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CPS says we can't homeschool. FINAL UPDATE (for real) POST #189 - Page 8

post #141 of 202
Thread Starter 
As far as describing our homeschooling - this was what our lawyer recommended. And he felt like that was plenty strong. I may as well say, as I am not quite so concerned about anonymity now, that neither of my DD's are legally old enough to need to be in school. My oldest could have started K this year. So that is plenty that I gave them and they were wanting to see who was doing what with them when (i.e. how much time they were spending with me.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
Also, I vote for option 2 -- don't roll over and let them interfere like this!! CPS is being ridiculous, & remember even the JUDGE thought so, is that the same judge you'll have next week? Even if it isn't, if there is any justice in this world, I think ANYONE involved (besides CPS!) will find this whole thing totally unjustified. Why admit any 'guilt' if you've done nothing wrong? Why let them into your life long-term just to appease them? This makes absolutely no sense to me (unless there's something else you're not telling us) and I would NOT under any circumstances just 'roll over'.

The judge did seem to think that but that was before hearing any testimony. We are leaning toward fighting and there is not anything that I am leaving out BUT CPS has two professionals - one a forensic psychiatrist and one a forensic pediatrician who wrote huge reports about how crazy I am. The first one from the psych lady goes over every. single. traumatic. event in my life. It comes to the conclusion very authoritatively, I might add, that I have like five different severe anxiety disorders. Now she clears me of Munchausen's but makes a lot of other connections that if I were reading about someone else, I would be like - yeah, this woman is nuts.

A sample from the 25 page report "It cannot be underscored enough that the clustering of the above types of anxiety disorders necessarily implies a high degree of severity and therefore, a complicated prognosis (which is estimated to be guarded)."

The other report is equally daunting. For instance, it comes down hard on me for changing some of DD's meds without a doctors close supervision (we're not talking dangerous meds to fiddle with here - we're talking prevacid and zyrtec). Well, we make independent decisions about medication and are not ignorant people and I think that is our right. But no. The fact that we took her off those two meds one time each shows that I am not caring for DD medically very well at all. Oh and the biggie is that I lied to hospital docs about her immunization status after getting yelled at (literally) by a resident about the MMR vaccine. So I started saying she had had it. No big, I thought, she's not here for anything like that and I won't get yelled at. Everyone wins. I would do it differently if I had to do it again, but the forensic pediatrician makes it look like I'm crazy and out of touch with reality.

These two respected people have built a strong case out of things like that. Having to listen to it all and having to take every little thing and explain it is emotionally hard. As I said, a big part of where they are missing us, I think, is that we are just so different than most families. Who knows?

Either way, fighting it will be difficult when I am already feeling battered by all this. That's what we are leaning toward but all of that is why it isn't so simple. It's because it's not simple. As DH and I have said, we are guilty of some things. I did worry too much. She did get unnecessary ER visits (and Xrays) and maybe hospital admissions because of it. My fear made the reality seem scarier than it was, and it was life threateningly scary on occasion which just made the other times when it wasn't more scary. Those are real things that I did and that I dealt with in therapy before this even came up. But we are not accused of that. I am accused of neglect and abuse and pediatric condition falsification (I found out yesterday that that is what they are going with). Those things I am not guilty of. So it is hard to fight, in a way, when there was a kernel of truth to begin with and they have just blown it way up. For instance, homeschooling. No one has any concerns about my parenting overall as they have looked at the last years, only my handling of medical situations. So why have they gone there? It just doesn't make sense.

So that is a more exhaustive post about why fighting it will be hard. I have not left anything out, but I have perhaps simplified the case of the two professionals that CPS has hired to testify against me. So there you go.
post #142 of 202
Wow.

I want to cry & give you a giant hug every time you provide more info.

It's scary to me because I could easily picture myself in the same situation. Severe anxiety disorder & other issues and hypochondriac and everything... It's hard enough to go against the mainstream but when you have mental health issues it's just so much worse. I totally understand what you're saying & I have encountered so much prejudice (especially from doctors/nurses, people who should know better) because of my personal history -- things that weren't even my fault too. It's not fair & it's not right.

So anyway, I really do understand where you're coming from & I know fighting this will be hard but I still want to encourage you to fight it. I think you & your family deserve better than this.
post #143 of 202
I'm so sorry that you're going through such a rough time. I wish you all the best at the hearing next week.

