CPS says we can't homeschool. FINAL UPDATE (for real) POST #189 - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 202 Old 02-10-2010, 07:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by skueppers View Post
Well, bearing in mind that I do not suffer from anxiety disorder, what I would do is to be ANGRY, not afraid. And I would hire a lawyer to help me protect my family and our rights.

The only people I know who ever had trouble with CPS did hire a lawyer, and it was amazingly helpful. It ought not to be necessary, but it seems to me that CPS often completely oversteps their authority. With the best of intentions, I'm sure, but it's still wrong.
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The perspective that you're looking at it from is this: If we play nice and do what they say, they'll let us live in relative peace with a few minor changes. Now there is something to be said for that, yes, but I think what the rest of us are seeing is this: If you play nice with them, don't fight, and let them have their stipulations you will be dealing with them in your lives forever. If there are additional requirements put on you and your family, they will be required to continue to check in with your family on a regular basis. Every time your DD is sick, they can question it. Was she really sick? Can you prove it? Or was it your anxiety causing you to over-react? What happens if she gives every indication of being ill but you call it wrong? What if you, fearing just that case, delay taking her in a couple days and she gets worse and they use that against you? If you move you may be required to tell them so they can make arrangements with the new county you're in. If you don't tell them then you could be in contempt of their actions once you're found. With all that extra access to you and your family they could choose to open a new case on a whim if they wanted to. It just goes on and on. They've already established that they are not taking your children away thank goodness. Now you're fighting for your right to parent your children on your own. This isn't about not being walked all over imo, but about getting them out of your lives so you can move past the fear of their involvement and get back to the business of living normally.
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Originally Posted by Catherine12 View Post
Getting a lawyer isn't rocking the boat. It's standard procedure anytime you have to appear in court.

I'd be scared in your place too - I don't know what to tell you, except to believe in yourself and your family and not give up.
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Originally Posted by maybemom05 View Post
Call HSLDA and speak with them over the phone. With the information you've given us, I have a feeling that odds are better than even that they can make this whole thing go away. Or at a minimum, they can help level the playing field.
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Originally Posted by StormySar View Post
What if you enrolled your children in a virtual academy, it seems that most states have a free one, and CPS might be satisfied that you have them enrolled in a school and there would be solid proof of what you have been doing with them? It may not be ideal because you won't have much freedom in curriculum but it might be better than sending them out to a school if they'll allow it.
Again... their issue isn't the kids education, it's mom being able to foster separation with her kids and that can only be accomplished (in their eyes) by them leaving the house. So online school (or any evidence of education) won't suffice.

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#62 of 202 Old 02-10-2010, 07:44 PM
 
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Just had to pop in and offer hugs s and encouragement to speak with and get a lawyer for any dealings you have to have with a court. They will be your adovcate and ensure your rights are not trampled.

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#63 of 202 Old 02-10-2010, 07:55 PM
 
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What I was thinking when I mentioned the online (public!) school is that it would satisfy the letter of the rule while violating the spirit - if they order her to enroll them in public school, then she agrees and does it and has evidence of having done it, it just might satisfy the judge. Also, since they have conceded that her daughter does, in fact, have significant medical problems, the arguement could be made for the flexible schooling arrangement to allow for doctor vistits, etc. Aside from that, since they said they might make a "softer" offer, something like this could be a reasonable compromise in their eyes.

I, personally, would not agree to anything. But I can understand if this mother doesn't feel up to fighting everything. If she doesn't, a virtual schooling environment could be a compromise they are willing to accept.
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#64 of 202 Old 02-10-2010, 11:48 PM
 
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Where are the children's Guardian Ad Litem? (They could be called something else in your state.) They are the court appoint advocates for your kids. As parties to the case, they - and you if you don't have representation - have a right to see all reports filed with the court before you go to court. The social worker will have to file her report with the court before your court date. (It allows the judge to read the report before the court appearance.) When s/he files it, they have to send you copies. At least you'll know what their recommendation is. If you don't agree with it, hire a lawyer.

