In what could only be described as a case of lawlessness, a Texas judge ordered that a Christian Family’s children be removed from them despite no evidence of abuse, neglect or endangerment to the children. They were removed for no other reason than they were being home schooled, which is perfectly legal in Texas.
Mr. and Mrs. Tutt are devout Christians, they have children of their own and decided to give back and open their home to foster children as well. Unlike other foster parent, they’re equipped to handle special needs children that have a harder time being placed than their counterparts due to the lack of qualified caregivers.
One of their recent arrivals was a young boy with autism, he was only there temporarily and during his stay he wandered away from the home. While the father was looking for him a police officer came across the boy not too far from the Tutt residence, what happened next would be a nightmare for anyone with children.
Child Protective Services paid a visit to their home presumably because of the incident with the boy wandering off. While there they noted that everything seemed to be in order and that “there is no problem here”. However the case worker commented that “Nobody in their right mind would want to stay home all day with so many children!” The visit prompted the case worker to order Mrs. Tutt to take a parenting class plus have a mental evaluation.
In November a judge ordered the 7 children to be removed from the home despite Mrs. Tutt showing CPS workers numerous parenting certifications as well as numerous psych evaluations proving her competence. Armed constables arrived and took the children away.
In Texas, children are not allowed to be removed from a home unless there’s a clear and present danger to them, and home schooling isn’t illegal either. The judge acted outside of the law and had the children removed even though there was no valid reason in which to do so.
The hearing in which the decision to remove the children was made lasted for 8 hours and attacked the Tutt’s faith as well as their home schooling practices, not once mentioning any threat or danger the children may be in. Even though Texas doesn’t have a state certified curriculum for home schooling, the attorney for CPS argued that the Tutts needed one and that it should be reported to CPS regularly, also saying that they were to be administering state certified tests, which do not exist in Texas.
After the hearing Judge Graciela Olvera ordered the children be removed based on the arguments against their home schooling and the parents take further psych evaluations, more parental classes, and undergo drug and alcohol screening.
The Tutt’s appealed the decision in which the new judge then ruled that the children be returned. In her decision the judge stated that there were no findings of abuse, but rather complaints about home schooling.
One can only wonder how long this case would have stayed in limbo had the Tutts not gotten a new judge, one that follows the law.
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