Would your own pediatrician be willing to testify that taking your daughter off of the two acid medications wasn't harmful and was a reasonable decision? I know my pediatrician didn't expect me to call her when I stopped having my son take reflux medication as an infant. He'd been taking it for several months, and then he stopped needing it, so we stopped giving it to him. This was the same pediatrician who didn't have a problem with us changing the dosing schedule (the same amount of medication in a day, just divided up differently) without consulting her.
post #144 of 202
It makes me wanna cry too! You mean your dds aren't even old enough to be in school and they are accusing you of spending too much time with them, of them being unhealthily attached to you!!?? I'm so sad and just flabbergasted. What is this world coming to? These stories are exactly why there are many good loving parents out there who are terrified of taking their child to the ER when a genuine accident occurs. I myself got yelled at in the ER by a nurse who insisted my ds needed a tetanus shot just because he fell on a clean hardwood floor and cut his teeth through his lip- you mention your child is unvaxed and they treat your kid like they may have the plague. This is also the reason why a lot of women suffer in silence because they are afraid of being judged and misunderstood for common mental "disorders" such as PPD and anxiety.

I don't want to give advice...but if it were me I think I'd be so pissed I would fight tooth and nail for my freedom back. NO WAY is some sick CPS monster going to separate me from my kids because she happens to think we are too attached! I wonder where she leaves her kid every day when she goes off to work to judge the nations parenting practices??? Does this mean they will start charging WOHMs with neglect and attachment disorders because they choose to or must be separated from their kids each day? Or is this the way women are supposed to be doing things now in the 21st century?? Sounds like a big double standard to me...

BTW, we are homeschoolers and we don't vax either. Your story makes me feel like I have a big bulls-eye on my forehead. God preserve us- and YOU!

post #145 of 202
Wow. I just read through this entire thread, and I am SO SO sorry you are having to go through all this!! You are obviously a very loving and caring mama, and it's really awful that you are having to defend yourself so vigorously just to be able to parent your children as you wish.

The issue that stands out to me is that unable to support the initial concerns about your daughter's medical conditions and your parenting, CPS has turned to vaccinating and homeschooling instead. At first blush, this seems nitpicky and unrelated, but my guess is that in their minds it is all very much related to their initial suspicions.

We all homeschool with differing priorities driving the decision to homeschool. I personally know several families whose #1 reason for deciding to homeschool is to avoid mandatory vaccinations, or to avoid having to deal with exemptions and having their children's vaccination status tracked by the state. And obviously, those of us who do not vaccinate or who selectively vaccinate know that these decisions are not supported by the majority of the mainstream medical establishment.

So, from the social worker's POV, your anxiety-related issues regarding your daughter's health could very well extend to your "unreasonable" and "unsupported by medical professionals" decision not to vaccinate. And then homeschooling is seen as an attempt to fly under the radar on the vaccinating issue. My guess is this is why they are making such a fuss about the homeschooling. In addition to wanting to have the means to continue to monitor you in some form or fashion at the school, since they aren't otherwise able to make the case to monitor you through CPS. The fact that they are specifically advocating public schooling as a means of additional oversight of your children certainly does not do much to relieve conspiracy thoughts about the government's attempt to control our children through public indoctrination and weakening the rights of a parent in their child's lives!

It sounds like your lawyer is on the right track by helping you make the case that your homeschooling is actually a well thought out plan, with specific goals in mind and structure to achieve it. Normally, I'd be more on board with a minimalist approach- confirming for them that you are meeting the state's guidelines and providing no additional information. But in this case, I can see how that might come across as evasive and further their belief that you have something to hide. One point I do agree with a previous poster on- I would remove the references to you not being involved on Mondays and being specifically involved on the other afternoons. As if, there is something wrong with a mother (gasp!) being involved in her own child's homeschooling. Instead, I'd simply list the learning plan as you laid it out, and then certainly point out the times when others folks are involved in their learning. Ultimately, I'd try to make the homeschooling come across as normal as possible, and as completely removed from the vaccination issue as possible.

The vaccination issue is a little trickier, because beside the oversight issue, I can see them wanting you to enroll your girls specifically so you will be compelled to vaccinate them. And then if you rebel, it is further evidence that you are not willing to "go along with" recommendations from the medical community. It sounds like your pediatrician is not really supportive of your non-vaccinating position since she wrote that she expected you go ahead and vaccinate in the future. Do you have any other credible medical professional who is supportive of your vaccinating choices and would be willing to write a letter on your behalf? Unfortunately, CPS has the weight of the medical community on their side here, and I can see the judge having a difficult time ruling in your favor here, based simply on your own medical research and preference (as unfair as that may be from a parental automony perspective). Perhaps outspoken members of the medical community who support vaccination freedoms would be willing to provide you with official documentation stating the case against vaccination in general? Or even better, a local medical professional (chiropractor, naturopath?) who would be willing to attest to the dangers to your children specifically, particularly given their medical history.