As for what would I do? I would file with the court - NOW - a request for a court appointed lawyer. You should qualify with the cut in your DH's hours. They are there to guarantee your rights are being protected. Whether or not you have a lawyer, you have a right to see their recommendation before you walk into court. If they won't give you a copy, ask the judge for a continuance based on not seeing the report before hand. You have rights. I understand your concern about their power to take your children. And I understand how hard anxiety issues are. But please don't let those things back you into a corner. People hire lawyers/stand up for themselves all the time. It's nothing personal and it doesn't make the system harder than it has to be.
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#65 of 202 Old 02-11-2010, 01:40 PM
 
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What I was thinking when I mentioned the online (public!) school is that it would satisfy the letter of the rule while violating the spirit - if they order her to enroll them in public school, then she agrees and does it and has evidence of having done it, it just might satisfy the judge.
Having been involved with CPS for a while, I highly suspect that this would look like a manipulative tactic on the parents part to keep their kids home and only underscore that mom has a problem separating. But that's JMHO... They want the kids physically away from their mother to evidence that mom is able to let them go.


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Also, since they have conceded that her daughter does, in fact, have significant medical problems, the arguement could be made for the flexible schooling arrangement to allow for doctor vistits, etc. Aside from that, since they said they might make a "softer" offer, something like this could be a reasonable compromise in their eyes.
This is why I came back to this thread, actually. My son has an immune deficiency. He COULD actually attend school although he runs the risk of being out sick constantly. BUT, by law (Federal) I could have a doctor write a note that says he is unable to handle a classroom environment and set up a 504 or IEP (504 doesn't get the district any SpEd funds where an IEP does) for him to receive "home instruction". They would have to send a teacher to my house every day for 1-2 hours. Both are legal documents that require the district to act in a specific way

It's absolutely NOT optimal, but mom could keep the kids home and have a public person looking in on the kids with a very legitimate medical reason for keeping them both home (since the sibling could contract something in school and bring it home to infect the one that's ill). They want an extra set of eyes on the kids--they'll have it. They won't get the "separation" they want, but fostering healthy separation is not neglect or abuse and they'd have a set of eyes in the home.

If you're not going to fight it, that would be my ONLY compromise. But I truly think you should fight it. CPS banks on people not wanting to rock the boat; but their idea to blindside you in court with the plan vs. discussing and agreeing beforehand TRULY worries me. It's just not the way they do things when they are truly trying to help keep a family together.

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#66 of 202 Old 02-12-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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I have had major issues with postpartum anxiety... so I know the big fear that you are feeling right now OP.

With that said, I think that most mothers, whether or not they suffer from anxiety, would take a child in to the doctor or ER if that child suffers from a medical issue and they felt that the child *might* need to be seen. It is far better to have the child checked out than to ignore something that could be a potential problem.

I know my middle daughter has had some allergic reactions in the past, she breaks out in a rash and I immediately take her in to the ped's office. Yes, it might just be a rug burn up her leg from sliding down the carpeted stairs (lol. true story) but I'd "rather be safe than sorry".

Anyhow, just wanted to post and offer some moral support to you Mama. It sounds like a very stressful situation. Please, as others have said also, take care of yourself and see your therapist more often if needed. And I agree to talk to a lawyer. I would not walk into a courtroom without legal representation for any reason, but especially when it concerns CPS.

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#67 of 202 Old 02-12-2010, 05:29 PM
 
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Unnecessary medical treatment... um, what mom HASN'T dragged her kid to the doctors or the ER unnecessarily? What mom HASN'T panicked over a "rash" that turned out to be red ink, or rushed to the ER after a 1-foot fall? I don't understand how they can say this is damaging to your kids, even if it's a little more frequent or extreme in your case.

I hope that a lawyer could bring up points such as this & convince CPS to back off.
This. There's nothing criminal about taking your child to the ER and finding out that they're not "seriously" ill; If there was, the overwhelming majority of parents I know would have had CPS butting into their lives long ago. Given that your daughter actually does have serious health issues, it's ridiculous to think that anyone could fault you for being hypervigilant or even a bit paranoid. The really obnoxious part is that if you went the other direction and *didn't* take your daughter to the ER and it turned out that she actually was ill and in need of medical attention, you'd be in the same situation. This sounds like an excuse for someone to interfere with your lives, and an intolerable one at that. I'm with the others-- you need a lawyer, and I hope you find one soon.

