or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › CPS says we can't homeschool. FINAL UPDATE (for real) POST #189
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

CPS says we can't homeschool. FINAL UPDATE (for real) POST #189 - Page 2

post #21 of 202
Awww, mama.

I don't have any advice, but I couldn't read your post and not reply.

More
post #22 of 202
I don't have any advice either but also wanted to give you a
post #23 of 202
Does your therapist have any resources to offer you? The mental health organization we work with has "Case Managers" you can work with you who will patients find the resources they need, advocate for them when dealing with the Office of Public Assistance, Food Stamps, etc., and I would imagine CPS as well. Surely there must be some kind of group in your area that helps advocate for people with mental issues, and keep govornment agencies from trampling their rights like this. Definately use every resource you have access to. I would at least talk with the court appointed attourneys, since they should at least be able to give you a more realistic idea of what you rights really are, and let you know when the other side is threatening you needlessly.
post #24 of 202
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much all.

Jeliphish, I appreciate your advice. I am in rural KY. And I don't know if writing up something about how they are not educationally neglected since, as I understand it, CPS's concern is that I am not fostering a healthy separation with them because of my anxiety. Which is the one of the biggest parts of the psych evaluation that my therapist and I disagree with. Most of it is right on, but they missed the mark there.

It's so hard too because I can see these people are trying their best and I am sure they help people but this is not a case and they are not taking into account anything about my parenting or even how my girls are doing since no one has even talked to them.

It's just all frustrating and bewildering. DH and I are still on the fence about whether to call HSLDA or not. We are going to try and get a court appointed attorney before our court date and a copy of what CPS is recommending re:homeschooling before they file it.

I don't know. I'm tired and angry and wounded. I will ask my therapist about mental health service type thing. I've never thought of myself as defined by my anxiety disorder, even when it's flared up, even when I've been focusing on treating it. Now to suddenly have it be so pivotal to everything is hard. Anyway. I welcome more advice and wisdom.
post #25 of 202
"What would you do?"

Long-term, I'd comply with whatever plan they lay out, wait until they are no longer officially supervising you in any way, and then move to another state, where I'd make a habit of never, EVER disclosing my mental health history to ANYBODY. EVER. EVER.

Short-term - I'd talk to a Legal Aid lawyer, and ask them to represent me in court if they seemed to be decent. You might just get lucky - these people tend to all be networked with each other, so it may be just that the Legal Aid lawyer says to the CPS lawyer "seriously, Janet, these parents are no kind of risk. One of your people got a bug up their butt on this one. Let's take care of it, we both have to heavy a caseload to waste time on this."

If the Legal Aid lawyer assigned to you is clearly a loser, then yes, I'd call HSLDA.

I'm so sorry for your trouble.
post #26 of 202
Wow I find that whole situation infuriating. The reason I believe that they want your girls in school really has little if anything to do with your mental condition (or lack thereof) but because when children are in school it's MUCH easier to keep an eye on the family. Once the children are enrolled they can request their records, see how many days they were out sick, talk to the principal and teachers to see how YOU seem to be doing, etc. Heaven help you if you're under the weather and have a rough morning and that's the day they drop in to chat with the teachers. Not good. However, they can't legally come right out and say this, because once the case is closed, you should be free of suspicion. Therefore finding a trumped up reason to make you put the kids in school works well. Mind you I don't know that this is the case, but I wouldn't be surprised.

Disclaimer, I have no direct experience with CPS, this is just my gut feeling.
I would see if you could get a court appointed attorney. I don't know that I would mess with the HSLDA just yet as it sounds like you have a little time to examine options. I would get statements from your therapist confirming your ability to homeschool without damaging the children. If they are in any activities where you do not participate (lessons where you are in the next room, etc), get statements from the instructors there as well testifying that you are able to separate easily from them and vice versa. Same goes for any homeschooling activities and people who may have witnessed separations. I would even go so far as to get the children evaluated by a professional proving that despite your condition a full year ago, there are no issues with separation. I would also make sure that I have a statement from my therapist documenting that I have been following a program willingly and without issue or complaint for a full year - that you *want* to be healthy (often the courts see people who go on and off meds, won't be consistent with treatment to better themselves, etc. and you basically want to show via history that this is not you). If possible I would also find a way to document that the children are up to speed in their education. While the separation is the issue at hand, you want to be prepared on all fronts I'd think, just in case. Have with you a copy of the states immunization exemption laws as well, just in case it's needed so you can show that you are following the states laws on that.

