The nation has been following the story of young Drake Pardo, the four year old autistic boy snatched from his parents by Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) on June 20th, without ANY evidence of wrongdoing. The case was taken to the Texas Supreme Court and they made it clear to CPS: Take that child back home to his parents, NOW! The situation was so heinous that some Texas legislators, such as Senator Bob Hall, had intervened.
The Texas Supreme Court declared that CPS had significantly failed to prove that there was, or is any danger to keep Drake from returning home.
The Pardo case has gained media attention due to egregious and repeated violations of the law committed by CPS. After refusing to inform the family of allegations against them, the agency fabricated an emergency to remove the child, ultimately pressuring a judge to grant them temporary conservatorship of Drake at a hearing on July 2. The events have put the homeschool community, the family’s State Senator, and the media in an uproar.
It all started on June 7, 2019 when the Pardo family says a CPS caseworker left a card on their door, but the family claims that CPS never contacted them again, and never communicated with their attorney. So when CPS came knocking unannounced on June 20, they pulled out their phone and started recording.
Drake had been removed on June 20th, and the case went before the District court on July 2nd. The lower court issued a gag order on all parties involved and ruled in favor of CPS. That day created a firestorm in Texas that quickly spread across the nation. State Senator Bob Hall, who had been in the courtroom, said the ruling was “the most egregious display of injustice” that he has seen. Hall said CPS had “zero evidence” in their case against the family.
For a full rundown of the egregious injustice that went down in that courtroom, see this article by The Texan.
THSC also lays out just how insane this has all been:
At a hearing on July 2, approximately 100 homeschoolers arrived to support the Pardos and their attorney as they argued that Drake should be returned home. During the hearing, testimony from CPS and Dr. Dakil of Children’s Medical Center left the audience in shock.
Dr. Dakil admitted on the stand that:
- She had never seen or met with Drake or his parents;
- She had no first-hand knowledge of Drake’s medical conditions;
- The concerns listed in her affidavit were all speculative and she could not confirm them or rule them out without speaking to the parents, a step she had not yet taken;
- Her concerns were not an emergency;
- She had not requested that Drake be removed from his home and only wanted CPS to facilitate a meeting with the family on June 10 to help address her concerns;
- She was surprised when CPS chose to remove Drake from his home;
- Going forward, her concerns could all be alleviated by having a sit-down conversation with the parents to create a treatment plan and having both parents attend future medical visits;
- She was not sure how that would be possible as long as Drake remained in CPS custody as CPS had been given conservatorship of Drake;
The CPS caseworker and her supervisor admitted in testimony that prior to the removal CPS had:
- never seen or talked to
- the child;
- the parents;
- family members;
- any doctors who had first-hand knowledge of Drake’s condition;
- not conducted a background investigation;
- not pursued multiple opportunities to resolve the issue without removal;
- refused to disclose the allegations to the parents or to their lawyer;
- had no firsthand knowledge of any wrongdoing by the parents;
- had intentionally not informed the family of the June 10 meeting requested by Children’s Medical Center.
- decided there was an “emergency” because the family failed to attend the June 10 meeting they were never informed of.
- decided there was an emergency based on the concerns provided by Dr. Dakil, despite Dr. Dakil’s testimony that her concerns were not an emergency.
The June 20 removal was illegal because CPS:
- Refused to state the accusations against the family for nearly two weeks.
- Falsely claimed that there was an immediate danger to Drake in order to get an emergency removal, despite CPS having already delayed for two weeks.
- Failed to make any reasonable efforts to avoid the need for removal, such as conducting interviews with the family or offering alternatives to removing Drake.* These were clear violations of TAC 700.508 and Family Code 262.102.
Insanity folks. This is not over, but the Texas Supreme Court has definitely given CPS the smackdown, and they needed it!