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#68 of 202 Old 02-13-2010, 04:10 PM
 
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Having been involved with CPS for a while, I highly suspect that this would look like a manipulative tactic on the parents part to keep their kids home and only underscore that mom has a problem separating. But that's JMHO... They want the kids physically away from their mother to evidence that mom is able to let them go.




This is why I came back to this thread, actually. My son has an immune deficiency. He COULD actually attend school although he runs the risk of being out sick constantly. BUT, by law (Federal) I could have a doctor write a note that says he is unable to handle a classroom environment and set up a 504 or IEP (504 doesn't get the district any SpEd funds where an IEP does) for him to receive "home instruction". They would have to send a teacher to my house every day for 1-2 hours. Both are legal documents that require the district to act in a specific way

It's absolutely NOT optimal, but mom could keep the kids home and have a public person looking in on the kids with a very legitimate medical reason for keeping them both home (since the sibling could contract something in school and bring it home to infect the one that's ill). They want an extra set of eyes on the kids--they'll have it. They won't get the "separation" they want, but fostering healthy separation is not neglect or abuse and they'd have a set of eyes in the home.

If you're not going to fight it, that would be my ONLY compromise. But I truly think you should fight it. CPS banks on people not wanting to rock the boat; but their idea to blindside you in court with the plan vs. discussing and agreeing beforehand TRULY worries me. It's just not the way they do things when they are truly trying to help keep a family together.
I believe that to get an IEP or 504 the child needs to have documentation from the school that his disability is interfering with his ability to do his school work. Just having a doctor give your child a diagnosis, no matter what the diagnosis is, isn't enough if your child hasn't shown that they are not meeting the grade level standards. In order to do this the kids would have to be at school for quite a while, it can take a long time to get proper documentation and teachers often assess whether the child is meeting the learning standard rather than whether they are completing the busywork that goes with the standard so it isn't guaranteed that the child would even meet the requirements for extra support even if they missed a lot of school.

OP: I hope everything goes well for you. They should have dropped everything when they found that your daughter actually is truly sick. It is understandable that you would be super worried because you have a very sick child and you don't want her to get sicker. Being under a lot of stress because you have a very sick child is something that sounds common for having very sick kids. I can't believe your case workers have gotten away with drawing this out. I think you should try for a lawyer of some kind to back you up. They are invading your life for no reason and they should get in trouble for it.
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#69 of 202 Old 02-19-2010, 05:15 PM
 
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I'm sorry you're going through this! Are there any updates? Has CPS backed off and closed your case, or are they pushing forward to keep you from homeschooling?

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#70 of 202 Old 02-19-2010, 07:49 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you are going through this. It's so scary to think that we, as mothers, could get in serious trouble for trying to take care of our children when they are ill (hospital visits) and by homeschooling.

I hope you get a great lawyer and that you kick butt!

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#71 of 202 Old 02-19-2010, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have no real substantial update. We have heard nothing from CPS since I wrote the first post. I did receive today a copy of the full psychological evaluation today from my therapist. DH and I spent a long time reading it (all 30 pages) and there were no real surprises, but several frustrations and several things we think were just flat wrong. The pysch eval had pages upon pages about vaccinations and my supposed phobia about them. Even speculating that I wanted to homeschool so my children don't need to be vaccinated. This evaluator is just coming from such a different place than I am. Most of my friends IRL don't vaccinate but the only reason she can imagine that I wouldn't is anxiety related.

This case is such a confusing mess of a ball of the evaluator's biased views, my anxiety disorder, and my DD's actual illness.

We really would like to get a lawyer but just can't afford it. We also are waiting to see what CPS' recommendations are going to finally be about homeschooling before getting HSLDA involved. We did talk with them though. At this point though, we are going to get our ducks in a row about what we think needs to come up in court and hope for a good public defender.

