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Kentucky ‘free range’ family loses custody of 10 kids over apparent ‘unschooling’

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A Kentucky “off-grid” family had their 10 children seized this week by authorities, and their supporters say they were targeted “simply because the government disagrees with their lifestyle and their educational choices.”

An anonymous tip sent sheriff’s deputies Wednesday to the 26-acre rural Breckenridge County home of Joe and Nicole Naugler, who document their “back to basics” lifestyle on social media.

They believe the complaint was lodged by an acquaintance who threatened to report the family to Child Protective Services during a Facebook feud with Joe Naugler.

The father was away with eight of the couple’s children when deputies arrived, and Nicole Naugler – who is five months pregnant – tried to drive away with the couple’s two oldest sons, according to a fundraising page set up by the family.

Investigators attempted to question the teens away from their mother, and she was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest when deputies said she interfered.

“I am a free range human, not meant to be caged,” Nicole Naugler said. “But I will stand up for my rights.”

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Authorities ordered Joe Naugler to hand over all the children Thursday morning or face felony charges, and the family believes they were removed due to their “unschooling.”

The Nauglers follow the so-called unschooling method that allows children to learn through natural experiences – including play, household chores, travel, and personal courses of study.

A family friend said that’s the way all children learned before public schooling.

“You let your kids decide the curriculum,” said family friend Pace Ellsworth. “In unschooling, education doesn’t take a backseat. It’s listening to what they’re interested in and fascinated in.”

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Kentucky, like all states, sets minimum standards for child education that all families must follow — even if they are educated at home – and it’s not clear whether the Nauglers met those requirements.

Child abuse or neglect investigations operate in something of a legal gray area, because records are kept sealed to protect the child’s privacy and because their caregivers are frequently the target of authorities.

The investigations can be launched by a single anonymous complaint, and parents are often reluctant to assert their constitutional rights out of fear they could lose their children – even for a day.

Authorities have not commented – and likely will not – on the reasons the children have been removed from the home.

The Nauglers will be told why the children were removed during an upcoming family court hearing, and they will likely be ordered to comply with certain guidelines before the children are returned to their custody.

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‘Fundamentally’ immoral: Federal asylum officers sue Trump administration over immigration policy

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On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services asylum officers are filing suit against the Trump administration, alleging that the president's policy requiring asylum seekers be held in Mexico awaiting their hearing is a risk to their lives.

The officers told a federal court that the policy, which was implemented ostensibly to relieve overcrowding at U.S. detention facilities, is "fundamentally contrary to the moral fabric of our Nation and our international and domestic legal obligations."

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Here’s how Trump’s latest comments dredge up his nasty treatment of John McCain

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Speaking to the Faith and Freedom Coalition on Wednesday, President Donald Trump once again made comments revealing he has little interest in treading sensitively around his feud with the late Sen. John McCain.

He lamented that fact that, during his first two years as president, he struggled to get the votes he wanted for his agenda because he only had 51 (initially 52) Republicans in the Senate.

"And sometimes, you know, they had a little hard time with a couple of them, right?" Trump added, referring to GOP senators who didn't bow to his will. “Fortunately they’re gone now. They have gone on to greener pastures. Or perhaps far-less-green pastures. But they are gone. They are gone ... I’m very happy they are gone.”

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Alabama is prosecuting a pregnant woman for manslaughter for being shot in the stomach — but not her shooter

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On Wednesday, AL.com reported that Marshae Jones, a 27-year-old woman from Birmingham, Alabama, was indicted on manslaughter charges.

Her crime? Allegedly instigating a fight that led to her being shot in the stomach and losing her pregnancy. The woman who actually shot her, on the other hand — 23-year-old Ebony Jemison — is walking free after a grand jury rejected the case against her.

Immediately after the shooting, which allegedly stemmed from a fight over the baby's father and took place outside a Dollar General in Pleasant Grove, in December, prosecutors announced their intention to charge Jones for having a miscarriage.

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