Homeschool Children Seized By Authorities to Remain in State Custody for at Least Another Month

Stanley ChildrenHOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Seven homeschoolers in Arkansas who were seized by the Garland County Sheriff’s Department last month will remain in state custody for at least another month after a hearing over the matter was pushed back until March.

As previously reported, the children of Hal Stanley and his wife Michelle were removed from their Hot Springs home on Jan. 12 following an anonymous complaint.

The situation began in December 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 last week, the Stanley’s learned that a hearing scheduled over the matter has been postponed until March 23. Therefore, the children will remain in custody for at least another month until the hearing is held.

“They didn’t tell us why,” Stanley explained in an updated posted on Facebook. “We had been given the impression that all our children were going to be allowed to come back home with us, but now we have to wait. Just pray it isn’t that they are going on a ‘fishing expedition.'”

While the family is allowed visitation once a week, Mr. Stanley says that he is concerned that his children are being indoctrinated with secularism since the government has put them in public school in the meantime.

“Now they are being taught the world standards. We have homeschooled them. Now, they are being forced into public school. My children are not properly dressed. They are not properly prepared,” he told the Christian Post. “My children are being abused as we speak by the public school system. Everything we have built for 22 years has been taken away.”

He told the outlet that perhaps two of his older children, who now attend college, may be partially responsible for the situation as they have spoken before about their desire to attend public school.

“We have a couple of our teenagers who decided they wanted to go to public school,” Stanley contends. “I think they are behind some of this, but we are trying to get to the bottom of it ourselves.”

Arkansas DHS hasn’t yet provided an exact reason as to why the children were seized.

“It could mean that the home is unfit. It could mean that the environment is not a good environment, that there’s dirt everywhere; it could mean that,” Public Information Coordinator Kate Luck told KATV. “It could also mean the children cannot safely remain there. It may be that the parents have done something to make the environment unsafe. It could mean that the children did something…”

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  • Gary

    The government should NEVER take children from their parents without telling them why, and without being able to prove there is a valid reason. And “anonymous sources” should NEVER be allowed. All sources should be revealed to everyone before any children are removed from the home.

    • ancapian

      The government should NEVER take children from their parents.

    • Peter Leh

      he knows why. he is just not saying… other than attempting the martyr

  • Nadine Faber

    I wonder why kind of “emotional, psychological issues” have been done to these kids because of the government’s illegal actions have done to the entire family.

  • sharon

    Could it be that this family is “Christian” and are being punished for it?

    • Bruce Morrow

      Can very well be the case indeed!

    • BarkingDawg

      Or maybe they are just a bit “out there.”

      In any case, I think that this is a family dispute that got out of hand.

      • WorldGoneCrazy

        That’s usually the way it happens. Sometimes it is a disgruntled neighbor or grandparent, but in this case, it appears that two of the older children MIGHT have initiated the concern. Teenagers! What can we do with them?!? 🙂

        The fact that this has gone on so long indicates to me that the HomeSchool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA – no homeschooling family should ever do without) might not be involved with this family. That could be an indication something is up. But, this is all speculation on my part of course. Regardless, the parents have to be notified of the reason the state has kidnapped their kids. This is not Germany. Or Massachusetts.

        • Sabrina Matuszewski

          I homeschool I didn’t even know there was a legal defense association or that we should be involved with one but that doesn’t mean we are up to no good or hiding something, it just means we didn’t know. Same could be said with this family maybe they just didn’t know like us your comment is the first I’ve ever heard mention of it although now that you brought it to light I will be checking in to it because it could be handy. Anyway long story short just because the family is not involved with it doesn’t necessarily mean they are bad, benefit of doubt and all.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            Hi Sabrina! Yes, you are most correct, I did not mean to equivocate here, please forgive me. All homeschool families are innocent until proven guilty. In America, no family should be without the HSLDA, IMO. They are the ones responsible for homeschooling to be legal in all 50 states. We homeschooled 2 of our 3 children through the first two years of college. (using Dual Enrollment). Here is the HSLDA link:

            And, here is a link to send to those who do not realize how superior homeschooling is to government school brainwashing:

            That link is particularly useful to give to disgruntled family members or neighbors who think that homeschooled kids miss out on academics or socialization. Keep up the great work, Sabrina: there is nothing harder, yet nothing more rewarding, than homeschooling! God bless!

          • Jody Lancaster

            This link should be put on the web for everyone to see and know it’s there.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            Thanks, Jody, and God bless you! Please help spread this around. I thought that the funniest part of all of this research was that the government schools collected a bunch of homeschool academic data into the late 80’s and early 90’s and then suddenly stopped: because they didn’t like the answers they were getting! 🙂 They were SO sure that homeschooling would fail academically, because, after all, those Moms didn’t have education degrees – gasp!