Also leaving is not really an option for us. We are farmers and rooted where we are. I would like to sometimes - especially because so much of this just seems wrong and unfair. I would put my parenting skills, my self awareness, my plain happiness with life up against any of theirs. Yes, I've made mistakes but at least I realized them and worked on them before CPS even got involved. Anyway. Obviously some of the fear and hurt has given way to anger. Thanks for all the advice.

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#72 of 202 Old 02-19-2010, 10:21 PM
 
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I believe that to get an IEP or 504 the child needs to have documentation from the school that his disability is interfering with his ability to do his school work. Just having a doctor give your child a diagnosis, no matter what the diagnosis is, isn't enough if your child hasn't shown that they are not meeting the grade level standards. In order to do this the kids would have to be at school for quite a while, it can take a long time to get proper documentation and teachers often assess whether the child is meeting the learning standard rather than whether they are completing the busywork that goes with the standard so it isn't guaranteed that the child would even meet the requirements for extra support even if they missed a lot of school.
Umm... no. If the doctor says that the child has a medical condition that interferes with their ability to be in a classroom, the district has no say in that. Case in point: my son has an immune deficiency and being in a classroom would be a problem because if/when he gets sick, he will miss a few weeks worth of school.

Either way--IEP or 504 does not require that the child not be meeting grade level standards. It means that they have a condition that impacts their ability to function in the classroom in a way that requires accommodations. Period.

There is absolutely ZERO requirement for them to be in school. In fact, several states spell out explicitly their protection of special ed services (dictated by a 504 or IEP) for homeschoolers. In states like mine that do not spell it out, we can still GET them although it requires more work.

BTW, it's not teachers that assess the kids for issues, it's specialists. On the team of specialists there may BE a regular or special ed teacher administering an evaluation, but depending on what the issue is--there's not always a teacher assessment.

And this is Federal law... not state.

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#73 of 202 Old 02-20-2010, 03:30 AM
 
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Wow, how aggravating. Just about every parent makes decisions for their kids based on phobias. I'm scared of guns, so I don't have one. Since when did having phobias take away your right to make parenting decisions for your kids. Scared of heights? Spiders? etc. I really hope you get a lawyer and get them out of your life. If you have the right, as a parent, to decide not to vaccinate your children, it shouldn't matter what the reason is that you use that right. Since when did you have to be a perfectly stable person in order to make parenting decisions for your kids. Religious fundamentalists have all kids of strange reasons to homeschool and they still have that right. White supremacists can homeschool based on their not wanting kids around minority kids.

Can you write a letter to the judge? I'd work on getting a religious exemption in place for the vaccines also. Actually, I'd probably get REAL religious about right now.

Are you involved in any homeschool groups? People who can vouch for the fact that you're not just hiding out scared at home all the time? Are there certain homeschool laws that you've been abiding by that you can show? You have the right to not vaccinate and you have the right to homeschool, so what does it matter the reasons that you do those things?

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#74 of 202 Old 02-20-2010, 03:50 AM
 
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Momma:

If you don't fight, they'll be in your business for as long as they want to be, telling you what you can and can't do. For your own good of course.

They are NOT going to say 'Oh, look she's cooperating so we'll leave her alone.' No. They'll come in and say "oh look she agrees we're right so now she'll do xyz when we tell her to.' Give an inch, they may take a mile.

You need a lawyer. Even if you lose your farm to a second mortgage. You need to protect your family. This sounds like serious stuff from what you've posted. I don't think you can afford not to hire a lawyer.

I am so sorry you are dealing with this. Don't cooperate yourself into a corner here. Get some legal help asap.


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#75 of 202 Old 02-20-2010, 05:04 AM
 
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. The pysch eval had pages upon pages about vaccinations and my supposed phobia about them. Even speculating that I wanted to homeschool so my children don't need to be vaccinated. This evaluator is just coming from such a different place than I am. Most of my friends IRL don't vaccinate but the only reason she can imagine that I wouldn't is anxiety related.
.
First and foremost Second, I don't understand how your anxiety over vaccinations has ANYTHING to do with your ability to parent. I'm not sure what state you're in but I would possibly contact La Leche league and see if there is someone within that organization that could possibly give you some resources? ( I say La Leche because they tend to be very AP friendly and I would assume they may even be able to direct you to someone who could assist you?).
If I were you, I would be aligning myself with professionals who are AP/NFL friendly. See if you can find someone to at least support your parenting decisions.
Site studies, medical journals, etc. Show them that you have done thorough research on your child's diagnosis and on your own diagnosis (anxiety). Show them that you have found ways to "cope" with your challenges. Start seeing a naturalist or a Chiropractor....or someone who can document your efforts.
Good luck, mama and please keep us posted. We are all here for you

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#76 of 202 Old 02-20-2010, 10:56 AM
 
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I was writing my last post as the OP was writing her update...

