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Buffalo, NY Mother Arrested For Homeschooling Her Kids

Kiarre Harris, a single mom in Buffalo, NY realized her school district was failing to properly educate her two elementary age children. So she filed the necessary paperwork to formally remove her kids from public school and begin the process of homeschooling them herself.

Ms. Harris says she went to city hall and picked up the paperwork she needed. She showed her local news station, 7 Eyewitness News, her paperwork that the school district acknowledged it had received. Harris told the news station, “I spoke directly to the homeschool coordinator and she told me from this point on my children were officially un-enrolled from school.”

She said about one week later, she received a phone call from Child Protective Services (CPS) inquiring why her kids weren’t attending school. Harris stated, “I told them [CPS] that my kids were homeschooled now and that I could furnish the documents if they need to see them.”

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After speaking with CPS, Harris assumed everything was now sorted out and continued on with teaching her kids at home. But after a month passed, she was accosted by CPS and the Buffalo police department with an order to remove her kids from her custody. Harris refused to allow them to take her children and she was arrested for obstructing a court order.

Her kids were placed into foster care and Harris hasn’t been able to see them for over three weeks now. The Buffalo Public School District has tried to justify their actions by claiming Harris wasn’t able to remove her kids from school because she doesn’t have full legal custody of her children. She countered their claim by stating she’s always been a single parent and therefore she does have full custody of her kids.

A local Buffalo councilman, Ulysses O. Wingo Sr., has weighed in on the matter and said it’s “utterly unacceptable” that Harris was arrested for “educational neglect” because she complied with everything that was required of her.

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  1. Whoa! Are we paying attention brothers and sisters? I am unable to get many to understand this simple fact: THESE ARE YOUR KIDS! THE LAWS THE KID FOLLOWS 1ST IS YOUR LAW! IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO RAISE YOUR CHILDREN ACCORDING TO THIS ONE-DIMENSIONAL SYSTEM, IT IS YOUR GOD-GIVEN RIGHT…NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO TELL YOU WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS PERIOD. THIS STATE INTERCEDING AND GIVING COURT ORDERS IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND INFRINGES ON THE NATURAL RIGHTS GIVEN TO A MAN, WOMAN AND THEIR CHILD. A MOTHER DOES NOT HAVE TO DEFEND HER POSITION ON WHAT SHE DEEMS FIT FOR HER CHILD. IF SHE CHOOSES TO BRING HER CHILD UP DIFFERENTLY, THEN THAT IS HER RIGHT!

    • Yes you are correct. The problem is the law only works for a certain group of people. The school system is indoctrinating our children with the ways of,society that’s why its,a problem. I get a excellent attorney and sue that school system. She will be fine. This will be her testimony. It won’t be easy but she will be victorious….

    • It sucks but when you “register” your children with a “birth certificate” you actually are giving your rights away to the STATE! Be careful and understand all the laws governing this land. Peace

    • Absolutely! I have many friends who home school and one relative who did. All of their children are intelligent, well educated, well adjusted, respectful,
      and NOT drug addicts, gang bangers or criminals.

      • I agree. I know many successfully home schooled . I do however, have a problem with Charter schools. When you get entangled with the system, it can be dramatic – color be dammed. I admire that she is home schooling. Hope and pray it works out for her soon.

    • amen!!! DSS is a corrupt government agency that uses or children to pay themselves,get incentive checks and meet quotas!!!!

  2. Now call me what ever you want but Caucasian people homeschool all the time no one locks them up when we people of color decides to homeschool our children this is the result now I don’t know what the procedures are or what one must do to sign off on homeschooling but people do make mistakes and do things without proper procedure but this is a little over the top she has a right as a parent to decide what’s best for her children and family welcome to America where’s the justice and the fairness for the people

    • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2300568/Obama-administration-wants-DEPORT-home-schooling-family-Germany-fined-threatened-prosecution-teaching-children.html

      There are all kinds of stories regarding parents of any color who try to home school their kids. This is why Democrats and the National Education Association are so afraid of Trump’s Education Secretary, Betsy Devos. She is a proponent of homeschooling. Call me whatever you want, but too many people follow the crowd, and vote for the same people who want to strip you of your freedoms while claiming the other side is racists. Look at one of the stories on the front page. Republicans are absolutely not trying to ban “peaceful protests.” They are trying to curb protests that evolve into riots or infringe on other peoples’ rights, but too many fools will fall for the headline or live in denial of what’s really going on, and run out to vote for the Democrats who took this woman’s kids because she tried to home school them.

