CPS: “Strip-Searching Kids is OK.” Um, No!
by Darren Jones • September 10, 2019
HSLDA is responding to a major challenge in our quest to deliver justice for Kentucky homeschool mom Holly Curry in her federal lawsuit.
When the CPS investigator we sued on Holly’s behalf argued to the federal court that strip-searching the Curry kids during a nonemergency investigation did not violate the family’s constitutional rights, we replied with a legal brief laying out and adamantly defending those rights.
The investigator’s motion for summary judgment is a big hurdle in what could be a long march to the United States Supreme Court.
A Little Background
The ordeal began on a cool morning when Holly left her children locked in a car for less than 10 minutes while she dashed into a cafe to buy muffins.
Police arrived, questioned Holly, and then reported her to CPS.
Later, an investigator with Kentucky’s child protective services arrived at the Currys’ house, demanding entry (but not identifying herself or providing credentials). Holly invoked her constitutional rights and refused to let the investigator inside. A short while later, the investigator returned with a sheriff’s deputy—but still without a warrant.
The investigator and officer demanded that Holly let them in, threatening to obtain an order to remove all six children from the home.
Only when the officials repeated their aggressive and intimidating threats did Holly acquiesce to letting them enter her home, fearful that they would otherwise take away her kids, two of whom were infants.
Once inside, the investigator not only privately interviewed Holly’s oldest daughter but then proceeded to strip-search all six children (including her daughters) in front of the male police officer.
After officials found no signs of neglect, the investigation was closed. However, because of the injustice done to the Curry family, HSLDA filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Holly and her children.
Where We Are Now
The particulars of Holly’s case should secure her victory, but this is not a foregone conclusion. The investigator and the officer who stood by during the home invasion and strip search have asked the judge to dismiss our lawsuit and legitimize their invasive actions.
As a result, we intend to put every effort into getting justice for Holly and her family. This is not only an important fight for them, but also for every loving family.
There are real situations where government intervention is needed to protect children from harm. Sadly, in the case of the Curry family, the government officials were the source of harm—not the solution.
On Tuesday, September 17, HSLDA responded to the government’s motion, pointing out that Fourth Amendment law protecting families from unwarranted government intrusion was clearly affirmed in the 1990s, when the Calabretta family, represented by HSLDA, stood up for freedom and won.
We hope—and anticipate—that the court agrees with the Currys and holds the government officials accountable for their actions. Realistically, though, no matter which side wins this motion, we expect that the next step will be an appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and then possibly to the Supreme Court.
Homeschoolers around the country have helped us defend the rights of the Currys and families like them. Please click here if you would like to help.