The Side of the Rembis Family You Probably Didn’t Hear About

Posted in Homeschooling on December 10, 2016 - by

This guest article was written by a survivor of homeschool abuse and a member of Demand Oversight for HomeSchool Now (DOHSN).

A few months ago, the Rembis homeschooling family made headlines when 10 of their 11 children were removed by Child Protection Services. The blogosphere was quick to leap to their defense and paraded the story as “proof” of a government conspiracy to attack homeschooling families and “medical kidnapping.” Many of the headlines claimed the children had been removed simply because they were homeschooled.

Then, just as quickly as the story had arrived it vanished into internet either. It was forgotten. Why?

What was discovered that the blogs didn’t want to cover?

What happened to the Rembis family?

What they didn’t tell you is what people outside the Rembis family and even their own children had reported. They didn’t tell you what was on the CPS report or that the Rembis family had a long history of going to court for accusations of child abuse and neglect over a period of years involving multiple reports in different counties that culminated in their children being removed for the second time.

What the blogosphere neglected to report was that neighbors had seen the Rembis children digging through garbage for food, or that neighbors had reported children screaming almost nightly and drowned out by loud music. They didn’t tell you that the children had no beds when CPS investigated the home or that the medical report found one child had scabies and diagnosed another with failure to thrive and malnutrition.

They failed to mention that the children had already been previously removed and returned with the agreement that the family would participate in “Family Based Safety Services,” and that the family never completed that program. Instead, they moved to a new county where they continued to homeschool.  

Most importantly, what the blogosphere failed to report was the statements made by the Rembis children themselves who reported physical abuse and highly unsanitary conditions such as a dirty birthing pool with placenta left in it for months which the investigators found in the home and confirmed.

There are more cases, more reports that go back years. This was not a child removal based on superficial one time complaints by spiteful neighbors with a hatred of homeschool the way so many blogs have tried to spin it.

The judge has given the parents the opportunity, again, to fix their behavior and get their children back. Contrary to the paranoia the HSLDA is so fond of stoking, permanent removal of children is rare even in cases like the one described above. However, I fully expect the homeschool community to spin the return of the children as a “victory” and “proof” that the accusations were “false.”

As is so often the case, the blogosphere has shown no concern for the truth or the actual homeschooled children and has instead worked hard to spin this story in a way that paints the parents as victims of a government conspiracy large and elaborate enough to rival any X-Files plot. The multiple accounts of neighbors, CPS, and even the Rembis’ own children will mean nothing to the homeschool conspirosphere.

There is a real conspiracy going on here, but it’s a conspiracy to cover up child abuse by radicals in the homeschool community who feel that acknowledging the problem of child abuse in a single homeschooling family will destroy homeschool.

We’ve seen how cover-ups and denialism worked out for the Catholic Church. Do we want to make the same mistake in the homeschool community?

Source: KCBD.com - Details emerge in shocking child neglect case; Judge rules children to stay in CPS custody

How the story has been covered

Health Impact News - Homeschool Texas Family Terrorized by CPS for Speaking Out and For Having Too Many Children at Home

Medical Kidnap - Colorado Police Help Texas CPS Kidnap Rembis Children and Bring Back to Texas – Father Jailed

American Free Press - Christian Homeschooling Parents See Their Kids Retaken by State

Living His Word Ministries - Homeschool Texas Family Terrorized by CPS for Speaking Out and For Having Too Many Children at Home/

Their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/rembisfamily/


Disclaimer: Homeschool Base supports the voice of the entire homeschool community. If you would like your voice heard please contact us via the contribute page. Guest articles are contributed to Homeschool Base in the author's personal capacity. The views expressed are the guest author's and do not necessarily represent the views of Homeschool Base. The referenced children's statements were made to cps agents and reviewed via the sourced articles. Featured Image credit: Facebook.

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5 Responses to “The Side of the Rembis Family You Probably Didn’t Hear About”

  1. William says:

    Is there any proof to what you're saying here? It sounds like you're just repeating the allegations by CPS. You do know that "allegations" are just that, right? I think it's important to note that with all of the "allegations" made against this family, they've never been charged with a crime. Not sure where you get your information that their own kids reported abuse, but I highly doubt it considering that "abuse" was not one of the allegations CPS made against them. They were cleared of everything in their previous case in Texas and all cases in Michigan, so I'm inclined to believe that they are being persecuted by CPS.

    • Terrie says:

      It's very rare for people to be charged with a crime in CPS cases. Criminal charges will generally only be filed in the most egregious cases, where the situation meets grounds for immediate termination of parental rights, without any attempt at reunification. All lack of charges mean is that the issues are things that can, with effort, be corrected; that's a very different thing from no issues.

  2. thanis says:

    I agree with the above comment. For as much as you seem to want to believe that the abuse did occur, literally none of the current claims of abuse or neglect have been substantiated. For as much as you would like to paint HSLDA as the enemy, YOUR "bad" experiences being home schooled cannot be projected onto every other "bad" experience. Listen, I've learned a lot as an adoptive home school mom of four. I've learned that our views are VERY subjective, that perception and reality blur together, yet our egos tend to process perception AS reality. I have struggles with my adoptive children that I have, in the past, dismissed as being "inherited", thinking the struggles were a result of biology and adoption, when in fact, they are the same struggles that many biologically intact families suffer. So, are my children's issues DUE TO being adopted? Um,...yes. And no. It's more likely due to both biology/adoption AND their own natural bents and current upbringing. But I *could* be subjective and simply perceive it as an adoption related problem.
    Whatever your grudge with home schooling might be, it would not be objective to blame your parents, HSLDA, other home school families, etc. And it is ALSO not objective to twist facts in this case on YOUR blog. "What the other blogs won't tell you" is that some former home schoolers, having had a negative experience (abuse, neglect, isolation) or PERCEIVING that they've had a bad experience, often unfairly project that on to ALL home school families, and often accept claims of abuse or neglect against a home school family as fact, without regard to whether those facts have been substantiated or not. In this current case, they have not. Stop perpetuating non-facts. Stop projecting your bitterness about your experiences onto the home schooling community (this family, HSLDA, etc.) Most of us are highly committed, loving, hard working families who have their children's education at the forefront of our efforts. Having also tutored children from the public schools, I can say with some objectivity that "success" doesn't magically happen in the brick and mortor, anymore than failures just "happen" in homeschool.

  3. William says:

    Whoa Nelly, that's not the newest story, this is: http://www.lubbockonline.com/crime-and-courts/news/local-news/2017-08-15/judge-allows-rembis-children-live-parents-while-cps-case.
    CPS dropped the case in October 2017, didn't even go to court. Wasn't reported in the media. I wonder why? Kids have been home for over a year already.

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