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Originally Posted by mykdsmomy View Post
First and foremost Second, I don't understand how your anxiety over vaccinations has ANYTHING to do with your ability to parent. I'm not sure what state you're in but I would possibly contact La Leche league and see if there is someone within that organization that could possibly give you some resources? ( I say La Leche because they tend to be very AP friendly and I would assume they may even be able to direct you to someone who could assist you?).
If I were you, I would be aligning myself with professionals who are AP/NFL friendly. See if you can find someone to at least support your parenting decisions.
Site studies, medical journals, etc. Show them that you have done thorough research on your child's diagnosis and on your own diagnosis (anxiety). Show them that you have found ways to "cope" with your challenges. Start seeing a naturalist or a Chiropractor....or someone who can document your efforts.
Good luck, mama and please keep us posted. We are all here for you




You need to focus on the reality that nothing you're doing is abuse or neglect... it's "child's best interest" and that is YOUR prerogative as a parent--not the state's prerogative. This is VERY MUCH A KEY of this case. I cannot find a "Children's Bill of Rights" for KY (which I think is where you are) so I suspect that KY CPS is supposed to be dealing with neglect and abuse.

Please call HSLDA before this goes to court. Seriously. Don't pray for a good public defender--MAKE. IT. GO. AWAY. The pp is right: this is NOT going to stop.

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#77 of 202 Old 02-20-2010, 12:29 PM
 
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You need a lawyer. Even if you lose your farm to a second mortgage. You need to protect your family. This sounds like serious stuff from what you've posted. I don't think you can afford not to hire a lawyer.


This is not the time to be worrying whether you can afford a lawyer. This is the time to ask your family/friends for a loan. This is the time to sell a car to pay the lawyer bills. This is the time to remortgage your home... I am scared for you to go into this without proper legal representation.

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#78 of 202 Old 02-20-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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I might have missed this, but they have public defenders for people that can not afford lawyers on their own. You have to meet income criteria - which I don't know anything about in your area. But if the court agrees you can't pay, you get a lawyer for free. Have you looked into this?

Again, what does the Guardian Ad Litem for your children say about what CPS is saying? They are their to advocate for your children's best interest.
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#79 of 202 Old 02-20-2010, 05:05 PM
 
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Memorise this http://www.know-vaccines.org/exemptionFAQ.html whenever asked about vaccines, you do not vaccinate due to your religion. Memorize the reasons listed in the link. The government can NOT fight with you about this, nobody will want to even further their discussion with you about your choices not to vaccinate as long as you have this stuff under your belt. I hate telling somebody to lie *if it's a lie to you* but to protect kids, absolutly, I would do it in a heartbeat. There HAS to be somebody who has AP principles who happens to be a lawyer or attorney. Ask around!!! Go to your local HFS and ask them, put up a sign, something. You absolutly need a lawyer of some kind. When it comes down to court, the judge is going to listen to the lawyers. You need a good one. My question since this is a fairly large forum, are there any lawyers on here that would help the OP out? Or does anyone know of anybody who would?

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#80 of 202 Old 02-20-2010, 05:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kailey's mom;15093850 [B
My question since this is a fairly large forum, are there any lawyers on here that would help the OP out? Or does anyone know of anybody who would?[/B]

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#81 of 202 Old 02-20-2010, 05:59 PM
 
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Hugs mama and know that your family is in my thoughts and prayers today.

That being said you mentioned that you have 2 months until the proceeding. I would take that time to totally over prepare for this. Is a court appointed liason or attorney available to you? if so I would consider using it. all this paperwork and information is for you to take with you a "proof" on the court hearing.


