We Own the Courthouse & We’re Taking Your Children

The sad story of a home school mom who lost her children in a temporary order in a divorce case in a small, rural county in Texas continues. For those who are not familiar with the case, the couple had been married for eleven years and home schooled for many years, all with the approval of the father. When he decided that he wanted a divorce, the airline pilot told his wife that his parents “own the courthouse” and “We will take the children from you, and there is nothing you can do.”

The new Republican judge seemed to confirm that assertion when he called home school observers in the courtroom a mob and then gave the children to the father, even though he travels two to three weeks per month, saying he was “more stable.” While the judge denied the request of the paternal grandparents to be a part of the suit, he said that when the father traveled, they should have the children. Most of the testimony by the father and his parents and their attorneys during these hearings focused on the fact that this mother home schooled her children and somehow that was not good for them.

The mother had no choice but to move back to the small community and seek employment while she asked the judge for “expanded visitation and the right of first refusal” so that she might see her children more than twice a month on weekends. While the judge finally assented to this, he refused to require the father to make funds available to the mother for her legal fees, even though the father continues to use community property from the marriage for his legal fees.

In a recent hearing, the trial date for a jury trial was moved to September, and it became apparent that the paternal grandparents are subsidizing the legal representation of their son in this matter and are keeping some of the children in their home on a regular basis.  While a jury trial appears to be the best way for this mother to regain her children based on the recent rulings of this judge, her family does not have the kind of resources that the “owners of the courthouse” have.

It is unfortunate that a fit, godly parent can lose their children because someone else has more money and can find a judge who seems to believe that home schoolers are a mob and home schooling is a detriment to children. Or…it could simply be that he is biased with regard to his political future. Either way, THSC plans to help with the legal expenses of this mother not only because what is happening to her is outrageous, but we cannot allow home schooling to be the basis on which a child is removed from a fit parent no matter where they live in Texas. If you would like to be part of the effort to help, you can make a tax-deductible contribution to the THSC Parental Rights Litigation Fund (PRLF).

Comments

  1. DallasFtWorthMom says

    I am so sorry that this mother is having to go through this. I am thankful that she has you on her side. It is a stressful, scary, lonely time… I am praying for her and her children as this continues to drag out. Also, praying now for the jury that will hear the case.

    Thank you for keeping us informed. I am interested in attending in September if you choose to encourage visitors in the trial. I have “been there and done that” and would love to pay forward the support I have received from others.

  2. says

    Is this judge being primaried? I want to donate to his opposition. An army of homeschool kids needs to flyer Milam County with the information on this judge and the way he uses his “discretion.” “I own the courthouse”, indeed. Does he also own this judge? He must think he does and I place the responsibility for that perception right on the judge’s shoulders.

      • Wanda Farmer says

        I live in Milam. Mr. Norman Eugene Lanford is running for Judge in Youngblood’s place. He was a Judge in Houston. There is story about him in one of the Houston News Paper’s. Just google his name. I talked to him abuou the article. He said, He was letting the DA and Lawyers know they where not going to run his Courtroom. Maybe we need to vote him in. The Attorney that is running for DA, Act’s more like a DA than a Defence Attorney. I asked the Sherriff one day, who was supposed to turn thier County in for coruption, He said the Mayor. We put the current CO. Judge in to stop the Corruption. But as we can see it’s still going on. We need a class action suit. CPS worker’s come from other Co’s to take children and put them on government Doc. that they were taken from other Co’s not Milam. CPS worker’s have lied in that Court room under oath. And get away with it. The Judge that retired did nothing. There is a Case right now, Where CPS took a Mother’s four children because she took a prescription pain medicine that a Dr. gave her. The children were with the grandmother here in Rockdale, but are now in foster care. Untill the Court date in August. People in Milam Co. are afraid to talk, because of retaliation. It’s a small Co.

    • says

      Saw one of Youngblood’s election signs today while driving through that area. Made me think of this case. Praying for Heather daily. Doing what I can to spread the word to people that he’s a snake.

  3. Diane Carter says

    I am a homeschool mother of five and am planning to move to that area (Rockdale/Cameron) this summer. I have already met many local people there and they seem very accepting even encouraging toward our homeschooling. Therefore, this situation has shocked me. I would like to know how I and my family can help this mom. I would definitely like to show up in the courthouse for the trial if someone could let me know when it is. I am also trying to tell people in the community about the situation so they might impact this judge. Thanks for all your efforts to protect our rights to homeschool!

    • says

      We will keep everyone apprised of this case and encourage local home schoolers to attend the trial. We should be careful, however not to seek to influence the judge in his decision as that would be improper and perhaps illegal. It is perfectly appropriate though to talk with people in the community about this situation to make them aware of it.

  4. says

    Can HSLDA get involved? With so many different organizations and situations of need we have to limit our involvement. Plus, with HSLDA involved, there would be much more awareness raised and thus funds coming in to help cover the costs.

    • says

      HSLDA has told me in the past that they do not get involved in these kinds of cases which is all the more reason for THSC to come to the aid of this home school mom.

  5. Wanda says

    What I think that you all need to know that homeschooling is under attack from every angle. I am a homeschooling mom of 12. I have homeschooled my children for over 20 years. My story started 4 1/2 years ago. My husband became bitter over some things that were happening in his life and decided that our family was not so important anymore. He left while I tried to hold everything together, all children home, albeit my oldest was now in college. He was deep in sin and Satan was relentless. In our marriage we did not fight very often but now it became very different. I was living with a man that I did not know. About the time he was leaving he told me that he could take the kids away from me and that he “knew” that he could. I knew exactly what that meant. He knew that that would be the one way he could crush me. As homeschool moms we pour everything into our kids. This poor woman, she is not alone. I know the ultimate betrayal, but my husband decided to stop at that and not pursue this rotten path. When you think your life partner is on the same path and jumps off and turns completely from the path you are trying to steer your children, it hurts. I would love to communicate with her. In the homeschool community we do not feel we fit in anymore, nor in church where all the “perfect” families are, but we don’t fit in in the world either. Justice will be served even if it takes years to see it, and she will not have to do a thing.

    • Pamela says

      I relate all to well to this post. I would like to get Wanda’s contact information. It is also fine for her to be given mine. I will keep both of these mothers in my prayers. Thank you THSC for supporting her.

      • Wanda says

        Pamela, I’m not really sure how we can get each other’s email addresses without making them public.

        • Pamela says

          I did have that same thought yesterday. I emailed my contact info to THSC yesterday with a request. I was hoping they would forward it to you.

  6. Richard Simonson says

    As Heathers’ Dad, I wish to thank Mr. Lambert , THSC, Home School folks and others within the communities across Texas that have been supporting my Daughters efforts in this case.

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