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Date:
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4/23/2003 4:57:34 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Texas--CPS Reform Bill in Danger, Need Calls Immediately

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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April 23, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Thank you for your calls for the public hearing on House Bill 1752.
Much shocking and powerful testimony documenting CPS abuse was
presented. If the vote was taken that day, no doubt it would have
passed 8 to 1!

But now, some of the representatives on the committee have been worn
down by the social worker lobby and are having second thoughts. Our
tremendous opportunity to pass legislation to curb the abusive power
of Child Protective Services (CPS) in Texas is in danger.

We need your calls immediately!

The Vice chairman, Toby Goodman met with HSLDA's legislative counsel,
Tom Sanders yesterday and confidently predicted House Bill 1752 will
die in committee. He completely opposes our common sense reforms and
wants no changes to the child welfare code. (See descripion of
reforms below.) A staff person in Goodman's office stated that
Goodman is not concerned with parent's rights but with "the best
interest of the child."

Are we going to allow Representative Goodman to kill these due
process reforms and leave innocent Texas families exposed to the
current abuse by CPS?

H.B. 1752 is tentatively scheduled to be voted on by the Juvenile
Justice & Family Issues Committee sometime tomorrow afternoon (April
24, 2003).

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. Especially inform Representative Goodman of your
concerns.

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 protect the innocent and help keep
children from being wrongly removed from their families."

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

Call today (April 23) and all day tomorrow (April 24).

Juvenile Justice & Family Issues Committee:

Chair: Rep. Harold V. Dutton, Jr.,(leaning in support) (512) 463-0510
Vice Chair: Rep. Toby Goodman, (completely opposed)(512) 463-0562
Rep. Todd Baxter, (512) 463-0631
Rep. Joaquin Castro, (512) 463-0669
Rep. Jim Dunnam, (512) 463-0508
Rep. Joe E. Moreno,(leaning in support) (512) 463-0614

Representatives Hodge, Morrison, and Reyna are members of the
committee who have all promised to vote for H.B. 1752. No further
calls are needed to their offices.

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
committee and worked with the sponsor.

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

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. This will protect many
innocent children from unnecessary trauma and hold back the
aggressive social workers.

2) Requires videotaping of all children interviewed by the CPS and a
copy made available to the parents. This will help prevent CPS
workers from 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 and the national reforms HSLDA is
advocating for child protective services, 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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