Again, I am so very sorry are having to deal with this awful situation. I think you have a very humble attitude toward your struggles and have been proactive in resolving them, and its really despicable that others with an obvious bias against alternative lifestyle choices are making an example of your family in this way. You are in my prayers!
post #146 of 202
Wow, first off major !!!! It can't be easy to deal with this on top of an anxiety disorder. I too have a minor anxiety disorder related to health/disease, so I know first-hand how tough that can be to deal with!

That being said - Oh heck no. I would ask your lawyer to be proactive and perhaps call the state's attorney or whatever body licenses CPS to see if there have been any complaints against these workers in the past or if this is how they operate. Do research yourself. See if you can uncover anything about their names, licensure, suspensions, complaints, police reports, etc. Ask your lawyer if there was a way to document harassment.

Ask your lawyer if it is possible for you to be reviewed by another outside provider to corroborate your own personal therapist's recommendations. Don't let their experts frighten you, you have experts of your own. For court have research to back up why you do what you do. If they are upset you took your DD off OTC () meds and switched them, have articles or research to show why you did it.

Plus, I can't believe they are going after you for homeschooling for PRESCHOOL! Make sure that he brings up the fact that the state *never had anyone evaluate your kids!* repeatedly.

Were they ever able to tell you who called in the original complaint?

You might also want to have a vaccine exemption letter handy - KY is only for religious grounds, but you might not want to open that can of worms.

Don't let them make you doubt yourself! You and your DH are the only ones with the right to dictate how your children are raised.

Good luck - you don't deserve it, but you all will survive it and you will be setting a life long example for your children to stand up for what you believe in and that you will fiercely protect your family!
post #147 of 202
I am sorry to hear they are pushing the issue so hard. We are just coming to the end of a file with CPS. We were investigated because it was believed I could not adequetely homeschool and raise 4 kids- 3 of which have special needs- as a single parent with depression. They tried to force me to put the kids in school, wean my 2.5 yr old and stop co-sleeping. I luckily had a lot of stuff in my favor, including a ped that trusts my judgement 100% with the kids special needs, a family Dr who has been my dr my whole life(he delivered me), and trusts my judgement re:my depression, and a school board who backed me up 100%.

In the end I had 3 months of monitoring with a worker who wanted to make sure we had supports in place etc. It was a PITA to say teh least, but did get us some help like a rush with family supports for children with disabilities to take on the 2 oldest kids, a new shrink for them etc. I am still undergoing the psych assessment, but they are anticipating to clase the file as soon as that is done.

I still homeschool, breast feed and co-sleep. One thing I would suggest to you and is what saved my hide homeschooling, is to register with an umbrella school. In my province it is the law that you have to register with a school board. It just happens that this year I registered as blended which actually means the gov't considers us p/t public schoolers at home not true homeschoolers. The school board was able to prove through their own observations during home visits, samples of work I submitted etc that I was doing an excellent job homeschooling. CPS did not have a leg to stand on to force ps any longer. The co-sleeping and nursing I told them was a hill I was willing to die on and since it was not harming my dd they could not force it.

If you register with an umbrella school CPS may decide that is enough oversight and leave you the heck alone. No matter what you do, I truly hope this is all resolved soon and you all can get back to normal around there. Our involvement with CPS has been a long 4 months and I can not wait to close this chapter on our lives and move on.
post #148 of 202
I've been following this too and rooting for you. Something I'm wondering -- what's the legal age requirement for school in your state? In mine I think it's 6 or 7. It seems extra-legal and arbitrary that they can say your daughters MUST be in school, even homeschool.
post #149 of 202


Sending you strength.

V
post #150 of 202
Thread Starter 

Lawyer Meeting Update

Well, I don't know if anyone is still interested. I feel vaguely ridiculous continuing to post now that I am past the advice point. But. In case anyone is still curious...

We met with Brian, our lawyer yesterday. He continues to rock. He said though that CPS is going to fight tooth and nail to keep us under supervision. When he asked them what that meant - it means that they want us to email them (through Brian) a daily log of DD's health status and meds given once a month and they want the legal authority to keep monitoring our doctor's office and the children's hospital to see if she is brought inappropriately.