            On top of that, homeschool academic success is independent of the parents’ education levels. Now, try explaining THAT to a government school ideologue! 🙂 Best of all, there is no statistically significant difference between homeschooler success of black and white children. Compare that with the government schools, where black children are educationally raped (and sometimes physically so) and score in the high 20 percentiles versus a bit over 50 percentile for whites.

          • MamaBear

            We have a number of home schooling families in our church. Back before my health problems, I was heavily involved with the church’s children’s ministries. I noticed most excelled academically. Two moms absolutely should not have been homeschooling, however, so homeschooling does not always equal academic success. But, those moms eventually realized it, also. One finally put her kids back in public schools, the other one’s child has an income based scholarship to the Christian school I now volunteer at.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            Indeed. Truly Christian schools are a great alternative. And homeschooling is no piece of cake – much harder than anything I have ever done. But, even the best public schools are going to indoctrinate, subtly but incessantly.

          • MamaBear

            The Christian school I volunteer at gets community donations for income based scholarships, some of which are 100% tuition. Students do have to supply their own lunches, but they use the same uniforms as several local public elementary schools, so there are many sources of used ones, including the school’s own supply of donated uniforms.
            I think if people are serious about not having kids in public schools (and that includes charter) that they can find more alternatives than were available when I was raising my kids. But even when a family’s only possibility is public school, maybe both parents honestly have to work or there is a special needs child, we need to be daily teaching our children about God in our homes, not just depending on our churches to do it for us.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            Yes, I agree, and I also think that we need to not give up on the government schools and we should pass laws and encourage policies that improve them. (First thing we do: abolish the Department of Education, which is nothing more than a Demon-crat front for teachers’ unions.) We should also be regularly volunteering in the government schools. Our eldest went all the way through the public schools and I spent a lot of time in each one of his schools, including serving as the prez for the Math Team Booster Club.

            We are in the South, so there are a lot more conservative and Christian teachers and principles down here, and let’s just say we don’t teach kindergartners how to put condoms on cucumbers in our city. The teachers would lead a mass revolt. Nevertheless, there is still plenty of negative secularism and it is necessary for parents to be salt and light in these schools and to hold the administration accountable. Government schools spend a good 10 times per student more than homeschools do and deliver abysmal results overall. And what we are doing to blacks and Hispanics in these public schools is a crime against humanity, a form of educational malpractice that leads to an intellectual slavery. (Usually to the low brow Demon-crat party.) One more negative about the public schools: the pedophilia rate is about 30 times what occurred in the Catholic priest scandal. And, it is ongoing, with few safeguards being put in place.

            One good link on compartmentalization:

            And one on the relative strengths of private religious schools:

            Many secular folks send their kids to parochial schools of some sort, because they know they will get a better education and sometimes, at least, a better moral framework. One of my best friends in the world grew up in an all-boys Catholic school in a large city. He has one of the most intuitive moral compasses I have ever seen.

    • ltneid

      We are right in the middle of the Bible belt in Arkansas, and AR is very home school friendly. I don’t know exactly what’s going on with this, but it must go deeper than that.

      • Michael Brooks

        socialist govt’ employees who are on a power trip.

      • Terry Roll

        I agree. There has to be something more going on.

  • Bruce Morrow

    Once again government is interferring in the private lives of families. And to top it all off stealing their children away! Sounds like “legalized” kidnapping to me folks!

  • Richard

    This is so unfair. they are trying to come up with stupid excuses to harrass people and their children. Control is what they are seeking. This is devilish, this is wrong and something worth doing must be done about It to compensate this family. True justice must be served.

    • Liz Litts

      This is happening all over the country. Child protective(?) services is a business-they take children for anything from a disgruntled neighbor to asking for a second opinion for medical care. This is a money making prosition –the more kids in the system the more money. Drug companies are using these kids to test new drugs and sell more. Look up Medical kidnap on face book and find out just what these people are up to-with the help of doctors, lawyers and judges.

  • I despise these nanny state fascists. Despise. Them.

    • Bill

      Yep, me too………..argh!

  • Bill

    It could mean the government has too much power…………

    • Sabrina Matuszewski

      Yes they do.

  • Victoria

    Never does anyone have the right to remove and split a family unless its thru divorce. Thats is difficult enough on children but to be forcible removed by authorities can traumatize the children of the younger age. Some one needs to contact the
    ACLU or the Legal defense team for Home Education. Being very familiar with Home Education of approx 15-20 years ago, it was my right to prepare them for a style of living which would exemplify their individual personality not a blanket education for the better good of humanity or globally

  • KenS

    Also, I do not believe that the DHS personnel should have any rights to put the children in public school until an order of adjudication has been made in the upcoming court hearing. Shelter care hearings are temporary and do not give them complete guardianship rights to the children.

