Kentucky takes ten children from their parents after learning the kids were being raised in an “off-the-grid” lifestyle. The kids were taken from their family home in rural Kentucky by State officials due to a tip that they were living in unfit conditions. The father, Joe Naugler, was taken into custody and charged with “menacing”, a misdemeanor. The children’s mother, Nicole Naugler, who is five months pregnant with the couple’s eleventh child was reportedly slammed against the police car, belly first, when she tried to stop Sheriff Todd Pate and his deputy from taking two of the children. Nicole’s bruises to both arms are shown in photos on the family’s Facebook page.
The Nauglers have a 26-acre homestead, have been married 20 years, and state that all of their children are happy and well adjusted. They have been raising their children in a natural lifestyle and homeschooling them. The family regularly document their off-the-grid homestead life on their Facebook page. The two children who were with their mother were taken immediately. Their mother was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest when trying to protect her children from being taken.
Joe Naugler was released and told by police to have his remaining eight children turned in to authorities by 10 a.m. the next day, Thursday. He complied with the order. Mrs. Naugler’s bail was submitted and she was released.
Child welfare agents are investigating allegations of child endangerment and of the report of unfit living conditions; however, a neighbor, Pace Ellsworth has affirmed that the family and children were happy. He said living off-the-grid meant “solar panels, and having more freedom”. Although the Naugler’s small cabin has no modern plumbing, they use an outhouse and have a working septic system. They cook on a wood stove and grow vegetables in their own garden. They are allowed to hunt on their property, so they also have meat. Even though they choose a simple lifestyle for them and their children, they have access to Facebook and the internet and are not without connections to the outside world. Mr. Ellsworth said, “They take care of their waste in a sanitary way, they use compost and handle things in a way that is good and proper.”
County investigators have already signed off on the sanitary system. The only complaint that the investigators had was about a pile of garbage that was a little too accessible to the children. All other complaints about unfit conditions were reviewed and dismissed.
Most comments on the Naugler’s Facebook page are positive about the choices the family has made. One commenter, Richard Martin, stated, “If your family is healthy and happy….I applaud you.”
The children are now in CPS custody (Child Protective Services), with four families in four separate counties, and they were supposed to have arranged a phone so the kids could speak with their parents, which had not happened as of this writing. Child Protective Services (Kentucky Cabinet For Health And Family Services) has not returned our request for additional information or CPS statement about the case.
As the story unfolded, the Brekenridge County Sheriff’s Department received many phone calls from upset neighbors, as the county has many Amish families who also home school and live a simple lifestyle, but we are told the Sheriff was “not available” to respond to those calls.
Joe Naugler has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for their legal expenses. It had raised $23,515 by 7 p.m. Friday (update 5/12/15 $43,121).
The Nauglers will be in court this week to plead for their children and receive an update on the reasoning for the child removal. A child custody hearing has been set for Monday, according to attorney T.J. Schmidt with the Home School Legal Defense Association. Mr. Schmidt told World News Daily that the sheriff was recorded as saying he felt there was “nothing to this”! According to authorities, Mr. & Mrs. Naugler still face criminal charges.
My question now is….how is it that Kentucky takes ten children from their parents without ample reason or evidence that the children were in any danger and why haven’t authorities offered a reasonable explanation?CLICK HERE To See The Update On This Story – Posted 5/12/15