Sunset News: Home-school family harassed by social worker

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Home-school family harassed by social worker

Home-school family harassed by social worker
- OneNewsNow - 11/18/2008 6:00:00 AM

A home school legal advocate is disturbed by the recent actions of a social worker in Florida.

According to Kris Klicka of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), a social worker in Miami, Florida, overstepped the boundary of law when she demanded to interview a home schooler's children. He says the social worker showed up at the family's home when the father was at work -- and out of fear and intimidation, the mother let the social worker into the home to interview her children, even though the worker neither had a warrant nor would disclose why she was there. The social worker -- according to HSLDA -- then partially stripped the children and searched them, but found nothing. During the ordeal, the mother called Klicka for legal advice. Klicka was able to talk with the social worker and inform her that she was violating federal law. "[E]very family needs to realize that the Constitution of the United States has a Fourth Amendment that states that no one from the government can enter a home unless they have a warrant [that has been] signed by a judge," Klicka explains. "And the judge cannot sign it unless there is probable cause -- and most of the time these social workers do not have probable cause or credible evidence." According to HSLDA, the allegations the social worker was supposedly following up on were based on an anonymous tip concerning a situation from eight months earlier. After the social worker could not find any evidence to support those allegations, she suggested that the entire family get psychological evaluations -- which the family declined. Klicka says the family is considering a civil rights lawsuit alleging the social worker broke the law by (1) entering the home and interviewing the children through intimidation; (2) not letting the family know the allegations at the initial visit; and (3) interviewing children whom the allegations did not concern.

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