Single mother Kiarre Harris was arrested for choosing to homeschool her children. She says her two elementary school aged children weren’t excelling at their failing Buffalo Public Schools. “I felt that the district was failing my children and that’s when I made the decision to homeschool,” she said.
Kiarre Harris, a single mom in Buffalo, NY realized her school district was failing to properly educate her two elementary age children. So she filed the necessary paperwork to formally remove her kids from public school and begin the process of homeschooling them herself.
Ms. Harris says she went to city hall and picked up the paperwork she needed. She showed her local news station, 7 Eyewitness News, her paperwork that the school district acknowledged it had received. Harris told the news station, “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 about one week later, she received a phone call from Child Protective Services (CPS) inquiring why her kids weren’t attending school. Harris stated, “I told them [CPS] that my kids were homeschooled now and that I could furnish the documents if they need to see them.”
After speaking with CPS, Harris assumed everything was now sorted out and continued on with teaching her kids at home. But after a month passed, she was accosted by CPS and the Buffalo police department with an order to remove her kids from her custody. Harris refused to allow them to take her children and she was arrested for obstructing a court order.
Her kids were placed into foster care and Harris hasn’t been able to see them for over three weeks now. The Buffalo Public School District has tried to justify their actions by claiming Harris wasn’t able to remove her kids from school because she doesn’t have full legal custody of her children. She countered their claim by stating she’s always been a single parent and therefore she does have full custody of her kids.
A local Buffalo councilman, Ulysses O. Wingo Sr., has weighed in on the matter and said it’s “utterly unacceptable” that Harris was arrested for “educational neglect” because she complied with everything that was required of her.