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Mother claims her arrest, children taken away because of lost paperwork


The Buffalo Public Schools system is looking into a claim that a Buffalo mom lost custody of her two children because of paperwork lost in City Hall.

The claim from Kiarre Harris is that she was arrested and her children were taken away by Child Protective Services for persistent educational neglect, that is, her children were not going to school.

Her answer? Of course they weren't.

She had filed the paperwork to homeschool the children and that paperwork package apparently was lost. When police and CPS arrived at her home, she was arrested and her children put into foster care.

Harris described her arrest on Facebook in strong language and epithets about police.

"They demanded to know where my children were because they wanted to remove the children from my custody," she posted. "So they said, either you tell us where your children are because we're kidnapping your children, basically, so either let us kidnap your children or we're taking you to jail. So you already know how that went down."

The situation drew a blast from University District Common Councilmember Ulysees Wingo, who said the incident will be thoroughly examined at an Education Committee meeting on February 16. Wingo wants the children sent home.

"Call on the Family Court to release those children back to her mother, seeing as though this is just something that's procedural," Wingo said. "It's not as though it's the mother was doing something that was detrimental to these children's wellbeing. This was a paperwork issue. This was procedural. I'm calling on the Family Court to release these children back to their mother, immediately."

State law sets specific rules for homeschooling and Harris said she followed the rules.

There have been past problems with the school system over homeschooled students. BPS Intergovernmental Affairs Chief Will Keresztes said he was told of the claim only Monday and it was being investigated.