Signs of the turning tide: Key social worker cases & their meaning
8/26/99 - Calabretta v. FloydIn Calabretta, which occurred under very similar circumstances to Stumbo, this HSLDA member courteously declined the social workers' request to enter her home and privately interview her children. The social workers, however, refused to back down. Based on an anonymous tip that a small child was heard saying "No, daddy, no!" the social workers demanded to enter the home, took the 2-year-old daughter into a room away from her mother, and forcibly strip-searched the child. The Ninth Circuit Court came down with a decision very similar to Stumbo: a mere anonymous tip isn't justification for violating the family's rights and privacy.
(CA, Ninth Circuit Court)
7/17/02 - Roe v. Texas Dept. of Protective and Regulatory ServicesIn this non-homeschooling case, the mother allowed the social worker into her home. The social worker proceeded to strip search and take graphic photos of her 6-year-old daughter, resulting in a Fifth Circuit Court ruling that the social worker violated the constitution. HSLDA filed an amicus brief in this case.
(TX, Fifth Circuit Court)
5/15/03 - Doe v. HeckWhen a private school principal refused to allow social workers to interview children at the school, the social workers obtained police reinforcement and did it anyway. The Seventh Circuit Court said that forcible interviews of children on private property constitute a "seizure" under the Fourth Amendment.
(WI, Seventh Circuit Court)
7/16/03 - In the matter of StumboFor details on this case, see the cover story starting at left.
(NC, Supreme Court)
7/21/03 - Dubbs v. Head Start, Inc.Health department nurses conductive intrusive examinations of Head Start children without parental consent. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the nurses violated the children's rights: "There is no 'social worker' exception to the Fourth Amendment."
(OK, Tenth Circuit Court)
See the legal section on HSLDA's website for more on these cases.