      • I beg to differ CC. Betsy Devos is a proponent of there being plenty of educational choices regarding WHERE one is educated, i.e public, private, religious, charter, virtual schools and home education. However, once you introduce vouchers into the mix and tax money is part of the equation, you then are giving control of WHAT gets taught to the government. Home schoolers generally are not, and should not, be in favor of any kind of voucher because then comes oversight and loss of freedom in how a parent chooses to educate regarding content. And before you chose to argue, I am a long time home educating parent. I have done my research on this matter and have studied what Devos has said and written on the subject. What happened to the women in this clip should never have happened, children should not have been taken away, and the people involved with this should be asked to step down for their incompetence.

        • Another homeschooling veteran here. I’m a liberal Democrat, support public schools, and I do not want any government funds for homeschooling. When you take the Queen’s shillings, you do the Queen’s bidding. Plus, I pay taxes for many government services that I may not have a direct benefit. For example, my taxes help pay for the fire dept. I hope I never need this service, but having it in our community helps keep my insurance rates low. High quality local schools helps support home values as well as support local economic development.

          The !mother in this story should have her children returned to her immediately. She’s done nothing wrong.

      • There are all kinds of stories about PARENTS, period, having trouble homeschooling their kids. Our school district gave me such a hassle to homeschool my children and continue to try convincing me to send my kids to their schools.
        Harlee is absolutely right. Most of us do not want any further government involvement with our children’s education and are firmly against DeVos and her proposed vouchers. If we were interested in regulation, we would send our kids to public school.
        This isn’t a bipartisan issue. The Democrats didn’t take her kids away. The Buffalo school system and CPS failed her.

    • Actually she doesn’t have the right to….

      It sucks but when you “register” your children with a “birth certificate” you actually are giving your rights away to the STATE! Be careful and understand all the laws governing this land. Peace

    • I am a white person with 7 homeschooled kids. We are in Virginia and have also homeschooled in Maryland. We have had CPS come to our door three times. Our first year, Baltimore City told us we were barely passing measure because we put a book report our 5 yo had done about Japanese Sumo wrestlers in the Social studies section of his portfolio. — all this is not to dismiss black families who also homeschool, but instead to say that her kids should not have been removed, and that homeschooling makes a family a gov’t school district target, whatever the family’/ ethnic heritage. In her case perhaps her race works against her as a “double-whammy”; in my family it is doubled because of how many children we have. They will try to get kids into the system by whatever means they can in some places.

    • She is asking for help to fund her legal defense. PayPal.me/Kiarre was the address. I contributed to help her, because I think it’s time for collective action

    • So not true I am white and home school my child because the system failed him beyond belief. I have been harrased, looked down upon, threatened, they have even tried to subpoena me into truancy court. It definitly is not a black or white issue. It is a parent coming across a school with a wild hair up their ass. They don’t like you or take offense to the fact that you don’t like their teaching practices or lack thereof.

  3. This is unacceptable. I have sent a complaint to the Buffalo police department via their contact form at http://www.bpdny.org/Home/Contact. And I encourage others to do the same. Their website is slow but it works. Here is what I said:

    A friend has contacted me regarding the arrest of Kiarre Harris for home schooling her children. It is my understanding that she was arrested and her children confiscated despite having met all necessary requirements for home schooling. Further, it appears that nobody bothered to explain to her what the problem was before taking such harsh action.

    I cannot imagine that any of this would have been done to her had she been white.

    I request that you immediately drop charges against her, return her children to her, and either drop the matter entirely or else present an explanation of just cause to her and give her 30 days to obtain legal counsel and respond.

