The other day, acting on a strange impulse, I hurriedly wrote the following on my calendar: “Ran to town over the LUNCH HOUR to pick up prescription for 6 yo, ran by library, dump and grocery store.” Why did I do this? Documentation.
Our home state is reasonably relaxed when it comes to homeschoolers, but no state is safe. Did you know that based on an anonymous tip alone, you can be falsely accused of child abuse and have your children taken from you? Don’t tick anyone off that resents your choice to homeschool.
Here’s what you need to know. The Fourth Amendment protects you. No matter where in the USA you live, a social worker does not have permission to enter your home unless they have a signed warrant from a judge. Some social workers don’t even know that they lack the right to forcibly enter your home, they’ll bully and intimidate. Call their bluff. The Fourth Amendment right to freedom protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures.
They’ll try the courteous route, assuring you that all will be solved (whatever alleged abuse you’re accused of) if you’ll just let them in to discuss it. Huh-uh. Let them in without an official warrant and they’ll find something to pin on you. A messy house, ‘mal-nourished’ child—yes, these are real accusations against homeschoolers. Worse, your children will be traumatized.
If a suspicious neighbor was the one to “anonymously” tip the authorities that she saw a bruise on your child, the social worker may insist on strip-searching all your children. Don’t let them through the door. They can’t get a warrant—even from an anonymous tip or simply suspicion of abuse. But once you let them in your house, you’ve waived your rights and they can get a warrant to take your children away…because they’ll invent “probable cause” by observing your surroundings.
So if one comes to your door? Get their business card. Find out the allegations. Ignore all attempts at intimidation. Calmly tell them that you have nothing to hide, but in the best interests of your children you’ll get in touch with them after you speak with your attorney.
Lack of supervision and having your children outside during school hours are the two most common allegations of educational neglect against homeschoolers. Thus my hastily jotted note to myself on the calendar. At the dump, I got the third degree for having my children out and about. I admit, it rattled me.
Nothing like homeschooling to keep this sahm home. :O)