1. First off I would gather all the apperwork and information from your state regarding the legalities of homeschooling. For instance if you state requires a private school affidavit have the statutes printed out and copies of your paper work submitted. Showing you are in compliance with state and local laws.

2. I would have every single person you know that knows your daughter and family to write a letter of suporrt specifically speaking of your parenting and your childrens socializations and demeanor. After all that is a huge underlying *elephant* in the room about HS children and socialization

3. Do your children take part in extra curr. activities? sports/hs groups/lessons. If so have the people who lead them or give the lessons speak of their relationships with your children and family and how long they have known you.

4. Do your children have regular medical attention from a primary doctor or pediatrician. have them write a letter as well. Letters from *professionals* hold a lot of weight in cases. Expecially with your compliance in seeking and getting medical attention for a child with chronic illness.

5. If its possible I would have your children be seen by a child therapist to get their overall impression of your children again with LOTS of documentation from them.

6. If you child has had any testing academically I would include those scores as well.

these are some of things I have seen parents do and submit in cases (although they are in ps) but they could be used for you as well. I work with a foster parent agency and this is some of the stuff that is brought up in similar hearings. HTH
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#82 of 202 Old 02-20-2010, 06:04 PM
 
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you know, this ticks me off!
You have an anxiety disorder that you are actively getting help for, you have a child with medical issues that you are also GETTING HELP for, and here they are using that against you

Do they want people to hide in the closet? ignore their issue until it becomes to late for help? Seriously, what is wrong with the system somedays?

Iam sorry you are going through this and i hope you get the outcome you need

Decluttering 500/2010
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#83 of 202 Old 02-20-2010, 06:42 PM
 
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I have no real substantial update. We have heard nothing from CPS since I wrote the first post. I did receive today a copy of the full psychological evaluation today from my therapist. DH and I spent a long time reading it (all 30 pages) and there were no real surprises, but several frustrations and several things we think were just flat wrong. The pysch eval had pages upon pages about vaccinations and my supposed phobia about them. Even speculating that I wanted to homeschool so my children don't need to be vaccinated. This evaluator is just coming from such a different place than I am. Most of my friends IRL don't vaccinate but the only reason she can imagine that I wouldn't is anxiety related.
If you can get statements, documentation or ANY proof (what about your personal therapist?) to refute the inaccurate information, it would be of benefit to you. Also, regarding the vaccines, the first thing I would do is take in a copy of the states exemption law for schools and show that you are well aware that you could send your children to school with an exemption - really, to propose otherwise is just silly and this one's easy to disprove. Agreed about the religious exemption information. If they ask why you didn't bring it up with the therapist, simply say that you find the subject of religion to be a deeply personal issue, and that the therapist never asked you about it. If you successfully refute enough of the evaluation the judge is going to give it less weight overall.

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Momma:

If you don't fight, they'll be in your business for as long as they want to be, telling you what you can and can't do. For your own good of course.

They are NOT going to say 'Oh, look she's cooperating so we'll leave her alone.' No. They'll come in and say "oh look she agrees we're right so now she'll do xyz when we tell her to.' Give an inch, they may take a mile.

You need a lawyer. Even if you lose your farm to a second mortgage. You need to protect your family. This sounds like serious stuff from what you've posted. I don't think you can afford not to hire a lawyer.

I am so sorry you are dealing with this. Don't cooperate yourself into a corner here. Get some legal help asap.


V
A while back I was reading about various CPS cases, and in a few of them the parents were required to seek specific types of counseling - drug, anger, whatever. There was no reason for this, no indication even by CPS that say drugs were an issue, yet in an effort to be cooperative the parents of course were willing to jump through whatever hoops CPS wanted them to in order to keep their children. In court that was turned into "why would you go through drug counseling if you don't admit to having a drug problem? If you went to drug counseling, then obviously there's a drug problem". Granted that's a rather extreme example, and thankfully it's not standard operating procedure, but it does happen on occasion. Your goal should be for CPS to be out of your life entirely. Period. They're not being "nice", they're not being "accomodating", and they're not "working with you". Once it was discovered that there is NO issue impeding your ability to parent your children, the matter was closed. If you do not fight this now, you will need a lawyer at sometime in the future over this, I can just about guarantee it. Better to get it settled now than deal with this for the next 5 years.
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#84 of 202 Old 02-20-2010, 07:41 PM
 
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I am just so sorry!!!!

