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March 8, 2006

'Let My People Go!'

The Routh* family, Home School Legal Defense Association members for five years, took one of their children to the hospital to seek treatment for flu-induced dehydration symptoms.

They met with an unforeseen surprise. The family was not allowed to leave!

While at the hospital Mrs. Routh was cornered by a social worker with Texas Child Protective Services who demanded to interview separately each of the Routh children. The investigation was prompted by a month-old tip alleging abuse in the home.

The Rouths contacted HSLDA from the hospital. HSLDA Senior Counsel Christopher J. Klicka talked with the social worker and told her to "let the family go" because she lacked any authority to hold them against their wishes. The social worker finally backed off.

Klicka then followed up regarding the child abuse allegations and unreasonable demands made by the social worker. He wrote a letter to the social worker, informing her that the Routh family would stand on their Fourth Amendment rights and not permit the social worker to interview the children. He also insisted the social worker should know these rights and recognize her duty to observe them.

The social worker's behavior in this case was shocking and unreasonable. A family should be able to care for their children by taking them to the hospital if needed without worrying about being harassed by Child Protective Services!

Thankfully, the family has been free from interference by CPS officials ever since.

* Name changed