I would do my best to get this over with without lingering restrictions. Then I would move as quickly as I was financially able to, at least to another state, and not leave a forwarding address.

Good luck and lot's of hugs!
post #27 of 202
I'd consider a community legal aid lawyer as well, IF your court appointed lawyer doesn't click w/you.

Also could you make a case against public school for you kids by going to visit the classrooms that they'd be in, if they were to attend...? Maybe large classes, other children w/behavior issues, lots of colds/flu that your dd shouldn't be exposed to, not enough books/supplies for each child, maybe the teacher only calls on 1 kid all the time, whatever you can come up with...

Also, as much as I didn't like it when it happened to me as a kid... I'd ask for your kiddos to have psych evals by a child psychologist to have them write up a report on how great, well-rounded, *independent/autonomous* the kids are, that HS'ing WITH YOU is beneficial, not detrimental to them, etc.

Good luck
post #28 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuestMama42 View Post

But they told us that we couldn’t homeschool anymore. That both DDs needed to be enrolled in public school by the end of the month because of reasons that my therapist as well as DH and I find totally bogus. They want people to be able to keep an eye on the girls, they want adults who can model healthy behaviors around them, and they are worried that I might not be separating from them as well as I should. Now, no one has ever talked to either of my girls - they are bright, social, well adjusted, and independent. Evidently that doesn’t matter.
So they actually said "public school"? And they never even interviewed your kids?

A few thoughts:

First, you cannot be required by law to enroll your kids in public school - you as the parent can choose the accredited private school of your choice.

Second, has CPS proven educational neglect on your part? If not, I'd call HSLDA immediately. It's free to call and describe your situation. HSLDA will then tell you whether they can help, and you can open a membership and pay the fee (a little over $100 as I recall).

They will defend your right to homeschool in the face of CPS/school district attempts to force you to enroll. It sounds like you're being railroaded by subjective ideas about homeschooling (assuming there isn't more to your situation than you've described) and you should get a lawyer ASAP to at LEAST talk to and make sure you know your rights, and at worst to defend you.
post #29 of 202
Oh, and I had personal experience with HSLDA and we're not Christian. The lawyer they sent was wonderful. He wasn't overly aggressive but was VERY assertive about getting the school district to define, specifically, how we were in violation of the law. Once they couldn't/wouldn't, he laid out our case in great detail, told them HSLDA was prepared to take the case as high as was needed, and the district backed off.

One of the most infuriating aspects of homeschooling/CPS is that social workers and school administrators often DO NOT KNOW THE LAW. Even our school district's LAWYER didn't know the law.

HSLDA lawyers know the law inside and out, and may have worked on cases similar to yours.

Whatever you decide, good luck.
post #30 of 202
I am so sorry that this is happening to you!

I have no personal experience with these kinds of issues, but I think if I found myself in your shoes, I would probably contact HSLDA and would certainly at least speak to the court appointed attorney. If you are not satisfied with how your conversations with them proceed, you don't have to use them, but I think the stakes here are high enough that you shouldn't go forward on your own.

As others have suggested, there are advocacy groups that assist those with mental illness - it is probably worth pursuing that avenue as well.

Also, to piggyback on the advice others have given, I would- if at all possible - have your children privately evaluated to address the psychological allegations CPS is making. I know that the burden of proof is supposed to be on them, but again, the stakes here are very high. Similarly, I'd have the education assessment done, just to have all your bases covered. (I'm not sure about this, but I believe that if you have any concerns with the assessment once it's done, you don't have to bring it to the court's attention - but I'm not an attorney, so if you're at all worried about it, check it out with a lawyer before the eval)

Good luck to you!!
post #31 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuestMama42 View Post
And I don't know if writing up something about how they are not educationally neglected since, as I understand it, CPS's concern is that I am not fostering a healthy separation with them because of my anxiety. Which is the one of the biggest parts of the psych evaluation that my therapist and I disagree with. Most of it is right on, but they missed the mark there.
And here's where I'd get a bulldog to get the case slammed shut.