I am on xanax sometimes and have horrible issues sleeping. But honestly, we tried out the public schools recently and I am pretty convicted that short of a really bad home, one where a child should be removed anyway, a child is far better off homeschooling.

I hope you can just get HSLDA involved now. I think I will make a point of keeping my membership up there now. I wish I knew what state you are in now so I can make sure to avoid it from now on.
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#85 of 202 Old 02-20-2010, 07:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SunshineJ View Post
If you can get statements, documentation or ANY proof (what about your personal therapist?) to refute the inaccurate information, it would be of benefit to you. Also, regarding the vaccines, the first thing I would do is take in a copy of the states exemption law for schools and show that you are well aware that you could send your children to school with an exemption - really, to propose otherwise is just silly and this one's easy to disprove. Agreed about the religious exemption information. If they ask why you didn't bring it up with the therapist, simply say that you find the subject of religion to be a deeply personal issue, and that the therapist never asked you about it. If you successfully refute enough of the evaluation the judge is going to give it less weight overall.



A while back I was reading about various CPS cases, and in a few of them the parents were required to seek specific types of counseling - drug, anger, whatever. There was no reason for this, no indication even by CPS that say drugs were an issue, yet in an effort to be cooperative the parents of course were willing to jump through whatever hoops CPS wanted them to in order to keep their children. In court that was turned into "why would you go through drug counseling if you don't admit to having a drug problem? If you went to drug counseling, then obviously there's a drug problem". Granted that's a rather extreme example, and thankfully it's not standard operating procedure, but it does happen on occasion. Your goal should be for CPS to be out of your life entirely. Period. They're not being "nice", they're not being "accomodating", and they're not "working with you". Once it was discovered that there is NO issue impeding your ability to parent your children, the matter was closed. If you do not fight this now, you will need a lawyer at sometime in the future over this, I can just about guarantee it. Better to get it settled now than deal with this for the next 5 years.
This is true. They will get you to sign something saying you are willing to do this or that. Then later, they will use in court that you signed it as proof that you must have done whatever you are being accused of.
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#86 of 202 Old 03-08-2010, 01:17 AM
 
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Is there an update on this? I've been watching and really concerned about where this was headed.

Hoping the OP is alright.

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#87 of 202 Old 03-08-2010, 01:51 AM
 
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Lastly, if they end up somehow enforcing the "public school" thing, you might consider a virtual school. I just checked, and Kentucky has a virtual academy ( http://www.k12.com/kyva/ ). I don't know if it's available where you are, and I know that it's not ideal for someone who is used to doing everything in their own way on their own time - but it satisfies the "public school" requirement while also keeping them at home. Since there is contact with a "teacher" on a regular basis through phone and in person meetings, it might satisfy their need for "oversight." Also, I would imagine that since one of your children has health problems, you would need flexible schooling that allows for doctors visits and potential hospitalizations. That's something that can be accomodated through a virtual school in a way that can't be in a brick and mortar school. I would fight before letting it come to that, though.
That seems like a great way to get them off your back and keep your kids at home.

So sorry you are going through all of this.

Heather-- I'm a <>< SAHM of two fabulous boys 8/05 and 2/07
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#88 of 202 Old 03-08-2010, 02:11 AM
 
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That seems like a great way to get them off your back and keep your kids at home.

So sorry you are going through all of this.
That option was already discussed earlier in the thread. The problem is not the kids academics--it's that they want the kids OUT of the house to "prove" that mom can "separate" from her kids in a healthy way because they think she's hsing because she has unhealthy attachment to them.

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#89 of 202 Old 03-14-2010, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I’ve received so much support from you all here and so much good advice. I am truly grateful. Although I have plenty of IRL support, the suggestions and care here really makes a difference and heartens me to somehow deal with all of this.

