Homeschool Children Seized By Arkansas Authorities Remain in State Custody After Court Hearing

Stanley ChildrenHOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Seven homeschoolers in Arkansas who were seized by the Garland County Sheriff’s Department this month remain in state custody after a court hearing on Thursday over the matter.

Hal Stanley, a pastor, and his wife Michelle state that they are in shock after their children were removed from their Hot Springs home on Jan. 12 following an anonymous complaint.

The situation began last month as a social worker with the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) showed up at the Stanley’s door after receiving a complaint that the children were permitted to go outside in the snow barefoot. The Stanleys assured the case worker that everything was fine, and that the children had plenty of shoes, but had a custom of making footprints in the snow for fun.

“We showed her some of the 200 and something pair of shoes and told her—actually the kids told her—how it was their preference to go barefoot and that it was like a tradition to briefly run out in the snow barefoot and take a picture of the footprints,” Michelle Stanley told reporters.

However, authorities then received a second complaint claiming that the couple had a “poisonous substance” in their home, and so on Jan. 12, both DHS and members of the Garland County Sheriff’s Department appeared at their door. According to the family, officials forced the parents to step outside, at which time they were served with a search warrant.

“[They] said we could not enter our house or talk to our kids until the search and the investigation was through,” Stanley said. “They said the charge was that we had a poisonous substance in our house and that the kids were being exposed to it and it endangered their welfare.”

It turned out that the substance that was being referred to was MMS (“miracle mineral supplement”) or sodium chlorite, which is used to purify water and is claimed to help to cure diseases. The Stanleys state that the product was used to balance the PH of their fish tank, but that her husband had also been drinking it to help make his system more alkaline.

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Five hours later, after the search concluded—along with an interrogation of the children, officials informed the Stanleys that all seven of their children were being taken into custody.

“Six intimidating, brute looking males and one DHS female all lined up in our den to tell us they would be taking our kids into their custody for 72 hours,” Stanley recalled.

But after a week later, the couple’s children still were not returned, and yesterday, a hearing was held in court over the matter.

“The judge ruled that there is probable cause to temporarily keep the children,” a friend of the family who handles the Facebook page “Bring the Stanley Kids Home,” wrote in an update. “Hal and Michelle will have visitations with the children.”

The Garland County Sheriff’s Department claims that the seizure of the children had nothing to do with the Stanley’s possession of MMS, but the family says that they do not know what else the issue could be.

“There have been a number of reports in various media outlets the decision was made to remove the minor children from the residence based on one contributing factor of chemical known as ‘MMS’ or ‘Miracle Mineral Supplement;’ this is absolutely false,” the department wrote in a statement. “[T]here was a number of different factors and investigators felt they had no choice but to intervene in the best interest of the minor children.”

“Anyone who’s ever been in my house knows that these kids are not abused and they’re not neglected, and our house is full of all the provisions,” Michelle Stanley said in a statement posted to YouTube on Tuesday. “If they can do it to us, they can do it to your kids.”

The next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 12.


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  • Gary

    This is an abuse of power by government. A clear case of harassment. Sadly, the courts are a part of this. I am furious about this. If this were happening near where I live, I would be screaming to anyone who would listen about this injustice. The government needs to stop this abuse, and RIGHT NOW!

    • Phipps Mike

      we agree on something, Gary

  • Fundisi

    These kids were taken by CPS and the state because they were home schooled by Christian parents and the state insists they be in public schools to be taught atheism and liberal thought, because CPS and the state are anti-Christian.

    • Hallett Newman

      The real problem is that the state isn’t getting the federal money for the kids.

      • Fundisi

        Yes, I forgot about that, school budgets are determined by how many kids attend.

        • david

          Yes and the parent will receive a fine/ticket if their child has an un excussed absents . It is nolonger the wefare of your child , its about the money .

    • layo jaiyesimi

      spot on !!…never mind the reasons they give. Western governments hate practising christians who home-school because you dont allow them to pass their atheist values to your little ones. I had my minor taken from me when I home-educated him. The Court was told that I “probably had mental health problems” and was “unfit” to care for him as I was always talking about some “God”. My son now lives in Nigeria after the court agreed to hand him to his father..a non-practising christian.

