Kidnapped homeschool children to be released from state custody

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Photo: Pixabay (CC0)

Outrage spread across the nation in February, after a mother in Buffalo, New York was stripped of her parental rights over her decision to homeschool her children. But now, after months of separation, a local court has finally restored Kiarre Harris’ custodial rights, and her children will soon be coming home.

Kidnapped by the State

After feeling that the local school district had failed her children, Harris, a single mother of two, made the decision to pull her kids out of the public school system and homeschool instead.

Harris complied with all the local regulations governing how children are “legally” allowed to be withdrawn from public school in favor of homeschooling, but a failure on the school district’s end resulted in unwarranted government intervention.

Unfortunately, the district’s mistake resulted in Harris’ two children being forcibly removed from her care and placed in state custody, where the mother was only allowed supervised visits.

On Wednesday, after a hearing at the Erie County Family Court, a judge granted parental custody back to Harris. But in an odd turn of events, Harris was arrested again while attempting to leave the courthouse.

Adding Insult to Injury

The absurdity of the case and the severity of the state’s decision to yank the two children out of the comfort of their home helped Harris to draw an outpouring of support as her story quickly spread.

However, this flood of support is what ultimately led to Harris being charged with obstruction of government administration.

A group of Harris supporters had gathered outside the courthouse in support of the family during the hearing. Among these supporters was Demone Henderson, who was passing out t-shirts that read, “Hands off Harris Children.”

While it is unclear how it was discovered, police officers stationed at the courthouse were alerted to an outstanding warrant Henderson had with the Family Court and proceeded to arrest him. When he resisted, he was pepper-sprayed.

Unfortunately, this was just as Harris was coming out of the courthouse and upon seeing her friend in a scuffle with law enforcement ran over to and placed her hand on the back of one of the arresting officers—the offense that resulted in her newest criminal charge.

Harris’ attorney, Matt Alberts said of the matter:

“I guess they were saying she put her hand out to stop another officer from jumping in and beating up her friend, that’s the most of what she could have possibly done in that instance.”

Luckily, Alberts is confident that this new charge will not impact the judge’s decision to give Harris back her children.

However, while the imminent return of her children should be enough of a reason to give Harris cause for celebration, she will soon have to return to court to answer for the new charge, further demonstrating that no matter how hard you try, you can’t fight city hall.

Brittany Hunter


Brittany Hunter

Brittany Hunter is an associate editor at FEE. Brittany studied political science at Utah Valley University with a minor in Constitutional studies.

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

  • kassa1

    I recommend these parents get a very good lawyer and sue these people who took their children and their children not the governments children away from them. 95% of everything that is wrong with America today all hails from our government and the Bar Association. These two are the biggest terrorist threats to freedom of this country!

  • ch

    All parents need to go to http://www.parentalrights.org/.
    They need to sign up and get involved and know what is going on. The only state in the union that still has Fundamental Parental Rights is WY and they just passed that law this year.
    Most parents have no idea that they no longer have a say about what happens to their children. Click on the LEARN Button and prepare yourself for the shock.

  • jesusknight

    There was no ‘assault’ on the officer, therefore there should be no charge. They should drop it immediately. I guess ‘snowflakes’ aren’t just in the colleges anymore…

  • Leslie Griffin

    Simply laying her hand on the officer constitutes battery, not just assault. Right or wrong, that is how it is. Now, let’s go for criminal charges of malfeasance against whoever it was that made the initial mistake.
    As for the ‘snowflakes’, well, they had to graduate sometime. I guess they aren’t worried about the draft anymore.

  • Robert Pekarik

    What does anyone expect from New York? What party is running the State (into the ground)?

  • gpenglase

    The state doesn’t like it when it is shown to be in the wrong and overstepping its bounds. Given that the it is estimated that the average person commits up to 3 federal felonies a day in ignorance, the state can lock you up pretty much anytime it wishes. Welcome to the “freedom” we have in the Western world today.

  • Fred Barton

    There is an adage that when you get the State on your back, they don’t like getting off. An addition to that is that the more the State is invested in your punishment, the more they feel invested in the “proper” outcome. The police often take the brunt for the lawyers’ stupidity.

  • Peter P

    Special status for the state’s enforcers is criminal in itself. Our employees should not have more rights than any citizen. This is part of the problem with the government, it’s a two-tier system, the elites and the plebes

  • Sloppo

    Kidnapping a family of children and withholding them from their parents is the government’s right. Gently touching an officer on the back when he’s beating up someone is a CRIMINAL OFFENSE. You should trust the government when they send your children to the other side of the world to fight and die in those wars we wage to “spread freedom”.