The Home School Court Report
Vol. XXII
No. 6
Cover
November/December
2006

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TEXAS

Accidental 911 Leads to Investigation

One of our Home School Legal Defense Association members in Boerne needed to drop off her 14-year-old daughter at a summer job down the road from the family’s house. Since she would only be gone for a few minutes, the mother left her 10-year-old at home alone. While the mother was away, the 10-year-old accidentally dialed 911, but hung up the phone as soon as she realized her mistake.

Shortly afterwards, a police officer and a social worker arrived at the house to make sure everything was okay.* The mother, who was home by this time, explained the situation to the satisfaction of the officer, but the social worker wanted to talk to the child because the mother had left her unsupervised for a few minutes.

The social worker ended up asking irrelevant questions, such as whether the 10-year-old wanted to go to public school! Realizing the social worker was stepping over the boundaries, the family contacted HSLDA for help.

In response, HSLDA Senior Counsel Christopher Klicka sent the social worker a letter explaining that the mother did not normally leave her 10-year-old home alone, and intended never to do so again (even though the law permits 10-year-olds to be left alone for short periods of time). Klicka explained the family’s 4th Amendment rights, as well as their legal right to homeschool. Additionally, he had the parents send the social worker letters of reference from people in the community who could vouch for their excellent parenting and virtually constant supervision of their children. The family has not heard from the social worker since.

— by Christopher J. Klicka

* See "HSLDA social services contact policy."