child pornography ring. (Her foster parents run it and she was made a part of it as a child.) The judge (wonder what he's involved with) awarded custody of the child to the mother even though they had many expert witnesses to testify that the mother was probably on drugs and the child had been abused.

A family in Kentucky (homeschoolers) lost their high school daughter to social services temporarily because even though Kentucky recognizes homeschooling as a legal right, the judge in the case said she wasn't qualified to teach her daughter high school so that there was no way this mother was qualified.

It's a scary world out there.