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Family wrongfully reported as guilty of "neglect"
Filed: July 30, 2002.
Nature of Case: Mr. and Mrs. Y were investigated by the Colorado Department of Human Services for child neglect as the result of an anonymous tip that their daughter was not in school. Child neglect is defined in Colorado law as a situation where a parent "fails or refuses to provide a child with ... education." There was no evidence that Mr. and Mrs. Y were not providing their daughter with a perfectly good homeschooling program; in fact, on HSLDA's recommendation, the Y family submitted over 10 references to DHS from people who knew them well and testified that they provided an excellent education. But because Mr. and Mrs. Y were late in filing their notice of intent to homeschool, DHS reported them to the Central Registry. This would classify them as confirmed child neglecters. HSLDA immediately appealed the report, which prevents DHS from placing them in the Central Registry until the case has been reviewed. The Central Registry denied the Y's appeal on December 6, 2002, and HSLDA appealed the denial to an independent administrative law judge.
While the hearing was pending, HSLDA also asked the Attorney General's office to review the file. The Assistant Attorney General agreed with us that the Y's should not be reported, and he asked DHS to review its original decision.
On August 12, 2003, DHS wrote to Mr. and Mrs. Y, telling them based on "an additional, in-depth review of the incident report," DHS had determined that the Y family should not be listed on the Central Registry. On the same day, DHS asked the administrative law judge to dismiss the case.
Last Updated: August 20, 2003.
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