So here’s what’s been happening:
Our understanding from the meeting in February about what was going to happen next was that 1) we (and CPS) would receive the report from the forensic pediatrician about what she thought had been “inaccurate” in my reporting about our DD’s health and what tests and procedures were unnecessary. 2) After that the CPS worker would call us and tell us that she was filing with the court and what recommendations she was actually putting forth. 3) We would have a court date two or three months after that.

What actually happened:
On Monday, the sheriff came racing up our driveway delivering a summons to DH and me both that accused me of neglect and/or abuse. It also said that DD has taken on the persona of a sick child. (Which, as previously mentioned, is totally untrue and further NO ONE HAS EVALUATED HER so how would they know?) We are summoned to be in court on Tuesday (as in two days from today).

DH immediately called the CPS worker who said basically, “oh yeah. I was supposed to call you all. Sorry about that.” When he asked about what they were recommending she said basically everything that was on the psych evaluation. He asked about homeschooling and she said that, “we had talked about that and it would pretty much be like what we said.” Also they still did not have the report from the forensic pediatrician. We were not comforted by any of this.

I called my therapist who is more and more on our side in this - feeling like my anxiety is well controlled and that this is just out of hand. She said (as all of you have been) that it was time to get a lawyer. She knows our financial situation exactly but she said there was too much at stake and that they were clearly not playing straight with us. So we did.

Our lawyer, Brian, met with us on Thursday and is wonderful. He says that he has never seen anything like this and that it seems like a bunch of malarkey (gotta love a lawyer who says malarkey). He requested that we get statements from the girls’ pediatrician, my therapist, and their teacher. Also that my therapist and their teacher be available to testify. Those two are no problem - they are both chomping at the bit to testify.

We called the girls’ doctor and after a lot of run around finally spoke with her. Brian basically wants her to write a statement saying that we always worked with her regarding DD’s health and care, always followed her advice. And that she has been fully in support of our vaccination schedule. Both of those are unequivocally true. She said, however, that she is uncomfortable putting anything in writing. She doesn’t want to be seen as supporting one side or the other and that at this point the whole thing is out of her range of experience. I sympathized that I was sure it was hard for her to be in this position (irony anyone?) and that she had no way to know if my reports to her about DD’s symptoms were accurate or not, BUT the two statements we were asking her for clearly were true. She agreed they were and after I appealed to her as a mother, she agreed to write a letter. DH picked it up yesterday and while it is not worse than nothing, it almost is. She basically says neither of those things - just that DH and I were excellent at communicating with them and that she thinks we intend to vaccinate. Blerg. I am so frustrated with her. I think she is freaked out about conflict but either way we are not asking for much and she has already admitted that both those things are totally true. I want a new doctor but I can’t imagine CPS is going to let us do that.

So most ominously, Brian (our lawyer), spoke with CPS and evidently, despite what they have told us, they are planning to totally go after us on homeschooling. They are planning to say that we cannot homeschool. It just makes me sick. Homeschooling is central to who we are as a family and to have someone threatening it feels like they are saying we can’t grow our own food or worship the way we choose. Brian is going to go to bat for us and point out that it is our constitutional right and that the girls are around plenty of other adults. He’s got our curriculum all lined up. But it is infuriating. The separation stuff this is based on is just WRONG. We meet with him again Monday evening to get our ducks in a row.

So court is Tuesday. They will have the bigwig psych evaluation doctor there and there will be lots of crappy things said and a lot of it will be from a skewed perspective. We are in a small rural county. People will hear. My MIL and best friend will be there. They will all hear this stuff. I can’t even figure out how we got here. From us trying our best to deal with a legitimately sick child and then deal with my anxiety issues, which we have done well - to suddenly in court for being too worried and being told we can’t homeschool. I can’t figure it out. I think Tuesday will be awful.

I welcome more advice. I definitely welcome more support. And I will let you all know how Tuesday goes.

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#90 of 202 Old 03-14-2010, 11:56 AM
 
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Oh mama, hugs and vibes of strength and peace to you.
Karen

Blessed partner to a great guy, and mama to 4 amazing kids. Unfortunate target of an irrationally angry IRL stalker.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~ Buddha

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