The home school mother who had her children taken from her last week as the result of District Judge John Youngblood’s ruling in a custody case was back in court in Cameron yesterday. She has moved from New Braunfels back to Rockdale, in Milam County, in an effort to have more time with her children under the temporary orders set by Judge Youngblood in the case.
The hearing yesterday was an opportunity to allow the judge to move away from his earlier ruling to place the children with the paternal grandparents while the father travels extensively (two to three weeks per month). If the judge allows the mother to have “right of first refusal,” the father would be required when he is out of town to allow the mother to have the children rather than placing them with the grandparents as the judge earlier ruled.
Yesterday the father did not attend the hearing, as he was traveling, but the judge set a hearing for Monday, March 26, to review the request of the mother’s attorneys. According to the home school supporters who were present, the judge seemed less dismissive and more balanced in his demeanor toward the mother and her legal counsel. In fact, the judge commented that the mother’s move back to the county changed the dynamics of the case. He recommended that the parents seek mediation, and he allowed the mother to see her children that evening.
The judge also affirmed the date set for the jury trial in May, in spite of efforts by the father’s legal counsel to drag this case out. It is clear that this judge is feeling the heat of public opinion, as we were told that the local community and attorneys in Cameron and in Milam County are asking him about this case. He seems to be trying to find a way to extricate himself from his earlier ruling favoring the grandparents. This case has the potential to be a real problem for his reelection efforts this November.
The mother told me this morning that she is very grateful for the support she is receiving from the home school community and the local community in Rockdale. Please continue to pray for this mother and for her attorneys as they move forward in asking the judge to give her expanded visitation with her children, right of first refusal when the father travels, and for temporary spousal support.
Please also continue to pass this information on to those whom you know who live in Milam County. We must keep the public focus on this case, and ultimately on a jury trial in May, so that this judge will be taken out of the loop and citizens of Milam County will have a chance to return the children to their gracious, godly mother. As we saw in a similar case in Tarrant County last year, a jury is often the only solution to justice when dealing with biased judges.