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August 9, 2006

Overzealous House Inspector Becomes ‘Family Inspector’

An HSLDA homeschool member family in El Paso recently put their house on the market. As is the usual process with selling a house, the family contacted an inspector to assess the house for any possible problems. Little did they know what they were getting themselves into!

Their house inspector went above and beyond inspecting the house by inspecting the family as well!

After examining the house, the inspector apparently called Child Protective Services, stating that the family was unfit to care for their children since he had found their furnace to be slightly leaking, a broken vent pipe, and had some concern over the fact that they had a battery storage system and a windmill.

To really add insult to injury, the tipster added “and the family is homeschooling!”

When the social worker showed up on the family’s doorstep, the family, aghast, phoned the Home School Legal Defense Association for help. Attorney Chris Klicka took the call and spoke with the social worker, explaining that the family did not have any environmental hazards. The family had fixed their furnace and vent pipe as soon as the inspector alerted them of needed repairs. Klicka explained that the battery storage and windmill is all part of the backup emergency system for providing power for the family. He explained that this was a reasonable and important system, and that he knew of several families who owned such a system.

Klicka followed up the phone call with a letter explaining that the family was conducting a legal and valid homeschool program, but that it should not even matter since compulsory attendance laws do not even apply in the summertime.

In addition, Klicka advised the family to send the social worker several references from individuals they knew would vouch for the safe condition of their home, and the good care of their children.

Needless to say we have not heard from the social worker since, and the family has not referred any of their friends to this particular house inspector.

 Other Resources

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