      • Fundisi

        I pray right now for the spiritual protection of your son and I expect the Lord to hear and answer.

        • layo jaiyesimi

          Your prayer is the sweetest thing my ears have heard today….God bless your concerned heart my brother/sister. God protect all our children from the corrupt influences in the world,and keep them safe through the blood of the lamb. whoever you are, your response to me was from above. Thank you.

  • Lisa

    So is the headline trying to influence people to think that the reason the kids were taken was because they were home schooled? I watched some of the video, the parents have no idea why those kids were taken, the officials who took them didn’t give a reason. They are homeschooled yes but what does that have to do with why the kids were taken since no one knows why?Listening to the mom it almost sounds like the teens in the family don’t want to live there and cause problems. That’s what I got out of what she was saying, maybe she didn’t mean it like that. Also the picture has 8 kids in it but the story says 7 were taken, I can’t tell if they mean there are 7 kids involved or if they meant seven home school families are involved, and the story is just talking about this family with eight kids. I find it kinda confusing all around. It would be horrible to have an empty house, especially the little ones gone, she’s right it won’t be the same when they come back.

    • Erika Lawrence

      thay may have a older 18+ child that is out of the house ????

      • Lisa

        I don’t know the story doesn’t say

  • Vito Zabala Halasan

    let the children to talk the authority if they really guilty..after they govt get them out. Unfair for them. Let’s the kid’s voice out after the judgment will.

  • Jonathan Goff

    they try that on my kids and some bodies are GONNA HIT THE FLOOR

    • Bill

      Sadly, it will be yours. They will bring an entire army before they would let you win……

      • Jeff Varney

        Quit siding with the government! Like Bill had mentioned before, people will either flee to another state or country that embraces homeschooling, admit defeat to the hands of anti-Christian tyrants (according to Fundisi about anti-Christian people or situations), or get embroiled in an ensuing court battle for their rights and freedom or in another civil war if things get even worse for our freedoms in the future. Like you, I don’t want to see a gunfight or a bloodbath, but it could happen at any time if things get even worse and torrential in the future. The best thing to do is pray to God for help, guidance, and direction before taking any action whether things or events are good or bad.

  • Hallett Newman

    Does anyone else see that the government has grown to big and to powerful? I’ll lay you a dollar to a doughnut, that someone has a problem with the kids being home schooled.

    • Fundisi

      That was my point, it isn’t stated in the story above; but, (a) The kids are home schooled. (b) The parents are Christian. (c) As you said below, the schools are not getting the money for these kids.

    • david

      Our fore father fled england for the same reasons .

  • jmichael39

    I’m gonna guarantee you this is about some neighbor who simply doesn’t like the way these kids are being raised…as Christians…making some ‘anonymous’ complaints and the local officials being of similar mind. The MMS issue was simply what got them in the door. Everything else is purely fabricated from innuendos and statements taken out of context. I am not surprised one bit at what is happening.

    • WorldGoneCrazy

      That’s exactly what happens in many of these cases. It is often a disgruntled family member too – a nosy grandparent or aunt of the kids who thinks homeschooling is abuse when it’s actually the government schools that spiritually and intellectually rape our children. When we were homeschooling, I made the mistake of mentioning it to a neighbor a few doors down who happened to be a retired government school “teacher.” The look of disgust on her face was frightening – I thought she was going to pick up the phone right then and there, the nosy %$#@&, even though it’s perfectly legal in all 50 states. They both graduated high school and college early: one is an engineer, and the other has a Master’s from seminary. Most importantly, they have character and both know how to communicate with other human beings. By worldly standards, we failed miserably. 🙂

      • Phipps Mike

        We home school our 14 yr old son. He is doing much better that way than with the public schools. He has a special learning disability that public schools dont know how to approach. I totally believe in the public school system so that ALL kids can go to school, not just the rich ones (privatizing). But there are many places such as bullying issues and needing more one on one teaching that justifies having home schooling. They can get their social lives on the outside of school.

        • WorldGoneCrazy

          Amen, Sir! Homeschooling is the most difficult, yet rewarding, thing we ever did. You are wisely taking ownership of your son’s education – well-done! What do you think about charter schools and school choice? It seems to me that poor black kids get stuck in these really horrible inner-city schools and are set back for a lifetime, educationally-speaking. My heart goes out to them – I really think the government schools have failed the poor and minority children. God bless you, Sir!

