June 5, 2002

Watching the History Channel Equals Child Abuse?

The Davis* family owns and operates a farm in Buffalo County, Wisconsin. For the last two years they have home schooled their two children in addition to teaching them all the tasks necessary to run a farm. Unfortunately, a relative did not like their home schooling and turned them into Health and Human Services even though the family was in full compliance with the law.

The social worker stopped by when they were not home and left a letter requesting to meet with them. The family refused. The social worker followed up with a second letter, requesting a meeting, but this time including a copy of the allegations. The family immediately contacted HSLDA.

Upon analyzing the allegations and realizing that there was no identifiable child abuse allegations, HSLDA advised the family not to cooperate. Some of the absurd allegations, as typed out with various misspellings and typos by the tipster included the following:

"Neither parent has any education beyond high school. The parents refuse to send one of their children to summer school. Both parents feel that one and a half hours of schooling per day is sufficient.

The tipster continued, "They recently purchased [satellite television] so the boys could learn from the History Channel and one of the boys cuts his own hair so he can see."

Finally, in addition to the several false allegations, the tipster indicated that "each child gets a new toy every week that[sic] the mother shops and the father's number one priority is money—they are not financially poor." The tipster revealed his prejudice very clearly at the end of the letter by stating: "Wisconsin needs stricter laws regarding home schooling. Compared to Minnesota.[sic]" Minnesota has a much more complicated home school law than Wisconsin.

Since the family was not required to cooperate, they chose not to do so. Getting no where with the family, the social worker terminated her investigation having no real evidence of abuse.

*Name changed to protect the family's privacy.