November 28, 2007

Family Successfully Stands on Fourth Amendment Right

When the Gregory family (name changed to protect their privacy) in Las Vegas received an unexpected visit from a social worker, they turned to the Home School Legal Defense Association for help.

Pursuant to HSLDA’s advice, the family said “no” when the social worker requested to inspect the family’s home and interview their children. The family discovered they had been accused of educational and medical neglect. The family, incredulous, called HSLDA and spoke with Senior Counsel Chris Klicka.

Klicka wrote a letter assuring the social worker that the allegations were bogus, and that the family was not neglecting their children, but in fact, were providing better than average care and a homeschool education pursuant to the new law. Klicka also had Mrs. Gregory send the worker several references from friends, as well as a letter from their doctor indicating that the children were receiving proper medical attention.

Klicka made it clear in the letter that the family wished to avoid unnecessary trauma and would decline any requests to enter their home and interview their children.

After hearing from HSLDA, the social worker called the family and said she was closing the investigation, saying she was “just trying to help”!

HSLDA Social Services Contact Policy

We desire to 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 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.