    • colt721

      I had this happen to me when I was a kid. CPS came to our house and took me away claiming at the time that I was being abused. I was being home schooled at the time. Turned out that the REAL reason I was taken was because the husband of the caseworker was molesting children and would have his wife use her position to get him his victims. Fortunately, because of my homeschooling, I was able to demand my rights and I asked the right questions that ultimately kept me away from the predator and eventually got me home safe again. (although that took me almost a year to get home again.

      • laura_PH

        That’s tragic. So sorry you had to go through that.

        • colt721

          Like I said, God, who I did not give enough credit to in my last post here, and my homeschooling helped me out a lot in that situation. And fortunately one of the end results was the office involved was investigated as well as the local Sheriffs office which was cooperating, and they removed a LOT of problems. Ultimately it was really only a few people in high positions who were corrupted but they were causing more corruption. So there was good in the end to come from it. I can only imagine from my experience what might be going on now with more corrupt people around (instead of fthe few it was then).

  • Army Dawg

    Arkansas? What are they thinking?

    • alnga

      this has to be one state where this would not happen, but then it is 90% Democrat from way back when.

  • Susan Moore

    This is just awful! Sounds like when Hitler was taking the Jews out of there homes to camps. I don’t hear a valid reason for this happening. I’d sue them!!!!!!

  • robertzaccour

    I’m gonna guess that that the state is doing this because the parents are Christians and are afraid that they’re teaching, or “indoctrinating” their children the ways of God through the Bible.

    • Gary

      That would be at least part of it.

    • Phipps Mike

      religion is not part of ANY school curriculum and so home schooling shouldnt be used for teaching it. Church is designed for teaching religion.

      • robertzaccour

        Home schooling doesn’t fall under the same restrictions of being a tax funded program like public schools. All that’s required is that students pass the tests required by the state.

        • Phipps Mike

          yes, I know this, but my statement is not based on the laws, its based on teaching just FACTS and not faith.To be fair, evolution is also not fact and is actually faith. My solution would be either to drop the teaching of evolution or just teaching both evolution and creationism as a “theory” or “faith and NOT as facts.

  • robertzaccour

    In Germany home schools are illegal. Is America next?

  • Larry Consylman

    Home schooling is the number 1 source of studies in America. Government schools rate number 65 position in the world. Home schoolers rate 2 to 4 years ahead of government students. Cost of home school education for 12 months is approx. $3000.00. Cost of government schools is roughly $10,000, which only covers 180 days or 6 months of so-called education.

    • WorldGoneCrazy

      Homeschooling can usually be done for no more than about $500 per child per year, usually a good deal less – with fantastic academic results, averaging about 30 percentile points higher than government schools and no racial minority-to-majority variance, whereas the government schools rape minorities in an intellectual (and sometimes physical) sense. You are correct on the government school funding: even in cheaper states, it is a minimum of $6K-$8K per child per school “year.”

  • Christopher

    Jesus said, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteously”.
    There are two sides to this story. We are only hearing from the Stanley’s. The state officials cannot disclose the full details of their findings to protect their right to privacy. If there is no abuse then they should not fear.

    • Gary

      You have not yet learned how corrupt the government is. Do NOT expect them to do the right thing.

      • Christopher

        I was in the system and emanicapated out as an adult. I know too well how it works. I will continue to watch this story to find the truth. For now, only one side is being presented.
        If I tell you that I will pay you $100,000 to jump out a plane with no parachute, would you do it? I am sure you said “No”. But then I tell you that the plane was landed on the ground. The point is, get all the facts first, then make a judgement. “Judge not according to the appearance”.

        • allan registos

          What happened to USA then? This is not going to happen in my country. What a lovely free world up there in America. Very terrifying to live.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            We have aborted over 57 million babies up here, Allan: we are long past depraved.

  • alnga

    When this happens to obviously good folks then you have to take action to protect your rights where ever you are. CPS, usually mean well, but seldom have the where with all to get anything done well. Add to the mix DHS and you have the makings of inter squad competition, to act like king of the mountain. Kind of like FBI and the local police dept. This should come out just fine but it is so unnecessary and hurtful to the kids and the parents. just should never happen. ..

