Joe and Nicole Naugler are in Breckenridge County Court this morning after having their 10 children taken away. pic.twitter.com/gD8qxnMbd3
— Jake Boswell (@JakeWBKO) May 11, 2015
By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator
Joe and Nicole Naugler, the off-grid homeschooling family in Kentucky whose 10 children were taken away last week due to allegations of unsafe living conditions and truancy, attended a custody hearing today before a Breckinridge County judge. Kentucky Child Protective Services had placed the 10 children in foster care after the local authorities seized them. The seizure happened after local sheriff Todd Pate showed up at the Nauglers’ homesteading property to serve Joe with a summons for allegedly threatening his neighbor with a firearm. According to an emergency custody affidavit from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the family lives on property with only one makeshift shed and two makeshift tents.
As of 5:45 pm Pacific, the Nauglers have remained silent on their Facebook page as to the results of the hearing. However, local news agencies and a family representative report that the Naugler children will not be returned to their parents this week.
The most dramatic turn of events is that 19-year-old Alex Brow, Joe Naugler’s oldest son who lives out of state, showed up at the courtroom with Sheriff Pate and made a public statement. When Brow was 4 years old, he too was removed from his father’s care. Brow said he fears for the well-being of siblings because he personally experienced significant abuse from his father. According to WLKY, Brow said, “I am very worried about them and I hope that everything that can be done, that was done here, can help them move on and have a better life.” Brow alleged not only physical abuse, but also sexual abuse: “I got all the beatings. I got most of the mental abuse. There was a lot of sexual abuse towards me. We had a very dysfunctional relationship.”
HSLDA, the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, is allegedly assisting the Naugler family. HSLDA attorney TJ Schmidt spoke in defense of the family for a WorldNetDaily article and Michael Farris, Jr., HSLDA’s social media director and son of HSLDA founder Michael Farris, also expressed support.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 12, Joe and Nicole Naugler will return to court to face criminal charges.
- Gary, A Former Off-Grid, Homeschooled Child’s Thoughts on the Naugler Family
- Kathryn Brightbill, Here Are 7 Surprising Things You Need to Know About Joe and Nicole Naugler
- Libby Anne, Technically, Nicole Naugler Is Not a Homeschool Mom
- Kate Corbett Pollack, Christian Patriarchy, Homeschooling, Disability and the Naugler Family of Kentucky
UPDATE, 05/11/2015, 6:12 pm Pacific: Joe Naugler issued a statement via their Facebook page claiming that CHFS “have confirmed, and confirmed again today that our children are happy, healthy and well cared for and that our property is sufficient for their needs.” Joe also said he was “heartbroken” over his oldest son’s testimony. An image of the statement is saved here or you can read the full text below:
We have allowed CHFS to inspect our property and interview our children multiple times. After every visit they have confirmed, and confirmed again today that our children are happy, healthy and well cared for and that our property is sufficient for their needs. Despite that, the judge decided as a result of the deliberations in today’s hearing that our children will remain in CHFS care while they continue their investigation. Alex, my 19-year-old estranged son, testified in today’s hearing. We are both heartbroken with the way Alex’s upbringing away from us and his strained relationship with his mother have affected him. Although we are sad our children will not be returned to us today, we have nothing to hide. We have cooperated with all requests made to us by CHFS and will continue to do so. We are confident that throughout this process Nicole and I will be shown to be the good parents that we are and that our family will be reunited. We thank everyone for all you have done for us and ask for continued prayers for our children. We want all our children to know that we love them and we are constantly with them in our hearts.
UPDATE, 05/12/2015, 1:35 pm Pacific: Joe and Nicole Naugler appeared in court again today (Tuesday) to face criminal charges. They each pleaded not guilty. Additionally, HSLDA today said in a WorldNetDaily article that they are no longer assisting the Naugler family.