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In 24 years of dealing with social workers and anonymous tips, Home School Legal Defense Association has found it extremely rare that a social worker ever recognizes or seeks to protect a family’s rights. When a social worker came to the Hayes family’s door in Lapeer, they were surprised to find themselves under investigation for child abuse.* The social worker asked if they were homeschooling and stated that there was an allegation that they were “isolating their children” and “not taking care of their children.”
Although this HSLDA member family was indeed homeschooling, these allegations were completely false.
The Hayeses called HSLDA for assistance. Senior counsel Christopher Klicka explained the importance of standing up for their constitutional rights and recommended that the family have people in the community who knew them well send reference letters to the social worker. Klicka then explained the Hayes family’s 4th Amendment rights in a follow-up letter to the social worker.
The Hayeses did a wonderful job of demonstrating to the social worker that they were not hiding anything by refusing entrance to their home, but were merely exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights.
Although relatives who work in social services had told the Hayes family to just do whatever the social worker wanted or else prepare to face an automatic assumption of guilt, the family took Klicka’s advice and firmly but politely told the social worker that when they talked with her it would be outside of their home.
Initially leery of this unusual insistence, the social worker soon realized that the Hayeses were simply exercising their constitutional right to be secure in their home and free from unreasonable searches. The family was able to talk with the social worker and have the investigation completed right then on their doorstep—without the earlier demand to interview their children.
— by Christopher J. Klicka
* See “HSLDA social services contact policy”