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February 26, 2007

Anonymous Tipster Turns in Homeschoolers

On the same Saturday they moved into a new home, the Love* family was visited by a social worker. She indicated she had received an anonymous tip claiming that the Love children were not being supervised.

The accusation involved three incidents. The first claimed that the children were unsupervised and climbing on the roof. In fact, the children were safely retrieving something from the roof, under the supervision of their parents. The second allegation stated that the 6-year-old did not wear a helmet when riding his bicycle, even though he usually did wear a bicycle helmet. The last allegation concerned the children riding a go-cart; this was true, but is not illegal. The social worker also asked about the family’s schooling.

Shocked at these allegations, the Love family decided to contact Home School Legal Defense Association for help.

Attorney Chris Klicka sent a letter to the social worker refuting the allegations, and verifying that Mrs. Love is a stay-at-home mother, who is with her children throughout the day. Klicka assured the social worker that Mrs. Love is very conscientious and guards her children from harm.

The Love family suspected the allegation was made by some neighbor who wasn’t too happy about having a family with children moving in nearby.

Klicka instructed the Love family to send letters of reference from people who knew them and could vouch for their being good caregivers who supervise their children. The letters were sent to the social worker.

Neither HSLDA nor the family has received any contact from the social worker since.

*Name changed to protect family’s privacy.

HSLDA social services contact policy

We desire to assist and advise our members in every contact with a social worker and/or police officer in investigations resulting from allegations of abuse or neglect. If homeschooling is an issue, we will represent our member families until the issue is resolved. On Fourth Amendment unreasonable search and seizure issues, HSLDA will assist and advise our members whenever the privacy of their home is violated by forced or coerced entry for the purpose of an unsubstantiated investigation. HSLDA membership benefits do not extend to court actions resulting from non-homeschooling matters. However, in circumstances where there is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment, HSLDA may, as we have done in the past, choose to take the case in an effort to establish legal precedent.