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No. 5

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Police Officer Sticks His Foot in the Door

The call came late one Friday night in May 2006: “He will not take his foot out of my door!”

A Home School Legal Defense Association member family in Lakewood had received an unexpected visit from two social workers and two police officers at 10:00 p.m.* When the mom tried to close the door to call HSLDA, one of the police officers prevented her by forcing his foot in the door.

The mother immediately dialed HSLDA’s emergency hotline and described the situation to Senior Counsel Christopher Klicka. She then handed the phone to one of the social workers.

After speaking with both social workers, Klicka discovered that the allegations against the family included a report that the children were hit with a rod. When Klicka explained that the allegations were false and had been made maliciously by an estranged son, the social workers continued to demand entrance into the home and an interview with the children—they even asserted that they would need to do a partial strip search!

Klicka refused to give in and told the social workers that the parents were standing on their 4th Amendment rights not to allow them to enter. The social workers and police finally left after Klicka promised a report from the family’s doctor.

The next day, the family faxed reports to the social workers from a doctor who examined all the children and found no evidence of abuse. The family also faxed references from their pastor and friends vouching for their innocence.

Dissatisfied, the social workers threatened to obtain a court order to enter the home and interview the children if the family did not voluntarily acquiesce.

Klicka responded with a letter reiterating that the allegations were false, as proved by the numerous reports testifying to the family’s good character. Klicka also explained the family’s legal rights and emphasized that the family still declined the social workers’ request.

No word has been heard from the social workers since.

— by Christopher J. Klicka

* See "HSLDA social services contact policy."