UPDATE: The original time listed in this article for the Tutt’s court appearance was listed as 2:00pm. The judge has moved this to 4:30pm.
The growing confrontation between a Dallas home schooling family and CPS officials will be returning to the courtroom on April 30 for a review by Judge Tena Callahan of the 302nd Family District Court in Dallas County.
CPS officials continue to defend their actions in the removal of seven children from a home schooling family in Dallas, whose friends and family claim that CPS provided no basis for the removal and is merely trying to cover the illegal actions of their caseworker. Judge Callahan ruled in January that the removal was not justified but did not allow all the children to be returned to the family and also refused to allow the family to home school the children returned to their custody. The Texas Home School Coalition (THSC), a statewide advocacy group that has been at the forefront of the fight in defense of the Tutts, states this hearing could prove to be a significant turning point in the case, although they do not expect a final order.
THSC recently received a letter from CPS in which that agency claimed they had conducted an investigation of the caseworker assigned to the Tutt case and purportedly found no misconduct.
This report came in spite of the fact that the caseworker testified under oath thatthe conditions of the Tutts’ home provided no reason for concern and that the children were not at immediate risk. She later swore to, signed, and presented an affidavit to the court, stating that an immediate risk did indeed exist, while she also failed to provide any evidence to substantiate that claim. THSC reports that this potential act of perjury, for which the caseworker could be held criminally and civilly liable, has gone entirely unaddressed by CPS.
Additionally, THSC asserts serious concerns regarding the new caseworker assigned to the Tutt family. THSC states that this new caseworker’s lack of competence and CPS’s lack of concern is further called into question by the fact that one of the Tutts’ children, Bailey, is being denied an Adoption Subsidy, despite the fact that the new caseworker was contacted more than a month ago and had promised to resolve the issue.
The Texas Home School Coalition has been in contact with the governor’s office, as well as with members of the Texas House and Texas Senate, requesting a more accountable investigation into this CPS caseworker, a reconsideration of the Tutts’ new caseworker, and a reinstatement of Bailey’s legally required Adoption Subsidy.
The Tutts will appear at the 302nd District Court in Dallas County at the George Allen Courts Building in downtown Dallas at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 30. This will be the Tutts’ third appearance in court since their children were removed by CPS in November of 2013.
For more information about this issue, please contact Jeremy Newman by phone at (205) 378-8214 or by email at Jeremy@THSC.org.