    • loricaliforni

      Good point. My parents used to take in foster children in the 70s when I was little. One of the boys had really long hair and got teased about it at stores, school – everywhere we went. He cried and asked to get his hair cut. My parents took him to the barber shop and got him a boy’s haircut. When the case worker saw it she flipped out and they took him away. They told my parents in no uncertain terms were they to do anything that was “against the parents’ wishes” – his parents were in prison for selling drugs. I realize this was many years ago, but they would consider those parents’ wishes, but not the wishes of this homeschooling family?

  • KenS

    Also, I do not believe that the DHS personnel should have any rights to put the children in public school until an order of adjudication has been made in the upcoming court hearing. Shelter care hearings are temporary and do not give them complete guardianship rights to the children.

  • Will

    So the parents think the older siblings turned on them and got their brothers and sisters kidnapped. Nice kids.

    • WorldGoneCrazy

      Teenagers. Ever had ’em? They take free will to its end conclusion, even in the best of families.

    • loricaliforni

      We homeschooled our kids all the way to graduation. Both went through a phase where they wanted to go to public school. The arguments and constant debates about the perceived value of going to school, they went on for MONTHS until they finally got it out of their system. How horrible to have your own kids turn on you like that though, I would be devastated. My prayers for these parents and their kids who are now suffering through this situation.

      • WorldGoneCrazy

        Thank you for homeschooling and God bless!

  • Bob Fiorito

    Yea! It could mean??? Yes it could mean that our PC control allows the government of we the people to make up dirt to satisfy their accusation? Yea, It could mean???

  • jason bourne

    The government should NEVER be able to take anybody away under ANY circumstances.

    • Ambulance Chaser

      Does that include people who commit crimes?

  • April Mueller

    Please tell me you have a lawyer. They have to have a hearing within 72 hours of taking custody. If it has passed that time and you did not show up to court at that time, tough luck. The state will keep custody. We have dealt with cps before and they tried to hold a custody hearing without even giving us a supena or our lawyer then the created lies on the avidavit to gain custody. You better believe they are on a fishing expedition. Read our story that is currently going on.

  • Greg Trujillo

    Sue the crap out of them.

  • Laura Lee

    My adult children thought I read the Bible and prayed too much. They disapproved of my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They wanted me to conform. Be “churchy” like them. Children rise up against parents in a society that instills a nanny state mind.

    • Terry Roll

      Nanny state mind? More like an ounce of critical thinking. If we ran by your logic, we would still be in the dark ages for fear of not challenging the status quo.

  • Pray that these children have the favor and tender love with CPS that Daniel and his companions had when they were carried into Babylonian captivity.

  • bowie1

    If the parents have taught their kids well perhaps they might be able share what they learned in the public school.

  • Chris FitzPatrick Sr.

    It could be that it’s just B.S. from some anti-Christian scumbag in the dfcs trying to break up a Christian family, which is what they do best

  • Elat

    this is really shocking and scary…

  • fhc61

    Sounds to me like another prime example of Children’s Services harassing families in situations where there is no abuse or neglect going on, while not doing anything about the cases like Jonchuck who just threw his daughter off of a bridge and he had custody of her even tho there were warnings in plenty of time to save her, or what about the family in Port Richey, FL, where the son beat to death his mother and niece and DCF says they never knew he was Paranoid Schitzophrenic so they thought it was ok for the nieces to live there. They stick their nose in where it doesn’t belong instead of focusing on the real issues.

  • John Moore

    I will never understand why child welfare agencies can simply take your children from you before they have a chance to prove cause in court or before you have a chance to defend yourself in court.

  • Nadyne

    OMG where is the ACLU, AL SHARPTON??? You did say Arkansas in the USA??? Sounds more like China or Russia! Where are the protesters?????

  • Kachina

    Folks, this is a perfect example of how the Government views your children as their property and in all honesty you have No Rights in how you raise your children! Now, there may be other issues that we are unaware of, however, based on the information we have been given and the experiences of many other ‘home-school’ parents and children we are witnessing the gradual control our government leaders have taken over our lives and our children. Until there is a unified effort by all Americans to combat this control over US it will continue. Uncle Sam has made it clear.. They do not like children to be outside their system.

  • Jan van Niekerk

    According to all reports, the government agent lied about 72 hours. Was this government agent authorised to lie on behalf of the government? What other lies were told, or are the people that should answer these questions also authorised to lie on behalf of government?

  • Norma Ross

    Sounds like Communism where the children are wards of the State and parents have no say. This has slowly been coming for many years. Wake up America! Socialism then Communism next. That is the progression. Learn your history.

  • Unite_Blue

    If there was a poisonous substance in the house, wouldn’t they clear the entire house? Isn’t that a hazmat matter? Why just take the kids away?

  • lakefire

    This county is known for actions without reason, they have also done nothing when actions were needed, remember this is right in the middle of the old crime capital of the south. Hot Springs, Ar., I would say more but I don’t want to go to jail for some BS reason.