The Home School Court Report
No. 2

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Officials surprise family at night

At 9:30 one weekday evening, a Home School Legal Defense Association member family in Las Vegas received an unexpected visit from policemen and a social worker.* Shocked by the officials' unannounced appearance, the family allowed the police into their home after the social worker falsely claimed, "We do not need a search warrant to enter." The police told the social worker to stay outside, and soon left the house scratching their heads because nothing was wrong. After the social worker left, the family called HSLDA's 24-hour hotline, and Staff Attorney Thomas J. Schmidt counseled them to continue keeping the social worker out.

But the ordeal was not over. Protesting that the visit was insufficient because he had not been allowed in and had not seen or spoken with the children (who were asleep in bed), the social worker made further threats against the family. He also refused to reveal the allegations against them, thus violating a new law the family had helped to enact! The law, drafted by HSLDA and shepherded through the legislature by Nevada homeschool leader Frank Schnorbus, requires social workers to be trained in their duty to protect families' constitutional rights.

HSLDA Senior Counsel Christopher J. Klicka called the social worker, pointing out the law. Finally, the social worker revealed the allegations: there were feces all over the house, the children were home alone for an unknown number of days, there was no food in the house, and the children were filthy and wore dirty clothes. All these allegations were bogus, made by a malicious anonymous tipster.

Klicka explained that the allegations were false and also sent a letter to the social worker describing the various violations of the family's rights during the investigation. He firmly stated that the family would not allow the social worker to enter their home or privately interview their children. Since HSLDA's intervention, neither the police nor the social worker have pursued the family further.

— by Christopher J. Klicka

* See "HSLDA social services contact policy"