The Home School Court Report
VOLUME XXI, NUMBER 3
- disclaimer -
May / June 2005


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ACROSS THE STATES

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TEXAS

Neighbor files false report

Angered by a dispute concerning his dog, a Denton man retaliated by reporting his neighbors, who happened to be Home School Legal Defense Association members, to social services.

When a social worker showed up at their house, the family explained that the conflict with their neighbor was nearly resolved and that there was no need to enter the home or investigate any further.* Although the social worker left, the child welfare services supervisor assigned a second social worker to follow up with the family a short time later.

The second social worker went to the family's house and demanded to enter and investigate, stating threateningly, "When people are uncooperative, they have something to hide." Her statement revealed that she did not believe that, in the United States, every citizen is innocent until proven guilty-even during child welfare investigations. These parents had a clear 4th Amendment right not to let the social worker into their home, and simply standing on that right does not imply guilt. They promptly called HSLDA for assistance.

HSLDA Senior Counsel Christopher Klicka telephoned the second social worker, then sent a letter indicating that the family would continue to maintain their parental rights and that, contrary to their neighbor's accusation, they had not neglected any of their children. Finding no evidence of neglect and facing a constitutional challenge to further harassment of the family, the social worker finally ended the investigation.

— by Christopher J. Klicka

* See "HSLDA social services contact policy".