Tutt Case – Call to Action

Tim Lambert

The Tutt case continues, so we are issuing this update and a call to action. While some of the Tutts’ children have been returned to their home, they have been traumatized by their removal. Some of them were told while in CPS custody that they could not refer to their adopted parents as “mom and dad” but only by their first names. The children are still in public school, and the academic assessment of the children ordered by the judge has not been done, nor has the order to psychologically examine Mrs. Tutt been scheduled. Another child remains in foster care. Three weeks after the order by the judge, and nothing has been done! It appears that no one in the judicial or CPS system is interested in bringing this family back together.

THSC has written a letter to the Texas commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services, the department that oversees CPS, and is demanding an investigation into the caseworker and her supervisor who facilitated this travesty. You can read that DPS letter here. We are asking for those who would like to help the Tutts get all their children back and be allowed to resume their home education to help us by contacting Governor Perry’s office and the Texas legislators who make up the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and the House Human Services Committee, committees which oversee CPS. Urge them to contact DFPS and to launch an immediate investigation of the CPS caseworker (Ms. Shan Robinson) and her supervisor (Ms. Diana Etheridge).

These CPS officials facilitated the illegal removal of the Tutt children. For background, see my previous posts on the Tutt case. The bottom line is that a CPS worker investigated an incident and initially said all was well but a month later demanded a psychological evaluation and parenting classes. When Mrs. Tutt pointed out that classes had been taken and that she had a certificate from her physician noting she was physically and mentally fit to care for children, the caseworker said she would consult with her supervisor to see if that would be sufficient.

With no further communication with the family, the caseworker sought a court order to force Mrs. Tutt to have a psychological evaluation. This evaluation was sought in a November 15, 2013, ex parte hearing, of which the family was not notified nor represented and at which the caseworker was not present.

The caseworker stated that Judge Graciela Olvera refused to sign the order and “recommended that the children be removed from the home and placed in custody due to neglectful supervision and also the pattern of CPS referrals during the year.” She also stated, “Judge Olvera expressed concern about the mental state of the parents.”

In other words, the judge who professed to be “concerned about the mental state of the parents” refused to sign an order requiring a psychological evaluation but did sign an order to remove the children based on two of the children wandering away briefly and also on a pattern of CPS allegations, all of which had been ruled unfounded.

The caseworker stated in the presence of Mrs. Tutt and her 25 year-old daughter that she knew there was no cause for removal but that she had to come up with something to satisfy the judge who had issued the order for removal.

This is judicial abuse that was facilitated by CPS officials, and they must be held accountable. Please call Governor Perry’s office at (512) 463-2000 as well as the legislators who oversee CPS (listed in the links above) and demand an investigation into the CPS officials who followed the illegal ruling of Judge Olvera.

THSC will be hosting a press conference to publicize this issue and to demand an investigation into CPS and Judge Olvera on January 29 at 1:30 p.m. at the Dallas County Courthouse. Please join us and friends of the family in support of the Tutts as we publicly call for justice for this family and the return of their children and their freedom to resume home schooling. It is important that we have as many people as possible there in order to draw attention to this travesty. Please spread the word and join us in Dallas on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. at the Dallas County Courthouse. Old Red Courthouse building at 100 S. Houston Street, Dallas, TX 75202

Call The Governor and Texas Legislators

Governor Rick Perry – (512) 463-2000 – Main Switchboard
Send a message.

Senate Committee on Health and Human Services

Committee Chair:
Jane Nelson
(817) 424-3446 – Grapevine
Send an email.

Vice Chair:
Bob Deuell
(972) 279-1800 – Mesquite
(903) 450-9797 – Greenville
Send an email.

Committee Members:
Joan Huffman
(281) 980-3500 – Houston
Send an email.

Robert Nichols
(903) 589-3003 – Jacksonville
(936) 588-7391 – Montgomery
(936) 564-4252 – Nacogdoches
(936) 699-4988 – Lufkin
Send an email.

Charles Schwertner
(979) 776-0222
(512) 863-8456
Send an email.

Larry Taylor
(281) 485-9800 – Pearland
(281) 332-0003 – League City
Send an email.

Carlos I. Uresti
(210) 932-2568 – San Antonio
(830) 758-0294 – Eagle Pass
(432) 447-0270 – Pecos
Send an email.

Royce West
(214) 467-0123 – Dallas
(214) 741-0123 – Dallas
Send an email.

Judith Zaffirini
(956) 722-2293 – Laredo
Send an email.

House Human Services Committee

Committee Chair:
Richard Peña
(956) 753-7722 – Laredo
Send an email.

Vice Chair:
Naomi Gonzalez
(915) 775-9937 – El Paso
Send an email.

Committee Members:
Pat Fallon
(469) 362-0500 – Little Elm
Send an email.

Stephanie Klick
(817)281-0079 – North Richland Hills
Send an email.

Elliott Naishtat
(512) 463-0668 – Austin
Send an email.

Toni Rose
(214) 371-3300 – Dallas
Send an email.

Scott Sanford
(972) 548-7500 – McKinney
Send an email.

Scott Turner
(972) 722-7887 – Rockwall County
(972) 987-1447 – Collin County
Send an email.

John Zerwas
(281) 533-9042 – Simonton
Send an email.

This post was written by

Tim Lambert – who has written posts on Texas Home School Coalition.

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11 Comments on “Tutt Case – Call to Action”

  1. I called and Austin is having some weather issues which make it difficult for folks to get to work. According to the switchboard operator it would be better if we all call tomorrow as they are not operating with a full staff.

  2. You forgot to mention that the school the judge ordered the Tutt children to attend is on the list of schools rated academically unacceptable by the State of Texas. Just ridiculous.

    • The support the Tutts Facebook updated today saying that Mrs. Tutt has exercised her right under the law to put her children in other schools in the school district that are not underperforming… but that means she has had to put them in two different schools. Now, if only she could exercise her right under the law to HOME SCHOOL HER KIDS!

  3. Also, it would be easier for me to email all of these people. Do you have a form type letter we can send? With 4 kids it’s gonna be difficult for me to make phone calls, but I sincerely want to help.

    • Form letters are not very effective. Just take info from these reports or the letter to the DFPS and come up with a short letter to send to all of them.

  4. I agree with Kelli – an email addy would be much easier for me, and I would think it would be more timely, since the press conference is this week. Even if you don’t have a form letter for us, could you at least provide the email addresses for us? Thank you!

  5. I would think it easier, quicker to pick up the phone and call.

  6. I called Bob DEUELL office 512-463-0102 and talk to them for about 15 minutes so I’m giving them details of the case and then they’re going to launch an investigation

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