June 26, 2019

How Do We Keep Our Kids Safe From CPS?

In a recent discussion with a group of parents about homeschooling, we talked about a problem that Child Protective Services (CPS) causes: approaching many innocent Texas families with anonymous allegations that lead to intrusive investigations.

In 2014, THSC responded to this growing problem by contracting with CPS attorney Chris Branson to offer CPS legal protection for THSC member families.

Since that time, we have handled 71 CPS cases for THSC members. It is critical for families to know how to deal with these situations before they occur in order to protect their children.

We also talked about what to do when a CPS worker comes to your home. According to CPS state law, CPS is required to inform the parent of the allegations upon first contact with the family—although this rarely happens.

CPS can go to a school, public or private, and interview the child or remove him or her from campus for examination, all without the knowledge or consent of the parents.

What makes homeschooling different is CPS cannot enter a home without a court order unless the parent(s) allows the worker to do so.

We strongly encourage families not to waive their Fourth Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution against unreasonable searches when CPS asks to come into their homes. If they don’t have a warrant, don’t let them in. Contact THSC and we will connect you with legal assistance.

After the discussion, a mother asked me how we balance our rights as parents with the need to protect children who are being abused. Her question seemed to be about whether we should cooperate with CPS to, in theory, help abused children. My response was that Texas law requires an investigation of allegations of abuse or neglect. Always, always report abuse or neglect to the authorities.

However, thousands of children and families are harmed and traumatized as a result of unjustified investigations. Removing a child from the home is traumatizing. It should only be done when the risk of leaving the child in the home is clearly greater.

I reiterated that children in public schools are statistically more likely to be abused than children who are homeschooled. Homeschoolers do not support giving some government agent the authority to decide whether or not we should be allowed to homeschool, nor should we invite CPS workers into our homes on the mistaken notion that this will be okay for our children. 

We believe that a loving family home is the best environment for children. Drake Pardo (age four) was illegally taken from his family by Child Protective Services (CPS) on June 20. We can’t let them get away with breaking the law and abusing the Pardo family. We need your help to #BringDrakeHome.

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  June 19, 2019

Teachers Unions Fight to Keep Discrimination Against Homeschoolers

Last year we shared about the last-minute efforts of Democrats in the U.S. Senate to keep homeschoolers from being treated the same as private and charter school students regarding 529 scholarship programs.

Recently, Democrats in the U.S. House did the same thing. Texas Congressman Kevin Brady valiantly went to the floor of the U.S. House to argue for fair treatment of the millions of homeschooled children across the country.

He said, The bill we brought to the Rules Committee earlier this week cleared our Committee unanimously. Members of the Progressive Caucus and Freedom Caucus—Members of the New Democrats, Problems Solvers and the Republican Study Committee—all voted yes on these reforms. That is a rare occurrence in Washington. And it speaks to what a Committee can accomplish when we work together on reforms to positively impact our families and economy.

“But it is incredibly troubling that special interests—in this case, teachers unions—forced changes on a bipartisan bill for absolutely no good reason at the eleventh hour. These liberal special interest groups forced Democrats to block two provisions. One that allows parents to use educational savings for the expenses of homeschooling. And the second would allow families with kids in grades K-12 to use savings for books, tutors, educational therapies for students who may need it and a host of learning tools.

“I will talk further on the unfortunate circumstances that brought about the removal of those two incredibly important provisions. Backdoor deals made in the dead of night—without Republican knowledge or support—is not the way to do business.”

Now Sen. Ted Cruz is fighting in the U.S. Senate to restore the language that would prevent the discrimination against homeschooling in this federal legislation.

We applaud Brady and Cruz for standing up for all families—including those who choose to homeschool. It is refreshing to see legislators who demonstrate their true support of families and homeschooling rather than just give lip service to that fact.

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June 12, 2019

Is it Good That Homeschooling in Texas Isn’t Regulated?

We recently gave a presentation on the history of the legal battle for homeschool freedom in Texas and the ongoing political battle to protect and expand that freedom. We also shared a video that summarizes the history and then went into details.

We explained the ways in which government at many levels has raised roadblocks to limit homeschooling freedom and options for families and how THSC has helped the families of Texas address and remove many of those arbitrary limitations.

This was all very normal discussion that we often have during these presentations. However, during the Q&A time a couple of ladies who had come in late asked some questions and we could tell by their tones and facial expressions that they were confused.

One asked, “Are you saying that homeschooling in Texas is completely unregulated by the state and you are fine with that?”

I replied slowly and distinctly, “Yes, that is what I’m saying and I am very happy with that.”

The follow-up question her friend raised was, “What if parents simply withdraw their children and do not educate them?” I explained that Texas compulsory attendance laws require school attendance and if families are not teaching their children they can be prosecuted for truancy, but there must be evidence that there is no education going on to justify such action.

We believe that parents have a God-given right to raise their children as they see fit and that the government should only interfere if there is evidence of abuse or neglect. As I’ve often written, there is an attempt to limit homeschooling by radical legislation that would require families to be approved to homeschool by government agents.

Families care more for their children than government agents do. The rights of families to direct the care, control and upbringing of their children must be protected if we are to continue to be able to make decisions for them that we believe are best, including homeschooling.

At THSC, we are committed to Keeping Texas Families Free!

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