  • david

    Cant have normal happy children on the loose , it makes disfunctional children look bad and the government cant control / brainwash them .

  • Death defeater

    Its
    time to kick up a fuss. The governmental tyranny needs to be
    challenged. THis is evil to the core and stealing people’s children for
    the purpose of governmental control. Pray for them. If near where they
    are I say protest in the streets.

  • John Mark IB

    wow man really this is ridiculous terribly angering but not really surprising in our day?? End times madness lost “America gone to hell in a hand basket and loving it” are we there yet?? wow this is so surreal, Orwellian 1984 can it really be if the govt fed makes the illegally compulsive public education mandatory? wow talk about frustrating that they could even get away with this and yes there is the home school legal defense and help here sad really the homes schooled kids are the last remaining holdouts against this madness called tyranny, GOD bless them and yes stand with them pray and protest, I’m still waiting for the (so called republican? ha ha joke! or democrat? ha ha joke! one party system) true patriotic American statesman/woman, who as a duly elected politician to show they really do care, really? will someone please do the right thing and stand up and do the right thing for once? and show there are still few that are left that care??

    homeschoolers are 100% consistently smarter, better socialized, and score higher, than their dumb downed, common core, goals 2000, outcome based, agenda 21, whole word, dyslexic, functionally illiterate, public funded counterparts, and A schools, who get the carrot on the stick $$$$ and rewards for following the govt fed run top down propaganda zombie Russian pavlovs dogs programs their all animals, religion of secular humanist manifesto, Marxists man’s words and evolution at it’s best, survival of the collectivists!! how we were all indoctrinated in the humists religion institutes most of us anyways…..sad

    http://www.hslda.org/

    https://www.rutherford.org/
    http://faithsaves.net
    http://www.pillarandground.org/home/?page_id=36
    http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com

  • John Mark IB

    cheap pretext for invading the home is always all they need to come on in? is always the same as well, of course false charges of neglect abuse etc., of course the world is against them because how dare you be different and want to not be just like the collective group of it takes a village hillary etc.?? they want and are getting our children folks, they want them in all these fancy named early development programs and lazy uncaring parents are all too eager to just dump them at the brainwashing centers, so part of hitlers get the kinders/youth new world order program still in effect for the new elite and coming world order under antichrist, GOD help them and us all !!
    it seems to get worse everyday and its like this utter madness and insanity man LORD Jesus come soon and save us all from this groaning world under the curse of sin and death!!
    http://faithsaves.net
    http://www.pillarandground.org/home/?page_id=36
    http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com

  • Carl Bennett

    Another case of Christian persecution by non believers, It is a sign of the times.

  • SFBruce

    I hope it’s possible for these children to be returned to their parents, but I see no evidence so far that the state has abused its power here. It’s always a bad situation when children have to be separated from those who should love and protect them, but child abuse does happen and we have an obligation as a society to deal with it. Arkansas is hardly a bastion of liberalism, and social workers recognize the best place for children is with their parents, if at all possible.

    • CrazyAuntJane

      BUT there was no abuse! Home schooling and kids playing in the snow is hardly abuse!

  • Linda Addison-Mueller

    All the people who done this to these kids and parents have warped minds and they need to send people to their houses that includes the DHS workers and Police officers and check to see if they can take their kids away and to see if they have any Christian attributes that they can give to the court system that takes their kids away. And that judge who doesn’t return these children is so wrong, and they all need to be jailed…

  • Robyn Foster

    I homeschool, have done it for 14 years and I have to say that when I pulled my children due to the insolence of the school system, they tried to get me into trouble with child services. I had a child with ADHD that was medicated and they were not given good medication. It made him suicidal. I pulled him from school and took him off the meds with the backing of my family doctor. Two weeks left of school and every day I went in and delivered homework and picked up more. In the end, he passed the grade and was promoted but child services was never told that. They were only told that I was endangering his welfare. It was my ex-husband who I was married to at the time that went in cohoots with the school principal and nurse and went to what my state called DYFS. I was harrassed for 18 months after cooperating with them and they found no problems. The worker looked for things and even tried opening up cases for my girls. I will be praying for this Pastor and his wife. These are dangerous times we live in and the adversary is alive and well. I pray in the name of Jesus that the judge listens to the promptings of God and sends these children home. In the meantime, I pray comfort for the parents and the children. I pray that the children are not mistreated by the system or anyone they place them with. Thank you Lord. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!!!

