Buffalo CPS Takes Children, Has Mother Arrested for Choosing to Homeschool Them

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A Buffalo, N.Y., mother was arrested and her children placed in foster care after she decided to take them out of a failing elementary school and homeschool them.

Last November, Kiarre Harris decided to remove her children from the Buffalo Public Schools system after witnessing them lag behind their peers. Harris began the process to legally homeschool her children and give them the proper tools to succeed.

In a Monday, Feb. 6, interview with Buffalo’s WKBW 7 Eyewitness News, she told reporters that she filed documents at Buffalo City Hall and informed the district of her intent to homeschool. The documents were dated Dec. 7 and the district confirmed they received her paperwork.

“I felt that the district was failing my children and that’s when I made the decision to homeschool,” she says. “I spoke directly to the homeschool coordinator and she told me from this point on, my children were officially un-enrolled from school.”

The single parent, however, was visited by Child Protective Services a week later asking why her children weren’t in school. “I told them that my kids were homeschooled now and that I could furnish the documents if they need to see them,” she said.

Nearly a month later, Child Protective Services returned with the police demanding that she hand over her children. CPS workers claimed they had an order from a judge to take the children, but when Harris asked to see it, they allegedly refused to hand it over.

So, Harris did not comply and was arrested for obstruction. Harris told reporters that she hasn’t seen her children in three weeks after they were placed into foster care.

“Someone somewhere messed up, and that someone needs to face the music,” Councilman Ulysses O. Wingo Sr. said at a Buffalo Common Council meeting Tuesday, Feb. 7 afternoon.

The Buffalo Public School District says it cannot comment on the case due to federal laws, but it did state that a parent can file for homeschooling if they have full custody of the children. Harris told the outlet she has always had full custody.

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