By Nathan Barton
The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) recently sent an email, describing a really bad situation they are trying to help. Here is an edited version of what they published. (With comments by Mama Liberty and me.):
For most moms, a knock at the door while homeschooling is merely an annoyance—but for Holly Curry and her family, that knock became a nightmare.
The day before, on the way to taking her kids to karate lessons, Holly had stopped at a local café to pick up some muffins for the kids. She left her kids in the locked van. The fan was running, it was a cool spring day, and she wasn’t gone for more than five minutes.
But five minutes and a few muffins was all it took to change her family’s life forever.
Two police officers met Holly when she returned to the van.
The officers briefly detained Holly and spoke with her about leaving the kids in the locked vehicle but did not charge her with a crime. (While Holly broke no law in Kentucky, and no harm came to the children, we do not advise parents to leave young children alone in their vehicles.) They insisted, however, that they had to file a child abuse report, and that the Kentucky Department of Human Based Services would be sending an investigator to the Currys’ home.
That was only the beginning for the Curry family.
The next morning, as Holly read aloud to her daughters, she was interrupted by a loud banging on her front door.
The child protective services (CPS) investigator at the door, Jeanetta Childress, insisted that she had to come in and see Holly’s children immediately. She didn’t introduce herself or offer credentials and she didn’t have a warrant. She just assumed that because she was a government agent, she had the legal authority to enter a private home and disrupt this family’s day.
When Holly politely declined to let her inside the home, Investigator Childress left, but said she’d be back—this time with a police officer. True to her word, she came back a few hours later, not with a search warrant, but with a male deputy.
Again, Holly told the officials that with no warrant, she would not grant them permission to enter her home. But this time, the investigator and the deputy threatened to take custody of Holly’s children if she did not let them in.
Scared, Holly had no way of knowing at that moment if they really had the power to seize her children, so she gave in and allowed them inside her home, believing the momentary intrusion would be less harmful to her children than being forcibly removed from her.
[This was the very serious mistake that Holly made: she should have refused to let the deputy and investigator in, called 9-1-1, and tell the dispatcher what was going on, and requested assistance. Immediately followed by a call to HSLDA to get their help – they have people on 24-hour call for things like this.]
MamaLiberty added this comment: Yes, she did “have a way” of knowing. No real excuse not to know and understand the “law” here. Not that it would stop such an outrageous intrusion everywhere, of course. But she lost the battle when she caved into their fear tactics.
[One of the reasons that HSLDA exists is to educate its members about their rights and dealing with authorities – Holly (like too many others) did not educate herself in this important subject.]
Once inside, Investigator Childress dragged the oldest daughter to her bedroom for an interrogation without asking for permission from Holly.
Imagine someone determining your parenting abilities by forcibly interrogating your young daughter!
But the most shocking chapter of this story is what happened next.
Returning with the oldest daughter, Investigator Childress insisted that she had “to take a look at the kids now.”
She ripped the youngest out of Holly’s lap and removed her diaper to check for bruises. She conducted an intrusive strip search on each of the six children, including Holly’s daughters—in front of the male police officer.
[A young girl, strip-searched by a government agent in front of a male stranger! Can you imagine this happening to your daughter?]
When Investigator Childress asked Holly’s son to take off his shirt and shorts, the boy looked to his mom to ask if it was okay. He had been trained by his mommy and daddy that no adult should ask him to undress or look at his privates without their permission.
As a father of seven, I [Jim Mason of HSLDA] am infuriated by what Investigator Childress did next. [Is anyone reading this NOT infuriated?]
Seeing the boy look to his mother, Childress stepped between them, blocking his view and said, “Show that cop your muscles.” Then she pulled down his pants and looked down the front and back of his underwear.
In a few short seconds, she completely undermined Holly’s training and the boy’s trust that his mommy is his chief protector.
Investigator Childress, acting on behalf of the government, did way more harm than good to these kids—and for what?
These children may never again feel truly safe in their own home. The bond of trust they have with their mom has been severely damaged. And the traumatic experience of being strip-searched by a stranger cannot be undone.
Holly was threatened because she asked for a warrant, as is her right. What happened to her could happen to you or me. . . .
That’s why we [HSLDA)] just sued Investigator Childress and the deputy in federal court!
But as long as CPS investigators think routinely strip-searching young children is okay, the battle isn’t over.
(End of edited story, emailed to me.)
I am writing this, not to encourage or solicit donations for HSLDA, but to share what seems to be happening literally every day somewhere in the Fifty States. More people need to be aware of what is happening, and what can be done to both prevent it and respond to it.
Is it inappropriate to say that any place that something like this happens is a “police state” and anything BUT a land of freedom?
I understand that people will state that there are really many children who ARE abused by their parents, and therefore we “MUST” have the police and child protective services and they “MUST” be able to invade homes at any time and all the rest. But this kind of authority, this kind of power over others, has never ended that kind of abuse, and is nothing but abuse in and of itself.
Families should not have to fear a knock at the door. As Mama Liberty added, Not for anything. Guns, weed, anything the overlords don’t approve of. But we must be prepared for it, and respond appropriately.
Another correspondent wrote me: “Totally agree with your assessment. Glad they’re being sued. We MUST continue to fight back!”
She, like MamaLiberty, is a mother and grandmother and retired from her life-long profession, but understands this police state in which we live.
1. Learn what you can do, as a family, as parents, and as lovers of liberty, in case something like this happens.
2. Learn what can happen. Remember and teach that government officials, however friendly and polite they may be, are NOT your friends: they have agendas and their primary purpose is to CONTROL you and your family.
2. Be prepared to defend your family (especially your children) and your home and neighbors – including knowing whom to call for help.
3. Be prepared and willing to assist others in a similar situation.
4. Don’t be intimidated by government officials: be polite but unyielding. Do not voluntarily give up anything.
5. Keep a low profile and as much as possible, pick your battles. You know people are watching – people who are more than willing to be informants and to see you in trouble.
Mama’s Note: It is ALL about control. Those who desire/even feel compelled to control the lives and property of others, so often couched in altruistic terms, and “for their own good.” Whatever the other possible motives, the desire to control the lives and property of others is, I believe, the actual ROOT of all evil. It is the root of all aggression, such as practiced by these government employees. Don’t ever let the false altruism confuse you as to their true agenda.
Anyone who wants to control you, your children, your animals, or anything else and uses force to compel obedience, is your enemy – no matter how nice they put it or how much they say they care.