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The Calabretta Case
Volume 47, Program 15
9/5/2003
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Should anonymous child abuse allegations be allowed to override Fourth Amendment rights? Michael Farris reviews a landmark case today on Home School Heartbeat.

    Mike Farris:

    In 1995, HSLDA filed a case in California on behalf of the Robert Calabretta family. Based on an anonymous tip, a police officer and a social worker forced entry into the family's home, interrogated the twelve-year-old daughter, and strip-searched their three year old. We believed that the civil rights of the Calebrettas had clearly been violated in this process.

    We won the case in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

    That court made it clear that child abuse allegations are subject to the Fourth Amendment requirements. The right of the people to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures held firm. For any government official, including a social worker, to get into a family's home, they have to have either the valid consent or emergency circumstances plus probable cause.

    The Calabretta ruling put that principle into big black letters. Parents won a great victory with this decision.

    The cases we've talked about this week built a strong foundation of freedom for homeschooling families. Now we're looking forward to the next stage of victories, where our children rise up and lead this country aright, just as the Founding Fathers did so many years ago. I'm Mike Farris.

Can you homeschool your children? That and other questions are answered in a great resource, Homeschooling: Start Here. Give us a call to get your free copy. And when you call, ask about our free daily email transcript of Home School Heartbeat. Call us toll-free at 866-338-8614. That's 866-338-8614. Or you can visit us online at homeschoolheartbeat.com.


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