  • barbbfly

    keeping a kid in ques. for 5 hrs -the poor kid would say anything – did they bribe the kid ? something like this happened to me in rural Canada . it took me a yr to get them back and I am christian born again. i am sort of estranged from my 2 oldest kids who are 30 yrs old and 28yrs . THEY HAVE WALKED AWAY FROM GOD / JESUS plse pray for them and me , Barbara.

  • BarkingDawg

    They sound like a couple of borderline wack job parents.

    I bet it was one of the grandparents that called in the complaints.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    The US government should pay for private schools and home schooling just as it pays for public schools. It’s not fair only the atheism is upheld in schools. Atheism has no salvation and it promotes immorality and abortion. The US children need to know Jesus to be saved.

  • OldArkie

    Sounds as if Garland County Sheriff’s Department has overstepped their authority taking children from parents for homeschooling.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    it is sad that police/CPS take anonymous complaints over what they see with their own eyes

    the non-churched world when given unlimited power will go after believers

  • CrazyAuntJane

    Dumb questions can’t people demand a jury or does it have to be a criminal conplaint? Seems they could sue for something, defamation or pain and suffering or something!

  • OldArkie

    Human Services has gone nuts, they do not actually know how to take care of children, and do not know good parents from bad parents, Sad, it will wax worse in this fallen world.

  • Josey

    What makes me sick to my stomach is this: several years back my own grand daughter who was living with her mother at the time met a man, they moved in together, he was on drugs I found out with in a few weeks as I didn’t know him before this, he also dealt in drugs, people coming and going to the residence to buy drugs from him as reported by my grand daughter and others. The house was a dump, hundreds of garbage bags piled up outside, my grand daughter didn’t have a window in her bedroom but cardboard and on the walls of the home were the foulest words spray painted on the walls and my first visit there, I had seen fleas everywhere, it looked like one of those hoarding shows where there were paths to walk because there was so much crap everywhere and filth and they did dishes in the bath tub, she also had a half-brother who had emotional issues living there. Both children were subjected to various things, I called sheriff to have a welfare check done because I was refused by the mother to see my grand daughter’s welfare after I began to ask questions of the mother of what was going on. I found out later this guy got the mother using drugs as well. One day my grand daughter was dropped off at the mother’s friends house for a week and my grand daughter begged them not to take her back to her mothers but rather begged them to bring her to my home where I and her father began the process of having her removed. We got no where from dhs, they claim to have done a welfare check and claimed all was well, no one who knew this guy or this home could believe that all was well. DHS treated us as the one’s in the wrong, even accusing my grand daughter of making these things up, I couldn’t believe this was going on. We had to get a lawyer and six months later we won our case in court but the whole six months we worried that something horrible would happen to these two children as we also found out that a known child molester was being invited into the home as he was invited into the home by this drug dealer. Thankfully, the other grandparents, the mother’s mom and dad got custody of my grand daughter’s brother who had the emotional issues after my son won custody of his daughter. My point to telling this story is that I cannot understand how dhs takes these children away from an anonymous call so easily and yet in our case where there were definitely issues that warranted the children being removed for serious things, not some chemical, btw there are chemicals in every home that could be considered dangerous to a child, bleach comes to mind but that isn’t a reason to remove children. It seems that when there is definitely a reason to remove a child or children, dhs does nothing but when there is nothing more of a reason than what was given in this article, the children are taken, this makes no sense! What is wrong with DHS? There are legit cases where children are being abused and need removed and then I see cases like this one and I’m only going by this article but it seems crazy that the children were removed from their family over the two things mentioned here and then when I see what my family suffered at the hands of DHS in our state where we had legitimate concerns and nothing was done, that to me is just insane! It showed me that DHS does not care about children’s welfare, my advice would be get a lawyer right away to anyone dealing with DHS. I am sure there are a few social workers who really want to help children but the bureaucracy higher ups and their b.s. probably pretty soon beats that desire out of them.