Back in early February, two elementary school aged children in New York were snatched by the government because their mother dared to opt to homeschool them.
Last November, Kiarre Harris withdrew her children from school because she felt they deserved a better education than the system could provide.
“I felt that the district was failing my children and that’s when I made the decision to homeschool,” she told WKBW.
As we reported in February:
Harris followed the school system’s procedure for withdrawing her children. She filed documents at Buffalo City Hall, and she has proof that the district received her paperwork on December 7, 2016.
“I spoke directly to the homeschool coordinator and she told me from this point on my children were officially un-enrolled from school,” she said.
But a week later, Child Protective Services called Harris to find out why her kids 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,” Harris said.
Unfortunately, Harris’s ordeal did not end there. A few weeks later, CPS workers and police showed up with bad news: they had a court order to take her children. When she refused to cooperate, she was arrested for obstruction.
CPS took Harris’s children, and they were placed in foster care.
She is finally getting them back, but naturally the system had to get one last act of aggression in before closing her case.
Harris and one of her supporters, Demone Henderson, were arrested after a scuffle with police.
Director of Public Information with New York State Courts Lucian Chalfen told WKBW that Henderson was passing out a t-shirts reading “Hands off Harris Children” outside the courtroom. Officers realized Henderson had an outstanding Family Court warrant and was placed under arrested. Chalfen says when he resisted he was pepper sprayed.
“All of a sudden this door cracked open and we saw this gentleman being severely assaulted by officers,” said Harris supporter Duncan Kirkwood.
During the struggle between Henderson and police, Harris allegedly put her hands on a court officer. Henderson has been charged with obstruction of government administration while Harris is facing the same charge.
“I guess they were saying she put her hand out to stop another officer from jumping in and beating up her friend, that’s the most of what she could have possibly done in that instance,” said Matt Alberts, the attorney representing Kiarre Harris.
Despite the events outside of the courtroom, Alberts said Harris will regain custody of her children after two supervised and two unsupervised visits.
Unfortunately, Harris will not be the last parent to face government opposition to taking her children out of their indoctrination centers. However, her victory in court provides a glimmer of hope for parents facing the same battle.