A Brief Word of Caution Regarding Joe and Nicole Naugler, The “Off-Grid” Homeschooling Family

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 11.28.33 AM

By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator

Have you seen the article going around entitled, “BREAKING: Police Seize 10 Children From Homeschool Family Because They’re Off-Grid”? The one about the “off-grid” homeschoolers, Joe and Nicole Naugler, whose children were allegedly stolen because of the family’s off-grid lifestyle? (Karen Campbell’s Relationship Homeschooling​ and HSLDA’s ParentalRights.org​ shared it today.)

Please know that there is so much more to know about the Nauglers than meets the eye in this case: allegations of theft, illegal transportation, fleeing the law, threatening neighbors with death, child neglect, and more. Homeschoolers and unschoolers that actually know the family are cautioning people that this family is troubled. HA blog partner Kathryn Brightbill is working on a summary of the situation that we will crosspost and share once it is complete. (It is complete! Read it here.) In the mean time, please exercise caution (and encourage your friends on social media to do so as well) before promoting their story and/or giving them money.

Update, 05/08/2015, 2:41 pm Pacific: The following image was shared by the family’s mother, Nicole Naugler, on Facebook. Nicole described it as the intake call against them:

10417585_10207024422955024_7297186380181231541_nFurthermore, Nicole has revealed that her children do not have identification documents:

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 3.00.51 PM

This can lead to situations of identification abuse, as we have documented in our 2015 Survey of Identification Abuse Within Homeschooling and seen in the stories of Alecia Pennington, Cynthia Jeub, and Eleanor Skelton.

Update, 05/08/2015, 5:23 pm Pacific: Kathryn Brightbill has finished her excellent synopsis of what’s going with Joe and Nicole Naugler. The situation is highly complicated and, as Kathryn points out, “What these things do demonstrate, at the very least, is that this family desperately needs help and they ought not be lifted up by homeschoolers as martyrs for the movement.” Read Kathryn’s synopsis here.

216 thoughts on “A Brief Word of Caution Regarding Joe and Nicole Naugler, The “Off-Grid” Homeschooling Family

  1. Michelle July 17, 2015 / 6:54 am

    Now that the parents have regained physical custody of their 10 children, has anyone’s opinions evolved regarding this case? Why have there been no charges in the alleged abuse of Alex? It is my understanding that there is no statute of limitation in cases of childhood abuse. Has it been deemed unsubstantiated by law enforcement?


      • Lee July 20, 2015 / 9:45 pm

        I wish I could edit rather than having to post a new reply!

        Alex was born in November 1996 and he returned to NH in August 2001 (per Nicole’s blog). So at 5, almost 6 yo, whatever Joe’s extended family observed was enough to trigger alarm.

        I don’t when Joe’s parental rights were terminated (2001? 2002? later?).

        Alex graduated high school in 2013 and he was beaming in the photo I stumbled across. I hope that he has more sunny days than not.


    • Lee July 20, 2015 / 9:07 pm

      Alex has the option to bring charges against Mr. Naugler for quite a number of years to come, if he wishes to do so.

      “3. New Hampshire—six years, but for victims under age 18, a prosecution can occur at anytime within 22 years of the victim’s 18th birthday;”

      “Why have there been no charges in the alleged abuse of Alex?”

      It occurred many years ago and while those charges were brought up at the time, they may not have been why Joe’s parental rights were terminated. He may have lost those due to any number of other issues (neglect, physical abuse [but not sexual], abandonment, etc.).

      http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XII/170-C/170-C-5.htm (emphasis on section V)


      • Michelle July 20, 2015 / 11:56 pm

        Thanks Lee. Would it not be prosecuted in TX – I think that is where Joe would have been living at the time of the alleged abuse? I am just wanting to clarify jurisdiction.


      • Lee August 8, 2015 / 2:09 pm

        @Michelle – I don’t know which jurisdiction it would fall under. I think you’re correct, it probably would have to be heard in Texas, in which case Alex may not be able to file.


  2. George February 16, 2016 / 5:13 am

    In order for NH to have terminated parental rights on Alex they would have to had jurisdiction. The state in which the child lived for the past 6 consecutive months has that jurisdiction. If they were in Texas, or Maine or any state other than NH for 6 consecutive months that state would have had jurisdiction. This jurisdiction must be stablished before a case may come before the court. There is, and always has been, more to this than reported by the stepmother in the blog. Child abuse could have happened in any, all, or none of the states. Any state where a child abuse act has happened will have criminal jurisdiction over the criminal act within it’s state. The fact that no charges were filed anywhere is meaningless except as to whether charges were filed, not necessarily indicative of child abuse.


    • Lee February 17, 2016 / 6:57 am

      Thanks for the explanation, George.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s