January 14, 2009

Homeschool Family Faces Fabricated Allegations

In October 2008, a social worker contacted the Dexters (name changed to protect privacy), a homeschooling family in Conroe, Texas, who had one child with special needs in the public school.

Mrs. Dexter contacted Home School Legal Defense Association and after receiving counsel, allowed the social worker to see her children and talk with her. When the social worker left, it appeared that the case would be closed.

However, in December, another social worker knocked on the family’s door. Apparently, the first social worker had changed jobs and passed the file on to her replacement. Unfortunately, the new social worker believed that she needed to start the process again. Needless to say, the family was weary of the pressure and emotional trauma of the investigation.

When the new social worker visited, the Dexter family called HSLDA and passed the phone out the door. Senior Counsel Chris Klicka explained to the social worker that pursuant to federal law, she was required to inform the family of the specific allegations. (The family had not yet been told of what they were accused.) Klicka also explained to her the Dexters’ Fourth Amendment protections and how she needed to honor them. Finally, with resignation in her voice, the social worker left the Dexter home knowing that she could not force entry into the house or interview the kids.

After additional phone conversations and receipt of letters vouching for the Dexters’ parenting skills, the case was closed without the social worker ever entering the home or interviewing the children.

Praise God for this.

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.