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September 6, 2001
In the Matter of Makala G
CPS urges public school order

Filed: July 30, 2001, Jefferson County.

Nature of Case: After home schooling seven of their own children through high school graduation, Mr. and Mrs. G adopted several special needs children, whom they are home schooling under an umbrella school in Tennessee. Due to problems they encountered with one of their adopted children, Child Protective Services became involved.

The family has been absolved of any neglect charges. The case remains in juvenile court on an "unruly child" charge against a 10-year-old child who allegedly ran away from home to see her birth mother. The truth is that the child was assisted by an adult who effectively kidnapped the child to unite her with her birth mother. The G daughter was returned to the G family by court order.

At a hearing in juvenile court, the court-appointed guardian ad litem, backed by CPS, insisted that the child be placed in public school, rather than continue to be home schooled. However, the guardian failed to produce any evidence that the home schooling program was harming the student, and the therapist who examined the child testified against placing the youth into public school. The guardian and the counsel for CPS have asked the court to enter an order requiring the child to attend public school.

Home School Legal Defense Association advised the court in writing that we object to the proposed order because the parents do not wish to surrender their constitutional and statutory right to home educate their child.

Status: Despite our request for a hearing on the issue of home education, the juvenile court has taken no action. The 10-year-old child in question, Makala, is being educated at home, despite the prosecutor and GAL's contrary wishes.

Last Updated: September 6, 2001.

 Other Resources

Tennessee—A Legal Analysis (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)