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June 19, 2008

False Anonymous Tip Drags Family Through Needless Investigation

A member family in El Paso was recently alerted by a social worker that an anonymous tipster had made three allegations against them. The allegations were 1) that one child was kept in isolation, 2) that the children were not supervised, and 3) that the children were not really being homeschooled. The family was shocked by the falseness of these allegations and immediately contacted Home School Legal Defense Association for advice.

Senior Counsel for HSLDA, Chris Klicka, sent a letter to the social worker and addressed the untruth of each allegation.

1) The child accused of being isolated participates in a couple of weekly classes outside the home, which include several other children. The child also attends church services and Sunday school class.

2) If the parents are not present, then the younger children are always supervised by one of their older siblings, ages 17 and 18. Attorney Klicka had the family send the social worker letters from individuals who vouched for the excellent supervision the children receive.

3) Attorney Klicka told the social worker that they did not even have authority to investigate this because it is the responsibility of the school district. However, he assured the social worker that the family is homeschooling legally and had already successfully graduated two children who have been accepted to more than one reputable college.

The father serves in the military, which put the family in a difficult position because the social worker informed the father’s commanding officer. So under HSLDA’s counsel, the family let the social worker talk briefly to the children outside their home with a chaplain present. They did not let the social worker in the house.

The social worker quickly closed the case. The family thanked HSLDA for helping them stand firm.