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April 11, 2006

Official: 'We Do Not Talk To Lawyers'

The Tevin* family of Michigan called the Home School Legal Defense Association after a social worker showed up at their door. They telephoned Chris Klicka, HSLDA Senior Counsel, who helped them through the situation.

The Tevins handed the phone to the social worker, but the social worker refused to talk with Mr. Klicka because she said, "we do not talk to lawyers." The social worker also accused the family of paying Mr. Klicka a few dollars to pose as an attorney!

Nonetheless, before the social worker got off the phone, Klicka was able to explain her legal duty to give the allegations to the family in the first instance. This duty is made clear in a new law HSLDA wrote and helped pass through the Michigan legislature last year.

The social worker then told the family that they were accused of having dog feces spread all over the home, of so poorly home-educating their children that the children do not know how to read or write, of isolating the children from society and of having their dishes piled to the ceiling!

The accusations were completely bogus. As often is the case in these situations, the tip to social services was the result of an attempt to gain revenge against the family, rather than due to any wrongdoing on the part of the family.

Shortly after the home visit, Klicka wrote the social worker a letter explaining the Tevin family would stand on their Fourth Amendment rights and not allow the social worker to enter the house or interview the children. He also informed her of the family's compliance with state homeschool law and their excellent academic program.

On Klicka's advice, the family had numerous friends send information verifying that the Tevins have a clean house, are excellent parents, and give their children an excellent education.

Upon establishing the falsity of the claims, the social worker finally backed off.

* Family's name changed to protect privacy

 Other Resources

The Social Worker At Your Door: 10 Helpful Hints (HSLDA members only document)