He said we have the two choices basically - fight or play along with caveats. He asked us to think about what is most important about what is at stake here. And that is being able to still homeschool - our way. That is a big deal to them evidently. CPS has a bug up its butt because they don't want me involved in homeschooling the girls AT ALL.

Now - that shows they clearly don't understand homeschooling. It's like saying I can't parent - like "don't do anything that could involve them learning anything!" Besides which it is ridiculous.

With testimony and letters written it has become obvious that there are plenty of eyes on my DDs which CPS told the court at our last hearing was their main complaint against homeschooling. Well now that that is gone, they are reverting to saying it is because of an inappropriate attachment disorder with my children. There are literally about 50 pages written by the two specialists about this case. They are basing that particular diagnosis on two sentences in one paragraph by the psych evaluator. And those are two sentences that my therapist has said are flat wrong. She has written a statement saying that. Everything else in all the reporting has to do with my handling of DD's medical conditions and the way my anxiety effected it. Which has zero to do with my mothering, even if it was ALL true (which it isn't.) (Goodness, I've started ranting. **deep breaths**)

Brian feels like our best bet to be allowed to continue homeschooling however the hell we want (can I say hell here? I never have but if there was ever a time for it...) is to go along with what they have spelled out as continuing supervision with the stipulation that it go in the court record that we disagree strongly with their findings AND that we draw a hard and fast line at homeschooling. And hope the judge sees the ludicrousness of this all. He said we will be in a terrific position after 6 more weeks to file our own whatever-you-call-it to dismiss all this.

The judge seemed to already be on our side at the last hearing. Brian called the county attorney (who happens to be good friends with B., the girls' teacher and our friend and the county attorney told B. that she thinks this is as wrong as it could be which doesn't change how she will do her job but is nice to know) to let her know where we were, hoping that we could all reach an agreement before court day. But (seriously I need some strong cuss words here and I am NOT a huge cusser) ****** **** CPS still wants to go to court Tuesday. There will not be a full hearing because one of their witnesses can't be there, but there will be arguments over homeschooling. And it will be decided what will happen either until 6 weeks when we can move to dismiss or until a full hearing if that's what the judge wants.

I have to believe, I hope, I pray that since everyone seems to see some whackadoo agenda here that the judge will leave us alone on this. I am on pins and needles. It's like some ironic sadistic game. Anxiety issues? Let's see how bad we can make them!!

I used to believe that CPS was like any other organization - yeah, you might get some bad apples but most people genuinely had children and families' best interests at heart. I am so disillusioned now because none of this is serving anyone and I can't imagine how they are justifying it. I just can't.

Anyway. I'll answer any questions. I'll update back after court if anyone is interested.
post #151 of 202
Please keep updating. I am sure I am not alone in keeping you in my thoughts and sending good vibes for a positive resolution. Does your lawyer think that maybe getting some media attention might help?

Can your therapist be at the court date as well to rebut their witnesses?

I wish that I was closer and could try to help somehow!!
post #152 of 202
I'm crossing my fingers for you.

My dh used to work with child services (through family law) and he has nothing good to say about them.
post #153 of 202
my goodness. i have been following this, and thank you for the updates. all i can say is wow. this is the craziest story i have ever heard. i can not for the life of me understand how CPS could think parents could be too close and attached to their children. what have we come too? would it be better in their eyes if you dropped the kids off at daycare and school for 12 hours a day, and spent minimal time with them on the weekends?
keep fighting!

hugs

h
post #154 of 202
Walking every step of the way with you over here...
post #155 of 202
Sending you and a bunch of
post #156 of 202
Oh, mama. Sending you many hugs and saying many prayers for you tonight. Please keep updating.
post #157 of 202

Thinking of you and keeping you in my thoughts as you deal with this.
post #158 of 202
uh, yeah, we want updates! This is crazy and we're all rooting for you. Seriously, what parent doesn't have some anxiety over thier child? I know I do. Attachment disorder? Who said that kids have a right to perfectly stable parents? Not that you're not stable, but we cannot give kids the right to have perfect parents. There wouldn't be many kids left with thier parents if this were the case. I'm upset for you. I'm so glad you have your lawyer.

Lisa
post #159 of 202
I am not sure if I would do this but I guess you have considered the pros/cons of contacting a large homeschool organization?

I am shocked you are dealing with this! And so sorry!
post #160 of 202
I am just in disbelief here. I really hope the judge etc. will see how ridiculous this is & just drop the whole thing. PLEASE keep updating us, not sure we can be much help at this point but we are all sending you prayers & good vibes & all are rooting for you!!
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