Sat, May 16, 2015
Subject; Child Protective Services Seize 10 Kentucky Children
An off-grid homes-schooled family of 12 in rural Kentucky was raided, the mother arrested, and the 10 children seized simply because the government disagrees with their lifestyle and their educational choices, family members and friends say.
Until Wednesday, Joe and Nicole Naugler lived with their 10 kids in a cabin on 26 acres in Breckinridge County, about an hour southwest of Louisville.
“They are an extremely happy family,” family friend Pace Ellsworth told Off The Grid News.
Acting on an anonymous tip about the family’s off-grid lifestyle, sheriff’s officers entered the property and home Wednesday, and even blocked the access road to the family property, the family says. Joe and eight of the children were away, but Nicole – who is five-months pregnant – was home with the two oldest kids. Sheriff deputies then seemingly allowed Nicole and the two children to drive away but they got only a short distance before deputies pulled them over and took the two children away from the mom, who was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. (She says the arrest took place after she did not passively allow deputies to take the children.) Nicole was able to contact her husband and have a brief conversation.
Later, the sheriff ordered Joe to turn over the other children by 10 a.m. or be arrested for felony charges, the family says. He reluctantly complied.
Deputies also threatened to impound the car, although a friend of the family convinced the deputies to allow Joe to have it back.
The family may be off grid, but they aren’t anonymous. In fact, they have Internet, as well as a Facebook page dating back to 2012 where they frequently post pictures and videos of their children, animals and their off-grid life. A May 5 post showed a video of a toddler, Mosiah, learning to walk. An April 24 post showed a happy family, gathering around a campfire, roasting marshmallows.
They also post pictures alluding to their faith. Their Facebook page — which has nearly 2,000 likes — is called “My Blessed Little Homestead.”
Child Protective Services never visited the home, said Ellsworth, who believes the arrests took place because of the parents’ choice of “unschooling” for their children, and because of their simple way of life that some people would call backwards. The family’s Facebook page calls it a “back to basics life.” They have a garden and raise animals. Deputies apparently were concerned about whether the children’s needs were being met, but friends say they personally have no concerns — and that the children are blessed to have Joe and Nicole as their parents.
In unschooling, there is no set curriculum and the education is based on each child’s strength.
“You let your kids decide the curriculum,” Ellsworth told Off The Grid News. “In unschooling, education doesn’t take a backseat. It’s listening to what they’re interested in and fascinated in.”
“It’s the way all children learned before the public education movement,” he said. “Awaken Your Child’s Love Of History And Adventure With A New, Fun Way Of Learning!”
“This is the natural way to live,” he said. “It’s actually a growing movement. They want to have a personal education and not a factory education.”
Ellsworth called it “whole-life homeschooling.”
“They are completely open about their life,” he said. “Everyone is learning by living. They are all extremely intelligent.”
The family will have huge legal bills, and friends have set up a GoFundMe campaign here: http://www.gofundme.com/tz4xng
“They are industrious people trying to teach their children how to live right,” the GoFundMe website said. “Through no fault of their own, they will now be faced with significant legal expenses.”
Tags: child protective services, home schooling, Joe and Nicole Naugler, Joe Naugler, my blessed little homestead, Nicole Naugler, Off the Grid News, Pace Ellsworth, saveOurFamily.info, unschooling, Whole-Lie HomeSchooling