Breckinridge, KY — Started reading about this today and it is just appalling. Coming from a few years of “homesteading” experience (homesteading-lite), having a background in natural resources and land management, and being a CASA volunteer, this situation strikes me on so many levels. This is probably the best summary of the REAL issues that can be observed at the Naugler family homestead just by looking at the pics. I’m glad this author chose to focus on the pond because that was one of the first things that stuck out to me as well. The pond is a scummy, open pit sitting just a few hundred yards away from the family’s tent (12 people living in a tent!!). It is clearly a health and safety hazard, but in one interview the mom explains its condition as being “green” due to “letting it go back to nature” or something. Degraded conditions do not spontaneously improve. The ignorance– and I say that honestly, not intending to hurl insults– of this family makes this situation totally unsafe for children. It’s one thing if adults want to live backcountry style in a situation like this (and I wouldn’t mind the camping, minus the poor land stewardship), but it’s another thing entirely to have a very large family with babies and toddlers living like this.
This just hurts my heart… and being supportive of large families, and homeschooling and homesteading and off-the-grid living, I feel in a way sort of responsible to point out why this is so wrong. It’s probably readily apparent to most people. To some, the problems may not be so clear, especially if you generally support some of the marginalized choices this family has made. But this is not ok. It’s just not.
Keeping things neat and tidy on a farm/homestead with kids is not easy and it doesn’t always have to look pretty, but it does have to be safe.
It is not necessarily even about poverty. The family has received tens of thousands of dollars in gifts from people who support and clearly care for them, but so far it is unclear whether that money will actually be used to clean up the property and invest in a real dwelling in order to have their children returned to them.
From the article:
“This has been framed as a “off the grid” issue. It is not. “Off the grid” does not mean, by default: dangerous, filthy, ignorant of basic food preparation and safety, anti Government and anti documentation. “Off the Grid” living can be done safely, cleanly, and in full compliance with all local laws and regulations (in many states). I know. I lived it.
This has been framed as a homeschool issue.
It is not.
Kentucky has very open homeschooling laws. It’s legal. Heck, “un-schooling” is legal there too.
The children were taken because it was unsafe. VERY unsafe, not because they were homeschooled.”
CC image courtesy of Flickr, Paul Jerry.
The following post is written by Gary. The author’s name has been changed to ensure anonymity. “Gary” is a pseudonym. Also by Gary on HA: “The Deep Drone of Unseen Cicadas” and “Hurts Me More Than You: Gary’s Story”.
To begin with I would like to state several things.
1. I do not know the Naugler family. I have never met them. All of the following observations are based solely from the information this family posted, publicly, on their blog and public Facebook page.
2. Much of the “information” being spread about the internet in regards to this family is clearly, factually incorrect. This can be seen through simple observation of posts on the family’s public Facebook page and blog.
Most of the information people are referencing is based only from the first few photos and/or posts on the family’s blog and Facebook page. For instance, the cover photo…
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