    • It sucks but when you “register” your children with a “birth certificate” you actually are giving your rights away to the STATE! Be careful and understand all the laws governing this land. Peace

  4. Why is everything a black and white issue this is NOT a color issue this is a government vs mother issue. YES this has happened more than once to every color but it hasn’t been tossed in the news or plastered on FB why is that? ANYWAY I home schooled my son after problems at school for about a month and I got told to get him back in school I had no right- after doing what I was suppose to. I was a single working mom of seven raising my children with no help from anyone- I out him back in school I could not deal with one more issue in my life. They all graduated and did fine but I see now the boost they get from home schooling – going at their own pace- not being held back- this government just wants to hold on and tell us what to do- sadly. They teach them sex even when we dont agree, or gender issues before we can say a word, even how to use a tampon my daughter was taught in a class setting at 11 years old- even demonstrated it on a plastic doll ! I threw a fit no one cared- it was 4 years to early, and not their right but they do what they see fit. Some schools are good others are stupid. So sad I think everyone would home school OR DO WHAT I see a lot do now. Children In a group go to house to house within ten parents and each parent get a turn to monitor them on computers and teach- some rent a room somewhere and share the costs. Then they can have art gym and so on together.

  5. Cases like this are why so many home school families join HSLD. This should never have happened in America! As a home school mom I struggle to find other black homeschooling families in my local area. We need to stick together, encourage each other, do what is best for our children and be prepared to fight the system when necessary. This is ridiculous!

  6. I’ve been contemplating homeschooling my children this year. My 2nd grader is at a low first grade level. And my 3rd grader is gifted, and every year they try they’re hardest to dumb her down and get her at the level the rest of the class is on. The agenda they have on “our” children is real. Especially since they’ve started the zoning, they’re keeping our children confined to schools that are less equal and educated the what they’re supposed to be.

  7. Got that right. Look how similar schools and prisons are — ridiculously strict rules for the dumbest “infractions”. NOT to rap on the poor teachers caught in the middle — but schools are one-track focused, and yes, there IS an agenda. Praying for this woman and esp to get her kids OUT of foster care — we will “steal” them back WHATEVER IT TAKES. March For School choice !!! SHAME on the Buffalo PD and these cock and bull school admins—tar and feathers, get them ready. I kid you not. We SHOULD threaten in writing – and follow through on our threat – ANY public school or CPS that unjustly separates families. Strength in numbers.

  8. Umm… If she doesn’t have full custody of her kids, then she doesn’t have the right to remove them… end of story 😒

    • Did you even read the article or watch the video? She’s a single mom. The father isnt around. He certainly didnt file a complaint. So why wouldnt she have custody? The birth mother automatically has custody unless someone takes her to court and she loses it

      • Actually, single mothers don’t have full custody. Even when the sperm donors are not around. I found this out the hard way. You have to go to court to get “custody” of your own children. If you are married, you have joint custody. If there is a divorce, then the judge orders who gets custody. I had to take my ex to court to get “temporary physical custody” of my kids. Because there is no such thing as permanent custody. But the gov-ment can put me in jail for “child abuse” when I don’t have legal custody of my kids for not providing the “proper” care. This is bullshit, but legal. I hope this mother wins her court case. And then sues the shit out of them for causing emotional distress.

        • Wow, I never knew. I’m awestruck that a single Mother does not have full custody unless she goes to court to get it. So why did it have to get to the level of the kids being removed from the home. Obviously she was left alone to provide clothing, food and shelter for her children. No one interfered with her custodial obligations as she raised her children providing for their needs while these children were in school. All of a sudden she decides to provide their education too and the government steps in to stop that, using a technicality to abuse their power. My point being, didn’t anyone along the way explain what she needed to do to make this arrangement legal. If the government really cares, they would have provided her with the assistance she needed. Instead they have traumatized this family.

          • She already did everything she was supposed to do. They were looking for any reason to keep them in the school

        • Was the fatherr there when child was enrolled in school? Did they refuse to allow the enrollment, because she didn’t have FULL CUSTODY?

  9. Sadly what we all fail to realize is that our children, no matter who birthed them, belong to the state until you officially claim custody. I learned this when filing for child support and other legal forms of documentation. It’s crazy!

  10. In 1992 I was taken out of public school by my mother who did not have sole custody.
    My father was never asked nor gave approval.
    She took me out of school first, then filled out the paperwork.

    How does it make sense to arrest a mother and her two kids from her? There are actual tax dollars being paid to the idiots whose job it is is to disregard logic and destroy families.

    • If your father had joint legal custody, objected to homeschooling, and filed a motion for contempt of court, then the family law court would make the decision (of public school vs. homeschool) based on the best interest of the child. If the court order stipulated that you must attend public school but mom insisted on homeschool, she would be in contempt of court.

