Just a generation ago, the idea, that someone could come to your home and take your children, was simply unheard of. Imagine, officials from the county come to your house, force you outside, and begin to interrogate your children and you. You are not allowed to speak with your kids. Then you are barraged with questions as to the substances you have in your house. It would seem like a nightmare. It would seem like something out of a fiction novel.
It was not a nightmare, nor a fiction novel; it was all too real for one Arkansas family. No, for Hal and Michelle Stanley this was the stealing away of their children. Though they felt and still feel that they have done nothing wrong, they have lost their seven children. These children are now being held by the State.
It all started last month when a DHS worker from Garland County showed up at the house of the homeschool parents. She said that the Department of Human Services received an anonymous complaint concerning the Stanley children. According to the caller, the Stanley children were allowed to go out in the snow barefooted. What the caller considered abuse, the Stanley’s said was a harmless tradition. GOPUSA reports:
Michelle Stanley shared that the debacle began a month before the seizure of her children, which resulted from a complaint made to authorities that she and her husband permitted their children to run around outside in the snow barefoot. She quickly assured the female DHS agent that her children were having harmless fun — a family tradition when it snowed.
“We showed her some of the ‘200 and something’ pair of shoes and told her (actually the kids told her) how it was their preference to go barefoot and that it was like a tradition to briefly run out in the snow barefoot and take a picture of the footprints,” Hal told the DHS worker in their defense.
Then on Jan. 12, a DHS worker and Garland County Sheriff Deputies arrived at the Stanley home. They instructed the parents to step outside in freezing conditions to answer questions. Michelle told WND
“Several people showed up at our door, all obviously here for the investigation, and we welcomed them in,” She recounted. “However, they desired us to step outside in order to speak privately with Hal [her husband] and I, and not in front of the kids.”
They then served a search warrant. They claimed that the Stanleys had been accused of having a poisonous substance and of endangering the children by exposing the children to this substance. The substance in question, you ask? MMS or Miracle Mineral Supplement. MMS is used as a water purifier. But it is also used by the by the Red Cross, according to Health Impact News, to treat Malaria. According to christiannews, the Stanleys used the product to balance the ph levels in their fish tank.
They further report: “Five hours later, after the search concluded—along with an interrogation of the children, officials informed the Stanleys that all seven of their children were being taken into custody.”
And Michelle added: “Six intimidating, brute looking males and one DHS female all lined up in our den to tell us they would be taking our kids into their custody for 72 hours,”
Those three days have yet to end and even after a hearing last week, the children are still not home. A judge ruled last week that there was cause to keep the Stanley children in the custody of the state. But it seems that this cause is not being related to the parents, who claim that the only reason could be the MMS. But the Garland County Sheriff’s Department denies this is the cause.
“There have been a number of reports in various media outlets the decision was made to remove the minor children from the residence based on one contributing factor of chemical known as ‘MMS’ or ‘Miracle Mineral Supplement;’ this is absolutely false,” the department wrote in a statement. “[T]here was a number of different factors and investigators felt they had no choice but to intervene in the best interest of the minor children.”
This is once again an example of the governmental overreach that has plagued our country. It seems likely that if there were blatant and provable abuses, then the officials would tell the parents and charge them. Though we might not agree with all that people do or allow in their home, do we have the right to seize children from their parents?
I say we do not and should not intervene except in cases of physical or sexual abuse. God has set clear and distinct realms of authority. The family, the Church, and the state. None of these realms can infringe or dominate the other. And, in this case, the investigators should have to have proof of endangerment. The accuser should not be allowed to remain anonymous, especially since both claims seem to be unfounded.