January 8, 2008
PARENTAL RIGHTS ATTACKED IN SWAT TEAM ASSAULT
Colorado parents Tom and Tina Shiflett were shocked to face a SWAT team invasion of their home after their son was involved in a minor accident. The parents had chosen to monitor their son themselves rather than taking him to the hospital after the injury occurred.
Eleven-year-old John Shiflett was injured when he grabbed the door handle on a car as his older sister was starting to drive away slowly. When the child hit his head his father immediately brought him to the house. Tom, who served with paramedics in Vietnam, checked his son for any broken bones or signs of danger such as dilated eyes. Seeing that their son was capable of spelling words and even reciting entire Bible verses, and had no symptoms of serious injury, Tom and Tina decided to keep him at home and let him rest while monitoring him closely.
HARASSED BY AUTHORITIES
A neighbor, however, who was alarmed at observing the accident, called an ambulance to the home. When the Westcare Ambulance and paramedics showed up at the door, both parents consented to the examination of their son. While the paramedics were not able to find any significant issues, they still wanted to take the boy to the hospital for an examination-to which Tom and Tina objected. Feeling certain their son was fine, and not wishing to incur the hospital costs, they elected not to send John to the hospital.
The ambulance crew became irate at the family for refusing to allow them to take the 11-year-old to the hospital. Their attempts at calling police to report the family failed, as the police informed them that it was the parents' decision. The crew then resorted to calling the sheriff's office, which responded to the home and saw that the child was being adequately cared for.
Tom and Tina were shocked, however, when the following day social workers showed up on their doorstep, demanding to interview 11-year-old John privately. Tom and Tina had to get their son out of the bath to bring him to the front porch where the social workers could see him.
SWAT TEAM INVASION
The most appalling segment of the Shiflett family ordeal occurred when an armed SWAT team attacked the home later that afternoon, entering with guns and seizing 11-year-old John at gunpoint. One official pointed a gun straight in the face of Tom's 20-year-old daughter.
The horrifying experience led to John's forced examination by a physician--who pronounced him fine.
While the Shiflett family is currently pursuing legal action after the terrible assault on their family, their story remains a symbol of the disturbing attack on parental rights within our nation. "I don't know where social services ever got started, or where they got their authority," Tom said, "But I want to know why we have something in this country that violates our rights, that takes a parental right away."
Today, more than ever before, we must be actively engaged in protecting and preserving the right of parents to make crucial decisions for their children-because no government entity can replace the role of a parent in a child's life. Please join with us by encouraging your friends to get involved in the battle to protect parental rights. Please forward this email to your friends, and encourage them to join the campaign today at www.parentalrights.org/petition.
SWAT officers invade home, take 11-year-old at gunpoint