Last Friday about 40 home school parents and teens went to the court hearing in Cameron, in Milam County, to show their support for the home school mom in a custody hearing in which her in-laws and her husband tried to convince the judge to take her three children from her and place them with the grandparents and father. Although the judge accused the mother’s attorney of being responsible for the “mob” in the courtroom, referring to the home schoolers supporting the mother, several who had been to previous hearings noted that the tone and tenor of the court and of the judge seemed to be more balanced than in earlier hearings.
A home school mom and attorney who attended the hearing stated that the judge seemed to make reasonable and fair rulings throughout the hearing on both sides. While the judge says the case is “hard,” the presumption that the children should be with their mother unless she is “unfit” would seem to make it a fairly straightforward case. The mother is obviously a fit parent, which is why the attacks against home schooling were continually made.
The paternal grandparents are asking the judge to allow them to become a party to this suit and to be made joint managing conservators, probably because the father has historically been away from home two weeks per month. The attorneys for the mother cited statute and case law to show that the grandparents had no standing to be allowed either to be a party to the suit or to be made joint managing conservators. In the Tarrant County case in which a fit father lost his daughter to grandparents on “temporary” orders for three years, those grandparents were made joint managing conservators, and they used that status to their advantage.
In previous hearings in this Cameron matter, one of the main lines of attack made to justify the taking of this mother’s children from her was the fact that she had homeschooled them. Those attacks against home schooling in general, and specifically against the mom, continued on Friday. An attorney friend of the grandparents argued that it was somehow wrong to “deny the children the right to attend public school.” Another witness said the children were “naïve” for their age. One witness even went so far as to say that she often saw the blinds of the family’s home closed when she passed by. The attorney for the mother asked if she assumed that something wrong was happening in the courtroom since the blinds were closed there as well.
Home schoolers in attendance made a very positive impact by their presence, and the mother was very encouraged and grateful for the tangible show of support. Many of those in attendance were struck by the realization that most of the allegations made against this mother regarding home schooling could be made against any of them as well. The judge will render a decision in the next few days, and we ask for continued prayers for a righteous and lawful decision and for grace and help for this mother. We will continue to watch this case as we especially note that this judge will stand for reelection this year.