On November 21st 2013, the seven children of Trevor and Christina Tutt were seized by government officials. The Texan family has ministered to children for years, rearing several biological children, providing foster care for others, and adopting several more. The Tutts homeschool, and “feel called to adopt and raise children from difficult backgrounds in a healthy Christian home,” reports Christian News Network. The seizure of their children came about after a local police officer found that the Tutt’s four year old with autism had wandered a short distance away from the house. Even though Trevor Tutt was found to be nearby, searching for the child, the incident was reported to Child Protective Services – who, after an initial investigation, found no cause for alarm or intervention. Reportedly, local government officials were still displeased with the Tutt family, particularly with their homeschooling, which led to the seizure of the children.
In January, four of the seven children were returned to the Tutts, with the ruling that they attend public school. The Tutts continue to battle with the state to have their remaining children returned to them. Tim Lambert of the Texas Home School Coalition writes of the case:
“Parents all over Texas are asking, ‘How can this happen?’ Children are removed from a home for a reason that the judge acknowledges is not justified, but in spite of that the court remains involved in this family’s life, refusing to allow a child to be reunited with her siblings and the parents who are in the process of adopting her. The adopted children, whom everyone acknowledges come from troubled backgrounds, are behind grade level, a fact that CPS would normally acknowledge. But in this situation, because the family teaches the children at home, the children are required to perform the same as their peers from different backgrounds? It is obvious that the Tutt family is being singled out because they home school. There is no doubt that if these children were in a traditional school, their limitations would be acknowledged and the family would be treated differently by this court.”
THSC representatives plan to request a transcript of Tutt family court hearing from January 7th, although the D.A. has filed a motion that would prevent it. To follow this developing story, check in regularly with the Texas Home School Coalition’s updates on the Tutt Family.