I want you to imagine someone calling and reporting to CPS: "I suspect that my neighbor is not fostering a healthy separation with her children." Well what is she doing? "Oh, hanging out with them, you know, taking them to classes, doing school work with them at the table."

SLAM.

Oh and I just googled really quick and the NIMH says that 18.1 percent of people 18 and older have one of the anxiety disorders. I guess hiring all the CPS case workers to micromanage the attachment levels of all those families with one or more anxiety disorder suffers as parents could be a good whatchamacallit, recovery spending program.
post #32 of 202
A pp mentioned NAMI which stands for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. I'm not sure if they can be of any assistance but here is a link to their Kentucky chapter http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Sec...r.cfm&State=KY Good luck to you and your family.

Korrie
post #33 of 202
I couldn't read your situation and not send you love. I hope that things resolve quickly for you with out much disruption to your family. I'm sorry I don't have any advice but I will send you love!
post #34 of 202
sending you a ((hug))
post #35 of 202
You dear Mama could be any one of many of my dear friends. I can't even list all the wonderful mothers I know of who are on some kind of medication or other for something or other because of anxiety or depression or what not. Everyone has issues. Your case scares the heck out of me simply because they have not proven your children are in any kind of danger or suffering at all for any reason and yet they are taking you to court with an unknown plan. If they are good people really on your side they would not be trying to do this with a court order is my thinking.

As others have said, if ever there is a time to fight, to get in the whole with money, now is it. Your family is worth it and you simply can not trust these other people have your families best interest at heart.

You need a legal advocate of some kind. If you need to explain it to them simply say that it would not be responsible to go to court with no one looking out for the rights of your whole family who knows the system better than you do.

I do not normally support HSDL but I would be on the phone with them tomorrow in your shoes just to see if they would help. You need help, CPS has already stressed out your lives in my opinion more than they should have a right to.

(Make sure it is not your anxiety trying to just make this all go away by not putting up a fight, your family is work fighting for!)
post #36 of 202
Honestly?
I'd comply for now, to get them off my back, do whatever they say, while secretely gathering up all my stuff, making preparations, and as soon as possible, I would get the hell out of dodge, just leave, go somewhere where they won't find you. I'd take my kids and move somewhere and stay completely off the radar at the new place.
post #37 of 202
I am not a huge fan of HSLDA, but they would be the first people I called if I was up against the wall like that.
post #38 of 202

I suffer from anxiety and am currently on medication for it. In times of stress my anxiety gets worse. How are you doing? Make sure you are taking time to care for yourself.
I think the suggestion given previously to get reference letters from as many people as you can is a good idea. Having the children evaluated by a child therapist is an option but make sure you chose the right one. Therapists are people just like the rest of us, they each come with their own set of biases and opinions. Having the evaluation done on the girls by someone you chose would be better than being forced to have it done by someone the court chooses.
In my experience a lot of lawyers will talk with you briefly over the phone about your issue so contacting someone from here
http://www.ahsa-usa.org/main.php just to quickly talk may help you get a better feel for what you are dealing with, what your rights are and how to proceed. Again a huge hug to you. Please keep us updated.
post #39 of 202
I'm so sorry you're going through this. It's stuff like this that really makes me angry about government intrusiveness into our private lives.

If you do decide to get a psychological and/or academic assessment of your children, you might investigate the psychology department at a local university. I know the university closest to me offers these types of things on a sliding scale.
post #40 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
Honestly?
I'd comply for now, to get them off my back, do whatever they say, while secretely gathering up all my stuff, making preparations, and as soon as possible, I would get the hell out of dodge, just leave, go somewhere where they won't find you. I'd take my kids and move somewhere and stay completely off the radar at the new place.

If a family does that while still involved with CPS, that is a surefire way to have the kids taken. Once a file is fully closed, then no issue (but if it was me, I'd make sure I had it in writing from them that the file was closed, and I was free).
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at Home and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › CPS says we can't homeschool. FINAL UPDATE (for real) POST #189