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2/21/2005 9:09:59 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Maryland--Calls Needed--Bill to Protect Parent's Rights During Investigation set for Hearing Tuesday

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 21, 2005

Maryland--Calls Needed--Bill to Protect Parent's Rights During
Investigation set for Hearing Tuesday

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

A bill that would require social workers to tell parents they are
investigating what they are accused of will be heard in the Senate
Judicial Proceedings Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 1 PM. We need
your help to get this bill through committee! The bill is SB 27. The
sponsor is Sen. Alex Mooney.

Without SB 27, parents will continue to be subjected to investigations
without being told what they are accused of. This is intolerable.
Parents have a fundamental right to know what they are accused of when
they are being investigated.

Action Requested

Please call chairman Frosh and ask him to support SB 27. Your message
can be as simple as, "Please support SB 27. It will protect Maryland
from losing federal money. It will guarantee that parents know what
they are accused of when they are investigated by social services."

In addition, if your senator is on the committee, call him or her with
the same message. The senators on the committee are:

Brian Frosh, Chairman, (410) 841-3124 or (301) 858-3124;
Leo Green (410) 841-3631 or (301) 858-3631;
Jennie Forehand (410) 841-3134 or (301) 858-3134;
Rob Garagiola (410) 841-3169 or (301) 858-3169;
John A. Gianetti, Jr. (410) 841-3141 or (301) 858-3141;
Larry Haines (410) 841-3683 or (301) 858-3683;
Ralph Hughes (410) 841-3656 (301) 858-3656;
Nancy Jacobs (410) 841-3158, (301) 858-3158;
Philip Jimeno (410) 841-3658, (301) 858-3658;
Norman R. Stone, Jr. (410) 841-3587, (301) 858-3587

Background

President Bush signed a federal law two years ago requiring that
social workers tell parents what they are accused of when they are
being investigated. Maryland needs to pass SB 27 to guarantee
compliance with federal law and avoid losing hundreds of thousands of
dollars.

Last year a Maryland HSLDA member was investigated without ever being
told what she was accused of. Despite numerous polite requests, the
social worker claimed it would "compromise the investigation" if the
mom knew what she was accused of. When I asked her to check with her
supervisor, she said she was sure her supervisor and their attorney
would agree the mom should not be told what she was accused of.

When the mom, on our advice, would not submit to the social worker,
she hauled the mother into court and asked the judge to take
jurisdiction over her children. Not even in the document summoning
the mom into court did the social worker say what she was accused of.
The terrified mom had no idea how to prepare beforehand, and no idea
how to defend herself and keep her children as she walked into court.
HSLDA provided representation.

Once in court, the social worker had no choice but to finally admit
what the mom was accused of. It was a trivial matter and the case
resolved in minutes. This terrifying experience for the mother--not
to mention the wasted time of the judge and attorneys--could have been
avoided if Maryland followed federal law and disclosed the allegations
promptly against the mom.

SB 27 is necessary to make sure Maryland follows federal law.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney


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