From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


2/22/2011 4:35:14 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Mississippi: Calls Needed to Pass Social Worker Training Bill

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

Mississippi -- Calls Needed to Pass Social Worker Training Bill

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Your calls and emails are needed to pass Mississippi House Bill 985,
legislation intended to protect children and their parents during
social services investigations. This bill would require that social
workers be trained in their legal duties to protect the constitutional
and statutory rights of children and families from the initial time of
contact in an investigation through any intervention with the family.
House Bill 985 has already passed the House of Representatives but is
now being held by the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee. It
is in danger of dying in this committee unless members of the
committee are prompted to move it forward.

Members of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee need to hear
from you today!


1. Please call and/or email as many members of the Senate Public
Health and Welfare Committee as possible with this message or
something similar in your own words:

"Please vote for House Bill 985, which would require social workers to
be trained in their legal duties to protect the constitutional and
statutory rights of children and families during social services
investigations. Twenty-three states have already passed this type of

When calling members of the Committee, do not identify yourself as a
homeschooler. This law will benefit all families in Mississippi.

The members of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee are as

Last names beginning with A-M please contact:

Sen. Hob Bryan (Chair) (D) (SD 07-Itawamba)
Sen. W. Briggs Hopson III (Vice-Chair) (R) (SD 23-Issaquena)
Sen. Terry C. Burton (R) (SD 31-Lauderdale)
Sen. Eugene S. Clarke (R) (SD 22-Bolivar)
Sen. Bob M. Dearing (D) (SD 37-Adams)
Sen. Joey Fillingane (R) (SD 41-Covington)
Sen. Merle Flowers (R) (SD 19-DeSoto)
Sen. Hillman Terome Frazier (D) (SD 27-Hinds)
Sen. Billy Hewes (R) (SD 49-Harrison)
Sen. John Horhn (D) (SD 26-Hinds)

Last names beginning with N-Z please contact:

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) (SD 39-Lawrence)
Sen. Gary Jackson (R) (SD 15-Attala)
Sen. Kenneth Wayne Jones (D) (SD 21-Attala)
Sen. Tom King (R) (SD 44-Forrest)
Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) (SD 42-Jones)
Sen. Nolan Mettetal (R) (SD 10-Panola)
Sen. Willie Simmons (D) (SD 13-Bolivar)
Sen. Bennie L. Turner (D) (SD 16-Clay)
Sen. Lee Yancey (R) (SD 20-Madison)

To find the contact information for senators, go to .

2. Please forward this email to every family you know who is not a
member of HSLDA and urge them to contact members of the committee.


This Mississippi bill is an effort to comply with the federal Child
Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) which requires states to
adopt and implement measures protecting families during social
services investigations. Specifically, states must adopt provisions
and procedures to (1) require child protective services personnel at
the initial time of contact to advise individuals subject to a child
abuse and neglect investigation of the complaint or allegation made
against them and (2) require child protective services workers to be
trained in their duty to protect the statutory and constitutional
rights of those they are investigating. The Mississippi legislature
previously complied with the first of these two requirements by
passing a bill during its 2007 session.

Why is CAPTA important to homeschooling families? Home educators are
not the only families who encounter threatening investigations by
social workers. But the fact that parents have chosen this educational
option for their children places these families in a suspect class in
the mind of many social workers. More often than not, when HSLDA
families are being investigated, some aspect of homeschooling is part
of the case. And the danger to the family is that the vast majority of
social workers have no knowledge of the limits placed on them by the
United States Constitution, particularly the search and seizure
protections in the Fourth Amendment. Most social workers wrongly
believe that they are not subject to the same constitutional
limitations as police officers, including those related to the
interview and removal of children.

In all, 23 states have complied with federal law to some extent by
enacting one or both of the CAPTA protections. With the legislatures
in all 50 states having sessions during 2011, this provides an
opportunity for states with partial or no compliance to enact this
important safeguard for families.

To view the text of this bill, please go to

Please call or email today!


Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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