Across the States
Caseworker Gives Up
The Randalls (name changed to protect family’s privacy) of Ottawa County were in the midst of homeschooling one day when they were interrupted by a visit from a caseworker.* Indicating that she had received a tip that the parents were not supervising their children, the caseworker wanted to come into the home and interview the children.
Mr. Randall, a member of Home School Legal Defense Association, immediately contacted HSLDA and talked with senior counsel Christopher Klicka. Klicka explained that Mr. Randall’s Fourth Amendment rights allowed him to refuse to allow the caseworker entry into his home or an interview with his children. These Fourth Amendment rights were communicated back to the caseworker.
A few days later, while Klicka was preparing a letter to social services on the Randalls’ behalf, the family received a surprise phone call from the caseworker.
Apparently because she had heard that Mr. Randall had an attorney willing to defend his Fourth Amendment rights, the caseworker apologized for the investigation and admitted the tip was “very sketchy.” The actual allegation was that the “kids were living on their own”—a claim that was found to be obviously false during the caseworker’s visit. The caseworker had talked with her supervisor, who told her to simply talk with Mr. Randall on the phone one more time and then close the case.
We are thankful for this surprising, yet welcome, outcome.
* See “HSLDA social services contact policy.”
— by Christopher J. Klicka