P.O. Box 3000, Purcellville, VA 20134
|For Immediate Release||Contact: Ethan Weitz|
|December 13, 2017||(540) 338-5600|
HSLDA Sues Kentucky Officials for Forcibly Entering Family’s Home, Strip-Searching Six Children
December 13, 2017
PURCELLVILLE, Va.—A Kentucky social worker forced her way into a family’s home and strip-searched all six of their children in front of a male police officer, according to a lawsuit filed by Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) against the social worker and the officer.
On December 5, 2017, HSLDA filed the complaint detailing how the two officials violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights of Holly Curry and her children.
The complaint states that on March 31, 2017, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Investigator Jeanetta Childress and police deputy Michael Furnish forcibly entered Holly’s home without a warrant, privately interrogated Holly’s oldest child without her permission, and strip-searched each of Holly’s six children.
The officials were responding to a report made the day before by two police officers who witnessed Holly leaving her children in her locked van for five to 10 minutes on a temperate day while she stepped into a café to pick up some muffins for them. Though Investigator Childress and Deputy Furnish had no warrant, Holly allowed them into her home when they threatened to take custody of her children. After taking Holly’s oldest child into her bedroom to question her, the investigator returned and said she had “to take a look at the kids now.” She then proceeded to strip-search Holly’s children, including her daughters, in front of the male deputy.
”As a father of seven, I am infuriated by what these officials did,” said Jim Mason, HSLDA Vice President of Litigation and Development. “Holly’s children may never again feel truly safe in their own home. The bond of trust they have with their mom has been severely damaged. And the traumatic experience of being strip-searched by a stranger cannot be undone.”
HSLDA filed their lawsuit on behalf of the Curry family in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, seeking reparation for the emotional trauma inflicted on Holly and her children—and hoping to prevent intrusive investigations of this nature from happening again.
“What happened to the Currys could happen to anyone,” Mason said. “That’s why HSLDA’s work to protect homeschooling families in the privacy of their own homes is so crucial. As this case exemplifies, there is a system that thinks it’s okay to forcibly enter a family’s home and routinely strip-search their young children. We are working to change that.”
HSLDA is providing updates on the progress of the case at www.hslda.org/curry.