Homeschool mom was charged with “educational neglect”

Feb 10, 2017

A Buffalo woman arrested for failing to send her children to school appeared at a news conference Friday. The woman is accusing the city school district of failing to provide proper notification that her children were being homeschooled. 

“The school called Child Protective Services because they were unaware they were being homeschooled,” said Kiarre Harris.

Kiarre Harris appeared with the DPPC Friday at a news conference to talk about her case.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Harris was arrested and Child Protective Services took her two children. Harris claims she gave the city school district "notice of intent" and believed some paperwork she received allowed her to keep the kids at home. But then CPS notified her that her children would be taken from her custody.

“It was the homeschool coordinator who dropped the ball, Christa Scheiten. She was supposed to inform both of my children's schools that they had been unenrolled and she failed to do that,” stated Harris.

Harris was arrested charged with educational neglect and other charges.

Letter Kiarre Harris received from Buffalo Public Schol District dated December 7, 2016.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

“My children were crying hysterically and I tried to get a minute to say goodbye and they refused to let me. I tried to give my children their hats and gloves, because it was cold outside – they refused to take the children’s hats and gloves. My son has asthma. I tried to give them his asthma pump to take. They refused to take that,” claimed Harris.

The District issued a statement claiming an investigation indicates CPS was called prior to the district receiving her home school request. The District says Harris's claims are “inaccurate." 

"In response to allegations that the Buffalo Public Schools improperly processed home schooling paperwork for a parent, the District asserts that those claims are inaccurate.  After investigation, it is clear that Child Protective Services was contacted prior to the district receiving a Letter of Intent from the parent to home school her children.  The District remains committed to providing necessary supports to parents and children."  

The District Parent Coordinating Council is supporting Harris in her fight.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The District Parent Coordinating Council hosted the news conference with Harris Friday saying they will provide her with support in her fight. 

"Bogus allegations and negligence by officials of the Buffalo Public Schools District has been the precipitating events thrusting this family into legal, emotional and financial crisis," stated the DPPC.    

Harris insist she has done nothing wrong. But Family Court has denied the return of her children. Harris has not seen her children in almost a month. She said she removed her kids from city schools because the system was “failing her children.”