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2/12/2004 3:55:14 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Colorado--Child Welfare Investigation Reform Passed Unanimously!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 12, 2004


Dear Colorado HSLDA members and friends:


HSLDA helped drafted H.B. 1060 which will create crucial due process
protections for homeschoolers and other families faced with child
welfare investigations. Representative Kevin Lundberg is the sponsor
and is carefully guiding this legislation.

Incredibly the bill passed full committee and the entire House of
Representatives unanimously yesterday. We are trying to pass this
bill without any fanfare or barrage of calls--and it is working.

The bill requires child protective services workers to be trained in
their duty to protect the statutory and constitutional rights of
those they are investigating, and requires child protective services
personnel to advise individuals subject to a child abuse and neglect
investigation of the complaint or allegation made against them.

HSLDA deals with cases on a daily basis where a social worker is
investigating an innocent homeschool family because of false
allegations. These tips, often supplied by those holding a grudge
against home education, are often investigated aggressively. Social
workers frequently demand to conduct physical inspections of
homeschool children or to interview very young children outside the
presence of their parents.

Oftentimes social workers refuse to state the allegation they are
investigating, and usually conduct the investigation in a manner that
violates the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The language from this bill originates from the provisions we were
able to pass into federal law.

On June 25, 2003, President George W. Bush signed the Keeping
Children and Families Safe Act of 2003 (S.342). HSLDA was able to
attach these same two amendments that will protect families during
the child investigative process.

This is the most significant reform of social worker investigations
in the last decade.

It is important to pass this legislation at the state level to
guarantee that Congressional intent is implemented properly and
completely. The Department of Heath and Human Services has stated to
us that the most efficient and effective implementation is if the
provisions are codified at the state level.

If this law is passed it will keep social workers properly chained by
the Constitution and they will be liable for making certain they
respect the parental and 4th Amendment rights of families.

In the meantime, pray to God that He will see this through in the
Senate. It has been sent to the Health, Environment and Welfare
Committee which is chaired by Senator Steve Johnson who supports the
bill.

Second Item - Mandatory Kindergarten Bill Defeated

Additionally, House Bill 1180, which mandated kindergarten programs
for 5 year olds, has been postponed indefinitely. HSLDA opposes
these types of bills because while kindergarten attendance may be
optional at this time, making the provision of the program mandatory
for the school district is the first step toward requiring student
attendance. Concerned Parents of Colorado also opposed this bill and
we worked together to defeat a similar bill in last year's
legislative session.


Sincerely,

Chris Klicka
Senior Counsel
Home School Legal Defense Association



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