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5/13/2003 4:43:04 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Texas--Child Welfare Reform Bill Stalled, Your Calls Needed

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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May 13, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

The child welfare reform bill, H.B. 1752, has been stalled in the
Juvenile Justice & Family Issues Committee due to heavy pressure from
the social worker lobby on the Texas House Leadership. If these
common sense reforms are to survive, we need your calls.

We realize that many House Democrats are not available due to the
Democrat's walk out. However, their staff and all of the Republican
representatives are available to receive messages.

H.B. 1752 would create crucial due process protections for
homeschoolers and other families faced with child welfare
investigations. If we flood the House with phone calls we could
overcome the opposition to this bill.

ACTION REQUESTED

1. Call your House Representative voice your support of H.B. 1752,
using the message below. To get the name and telephone number of
your Representative, use HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/toolbox.

2. 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.

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.

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. Joe E. Moreno, 512-463-0614
Rep. Terri Hodge, 512-463-0586
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
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) Remove 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) Require videotaping of all children interviewed by the CPS and
mandates that a copy of the tape be made available to the parents.
This will help prevent CPS workers from twisting the words of
children.

3) Give 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 in juvenile homes and foster care.

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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