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Date:
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4/2/2003 3:41:30 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Texas--Hearing Tomorrow on Child Protective Services Reform Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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April 2, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Homeschoolers have a tremendous opportunity to "jump start"
legislation to curb the power of Child Protective Services in Texas
and protect parent's rights. House Bill 1752, sponsored by
Representative Hupp, will be heard at 10:30 AM tomorrow before the
Juvenile Justice & Family Issues Committee.

We need your calls immediately to this committee to ensure passage.
Your calls really do make the difference.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please call as many members of the Juvenile Justice & Family Issues
Committee as possible (listed below) and urge them to vote in favor
of H.B. 1752. Please give them this message:

"Please vote for H.B. 1752. This bill will restore due process
protections for families subjected to investigations by child
protection workers. It will also help keep children from being
wrongly removed from their families and protect the innocent."

You do not need to identify yourself as a homeschooler but simply as
a concerned parent.

Juvenile Justice & Family Issues Committee

Chair: Rep. Harold V. Dutton, Jr., (512) 463 0510
Vice Chair: Rep. Toby Goodman, (512) 463 0562
Rep. Todd Baxter, (512) 463 0631
Rep. Joaquin Castro, (512) 463 0669
Rep. Jim Dunnam, (512) 463 0508
Rep. Terri Hodge, (512) 463 0586
Rep. Joe E. Moreno, (512) 463 0614
Rep. Geanie Morrison, (512) 463 0456
Rep. Elvira Reyna, (512) 463 0464

You can also send an email to the committee members by going to:
http://www.house.state.tx.us/committees/340.htm.
Click on the committee member and select "Send Email."

BACKGROUND

HSLDA has been working on H.B. 1752 since last Fall. Texas
Legislative Counsel, Tom Sanders has lobbied the chairman and worked
with the sponsor.

We at HSLDA believe that abuse by the Child Protective Services (CPS)
is the single greatest threat to homeschoolers in Texas. We handle
member investigations, based on false allegations, by CPS workers on
a regular basis.

We have worked on the federal level and are on the verge of passage
of the "Keep Families Safe Act" which requires all child protective
workers throughout the country to reveal the allegations to the
person being investigated at the initial contact. Texas CPS workers
routinely refuse to tell allegations unless the family allows them
entry their home to interrogate the children privately.

Another federal HSLDA amendment will require all social workers
around the country to be specifically trained in their duty to
protect the statutory and constitutional rights of those they are
investigating. This requirement is long overdue!

Representative Hupp has indicated her willingness to amend H.B. 1752
to add these two amendments. We hope to report on the progress of
these amendments soon.

At this time, H.B. 1752 will:

1) Removes all discretion from the CPS workers to conduct medical,
psychological, or psychiatric evaluations. This bill will require
either consent of the parent or a court order.

2) Requires videotaping of all children interviewed by the CPS and a
copy made available to the parents. This will help prevent CPS
workers form twisting the words of children.

3) Gives parents, who are threatened with having their children
temporarily removed during an investigation, the right to choose who
the child will stay with during that time. This will protect children
from being traumatized at juvenile homes and by foster care
providers.

For more information on this bill visit our website at:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=782

Thank you for your calls! And thank you for standing with us for
freedom.

Sincerely,

Chris Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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