October 20, 2003

Three Texas Cases Dismissed

Neglect Case Dismissed

We recently reported the investigation of the Weed family in Longview, Texas. The family was surprised to be contacted by the Child Protective Services based on an anonymous tip that their children were being neglected. The parents wisely refused to let the social workers talk to the children. A week later, the social worker returned escorted by a deputy sheriff.

The allegations were "children are malnourished, they used homeopathy, had home births, no social security numbers for the children, homeschooled, unsupervised near lake, sores on children, and 14-month old was not fed any solids."

HSLDA was able to prove that these allegations were completely false.

The social worker demanded to interview the children. HSLDA offered to allow an interview as long as a third person was present. Instead of responding, the social worker obtained a court order to gain entry into the family's home. Providentially, the Weed family was on vacation and the summons was never delivered.

Upon review of the allegations in the social worker's affidavit to obtain the court order, HSLDA discovered that the social worker had misstated the facts. We reached the social worker's supervisor and worked out an understanding to withdraw the court order if the social worker interviewed the children with the parents present. The supervisor found no evidence of abuse and stated: "This has been a mistake." The investigation has been closed and all allegations have been dismissed.

A formal complaint has been issued against the social worker who obtained the court order.

Truancy Charge against Houston Family Dismissed

The Balleza family began homeschooling in March, 2003. Even though the Ballezas were merely exercising their statutory and constitutional rights, the family received a summons to appear in court in September to answer for the offense of "parent contributing to truancy."

The family was upset and confused. Why would charges of truancy be brought against them when they had met all the requirements of the Texas law?

Senior Counsel Chris Klicka was able to work with the family and get the case dismissed before truancy charges were brought against the family.

Truancy Case against Austin Homeschooling Family Dismissed

In October 2001, the Frazen family decided to homeschool their daughter after she was beaten up at school. They were successfully homeschooling, using an accredited high school program, when they received a summons to court for "parent contributing to truancy" and the daughter's "failure to attend school."

After HSLDA's intervention, Austin continually kept resetting the date for the trial. The family was allowed to keep homeschooling during the interim.

Finally, the case was dismissed in October.