The Home School Court Report
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Your home is a private sanctuary

In their rush to make an early morning appointment, a Home School Legal Defense Association member family* in western Missouri went out before all five of the children were, perhaps, looking their best.

An anonymous "concerned citizen" called the Division of Family Services and reported that the children were "dirty," which resulted in a social worker coming to the family's home to investigate. The family immediately called HSLDA and, on our advice, allowed the children to come outside so the social worker could see that there were no unusual problems with the care or grooming of the children.

The social worker then asked to come inside and inspect the home. When we pointed out over the phone that the reporter had not claimed there was anything amiss with the home itself, the social worker said that inspecting the home is "routine."

We explained to the parents that the social worker had no right to come into their home and that it was extremely unlikely that the social worker would seek a warrant, or, if she did, that a judge would actually issue a warrant. The parents decided that they did not want the social worker to come into their house.

When we relayed the family's decision to the social worker, she wanted to know what they had to hide. We explained that the family believed in the old-fashioned idea of privacy—where a family can decide on their own who they wish to allow to come into the privacy of their home—and they did not wish to have the social worker in their home at this time.

Although the social worker left with vague references to "the next step," the family was notified shortly thereafter that their case file was being closed.

The right to privacy in one's home is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Officials who belittle this precious right by asking what a citizen is "trying to hide" insult the Constitution as well as the citizen's family.

— Scott A. Woodruff

* Name withheld to protect family's privacy. Note: See HSLDA social services contact policy.