  11. I know this mother has done the right thing if she felt that it was necessary to take her children out of public school and homeschooling them herself was the right thing to do. I did it and was advised by homeschooling coalition that I did not have to explain to the school or no one else why I took them out of school and I did not and was not going to explain it to any I took them out with no problem but then family member did not like it and was all in my business and I was asked why I took them out of school my words was I don’t have to explain to anyone what I do with my children days later I get a call from the school district and told her the same thing I don’t have to tell anyone why I took my kids out of school I did it the right so stay out of my business and she never called me back. I homeschooled my children for about 2 1/2 years or more homeschooled them during the day and worked nights when I tried to put them back in public school the district that I had previously taken them out of would not accept them back and was trying to put them back in the grade they was in when I first took them out of school so they was trying to hold them back but that did not stop me I put them in a different district when I moved and they welcomed them tested them and was put in their right grade all three of my boy had ADHD and I felt they needed that one on one time and it paid off. These people are picking on this mother stay strong don’t let any one that was involved in sticking their nose in your business get away with what they have done to you including the court sue them all.

  12. Shit like this is exactly why I left that shit hole city and state….the city government are a bunch of crookes. I pray she brings a lawsuit against the city and the state…Fuck Buffalo and its officials.
    ..

  13. This is incredibly racist. She clearly would not have been treated like this if she was white. I hope she gets a huge settlement out of this and this gets more attention in the news.

  14. She dared to remove her children from a path to nowhere. All mothers who are stuck in garbage, “zoned” schools designed for our children to fail, should home-school their children. Cut the supply of slaves (See the 13th film) to prison, so that big businesses can’t make money off of this anymore.

    • Encourage mom to petition the family law court to grant her sole legal custody of children. Until then, the father who was not mentioned in the article, has equal legal rights to the children’s education matter.

  15. Praying for you Kiarre, and for your children. You made the right decision with your children except the system is corrupt. Homeschooling is a great idea, but it’s important to find an umbrella school and a support system like Home School Legal Defense founded by Michael Farris who supports parental rights!
    Does anyone know who is defending her or if there is a go fund me online?

  16. I really don’t understand this article… I’m a black woman that home schooled my children in Buffalo NY for 6 yrs… No problems… I took the same steps that this lady did… No problems….

    • Terri, the difference is she doesn’t have sole legal custody of her children. Though not mentioned in the article, the dad has equal legal custody. There’s more to this story… dad’s story.

  17. Please do a better job of explaining custody. She is the legal residential parent most likely. And primary custodian. Unless the father of the children signed away parental rights or the court has issued an order saying she is the sole custodial, legal and residential, she is not a full legal custodian. Additionally, there is more to this story than just homeschooling. Please provide all information otherwise we look no better than the crazy right wingers who publish their hyperbole.

  18. This story is heartbreaking. It’s stories like this one and more where most people can’t enforce their Legal rights because they don’t know how to OR can’t find an affordable attorney to help them. A few years ago, I was introduced to an affordable legal resource that protects my 5 sons, hubby and me with 24/7 Emergency access and more. We’ll never be without it. We can’t afford to NOT have it. I hope she’s able to get competent assistance ASAP.

  19. Actually both parties are right to some degree. The children legally have to goto school like all children and there is the option to home school children now which is a parents right.

    The issue that I see coming from this is does the mother of the children have 100% custody of the children? if she does then yes its her right and she is the only person to make the decision. However if the child’s father has a right to the children and he did not sign off on the children being removed from the school to be home schooled then the school simply said the children were taken out of school incorrectly.

    If the father of the children pays child support or if child support is ordered then the mother does not have 100% custody of the children. In which I would bet the children father or someone in his or her family had an issue made a few phone calls and the woman is in the issue that she is in.

    If its determined that she does not have full decision making ability of the children then she either filled out the paperwork wrong or she lied on the paperwork. Having primary placement of a child does not give the parent full decision making ability of the child.

  20. Did they require FULL COSTODY, or documentation verifying it, when children were enrolled in school? Did the they ever take children away? They are trying to cover their butts.

  21. You are a doll!!! Congratulations!!! 🎈 you are more valuable than you can ever imagine!!! So inspirational!!! You go you little professor 👨‍🏫

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