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July 9, 2008

Happy Graduation Despite Social Worker Threat

We recently received a combined high school-community college graduation announcement with a photo of an adorable toddler on the front, and a picture of a lovely young woman on the inside. Why would a St. Clair, Michigan, family send a graduation announcement to HSLDA?

Three years ago, when Jessica Tucker was only 15, the family called HSLDA with a social worker at their door. Attorney Scott Woodruff got on the phone and learned that the family had been reported for “physical abuse.” Woodruff pushed to find out exactly what the parents were alleged to have done. The social worker conceded that the report said nothing but “physical abuse.”

Woodruff told the social worker that this was a mere conclusion—it did not report any actual facts upon which such a conclusion could be based. When the social worker asked to question the kids, Woodruff refused, after consulting with the family. After viewing the children who were home and confirming they were fine, the social worker left. Mrs. Tucker and Woodruff prayed together for God to intervene.

A call went out for help. A flood of supporters sent letters to the social worker confirming that no abuse was going on in this home.

Meanwhile, the social worker called the reporter back to see if he or she could offer any more details beyond the vague “physical abuse.” Oddly, the reporter could offer no details whatsoever.

After coming back a second time for a quick look at a child who was not home at the time of the first visit, the social worker closed the file. In her words, there was not a “preponderance of evidence” of any abuse. Their home—and their graduation hopes—were safe from the potentially destructive intervention of the powerful social services system.

Mrs. Tucker later said, “This is one of a person’s greatest fears. I would never have had the courage to continue homeschooling if not for HSLDA. Thank you for being there so quickly.” The graduation announcement included a personal note to HSLDA: “Thank you so much for your legal help three years ago. We praise God for you and your ministry.”