ET: Hemerd King hasn’t seen his five children for two years. The New York City government broke up his family due to a string of allegations that, upon basic scrutiny, appear unsubstantiated.
The Epoch Times previously explored the twisted incentives in the systemthat keeps more than 400,000 children in foster homes and shelters, and de facto encourages social workers and administrators to keep families apart.
Homeschooling families like the Kings are especially at risk. The nonprofit Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has defended thousands of such families that have faced investigations by Child Protective Services (CPS).
“The number of investigations initiated solely because a family has chosen to homeschool has significantly declined over the past 30 years,” the HSLDA says on its website. “However, many innocent families are still wrongly reported.”
For the Kings, the nightmare started in December 2015 when a social worker from the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), the New York City’s CPS agency, came to the door of their apartment.
Hemerd couldn’t believe the ACS would have anything to complain about when it came to his family. He let the worker in and, it appeared, she found everything was in order.
It was not until much later he was told that a building contractor tipped off the ACS, which is required to probe each and every report it receives. In hindsight, Hemerd concluded that the building management was behind the tip-off as a retaliation for his complaints about lacking repairs.
The Kings’ case appeared to follow the pattern of a textbook case of abuse in the CPS system.
“When homeschooling families are reported for abuse or neglect, the allegations often include a mention of school attendance as well as other accusations, and in most cases, they are unfounded,” the HSLDA says. “Unfortunately, allegations are often made by family members, neighbors, or acquaintances who are upset with the family and use the child welfare system for retaliation.”
The case appeared to be over, but just being on the CPS radar is already dangerous.
In March, Hemerd went to complain to an older lady who lived in the apartment above his. Her washing machine was leaking into his kitchen—a long-known issue, he said.
She didn’t take to his criticism kindly and called police on him, accusing him of threatening her with an ax and a machete, he said.
Hemerd is a 6-foot-4-inch tall bald black man of athletic build. He would have hardly needed a machete to intimidate a 5-foot woman if he really wanted to, which would also run counter to perhaps every aspect of his persona. more here