7 Children Kidnapped by State of Arkansas from Homeschool Family to Remain in State Custody

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FA Note: Minor chil­dren, under nat­ur­al law, are right­ful­ly the prop­er­ty of their par­ents, who bear respon­si­bil­i­ty for them. If peo­ple do not have prop­er­ty rights they become prop­er­ty, and lib­er­ty is impossible.

Hal Stanley with his daughter during a supervised visit with their children after they were removed by force from their home.

Hal Stan­ley with his daugh­ter dur­ing a super­vised vis­it with their chil­dren after they were removed by force from their home.

Attorney Emord States that Arkansas Seizure of Stanley Kids is an Extraordinary Abuse of State Power

It will be at least “6 more weeks of kid­nap­ping” for the 7 home­schooled, home­birthed Stan­ley chil­dren, accord­ing to their father. Hal and Michelle Stan­ley were giv­en no warn­ing that their court hear­ing sched­uled for Feb­ru­ary 12 would be abrupt­ly post­poned until March 23. They say they were not giv­en any expla­na­tion as to why the hear­ing was postponed.

They had been under the impres­sion that their chil­dren would be com­ing home after the hear­ing, and had held onto the hope that the crazy sit­u­a­tion would be resolved, and their fam­i­ly would be reunit­ed. The pain in their voic­es was pal­pa­ble as they expressed their dis­ap­point­ment and grief over the postponement.

The father explains to Health Impact News that they are only allowed to vis­it with their chil­dren a few hours a week, under strict super­vi­sion. There has to be two observers, and if they talk about things they are not sup­posed to dis­cuss with their chil­dren, the vis­it is cut short. As a con­di­tion to these super­vised vis­its, Hal and Michelle must attend “par­ent­ing class­es,” even though they have home­schooled their chil­dren for many years. Hal Stan­ley is also a 73 year old ordained South­ern Bap­tist Minister.

Full Tactical Team Showed up to Remove Their Children


Chick­en and sausage gum­bo was sim­mer­ing on the stove, and com­pa­ny was expect­ed on the evening of Jan­u­ary 12. Instead of wel­come guests, a full tac­ti­cal team sur­round­ed the Stan­ley home.

Gar­land Coun­ty Sheriff’s Deputies and DPS entered their home, demand­ing that Hal and Michelle wait out­side in the cold while they searched the house and talked to the chil­dren. There were report­ed­ly at least 30 peo­ple, includ­ing a SWAT team, Arkansas State Troop­ers, a coro­ner, a doc­tor, a dozen cars, a med­ical van, and a sniper in a ditch alleged­ly aim­ing at the par­ents on the front porch.


Neigh­bors have ques­tioned the need for such an exces­sive show of force for a 73 year old man and a mama whose pri­ma­ry con­cern is the well-being of their children.

The search war­rant was for a water puri­fi­er prod­uct known as MMS, a sub­stance which is not approved by the FDA for health claims. It is not ille­gal to pos­sess, how­ev­er, and may read­i­ly be obtained online legal­ly. Hal Stan­ley reports that he uses it for his gar­den, where he rais­es much of the family’s food. He also reports that, if they had sim­ply asked for it, he would have giv­en it to them and avoid­ed much pain.

There was no indi­ca­tion that the chil­dren were going to be removed until near the end of the 5‑hour ordeal. By then, it was after 9 pm, yet the chil­dren were alleged­ly not even per­mit­ted to eat their sup­per before being hauled away from their home. They were told to pack 2 days worth of clothes. But the par­ents were not per­mit­ted to help the lit­tle ones pack.


It was sup­pos­ed­ly a 72 hour removal. For chil­dren as young as 4 years of age who had nev­er spent even one night away from home, the idea was ter­ri­fy­ing. There were tears all around, while author­i­ties hur­ried them out of the house. It was only lat­er that some­one got them some­thing to eat.

Empty House with no Children is now “Too Quiet”

The house is eeri­ly qui­et now for the cou­ple who has been accus­tomed to the noise and busy­ness of lots of chil­dren sur­round­ing them. On the night the chil­dren were tak­en, there was all the con­fu­sion and emo­tion of the police tak­ing the chil­dren away, then:

Five min­utes lat­er, we didn’t have any chil­dren. And we still don’t have any children.”

Under Attack for Their Way of Life?

They feel as though they are under attack for their way of life, at the core of which is their Chris­t­ian faith. Their faith has led them to a lifestyle of home­school­ing their chil­dren, who were all born at home, and sus­tain­able gar­den­ing, pro­vid­ing for their fam­i­ly a home that is full of love but not materialism.

Accord­ing to Evan Soule, “Hal and Michelle are poor finan­cial­ly but very rich in spir­it and love.”

Stanley children hugging on their dad

In such an envi­ron­ment, as well as in many nor­mal, lov­ing fam­i­lies, chil­dren do not always get their way. Just as some kids in pub­lic school beg their par­ents to let them home­school, a cou­ple of the Stan­leys’ old­er chil­dren alleged­ly want­ed to go to pub­lic school.

Accord­ing to a let­ter from a friend of the fam­i­ly that was sent to Health Impact News, one of the teens cre­at­ed accu­sa­tions that were report­ed to author­i­ties in a cre­ative, yet ill-con­sid­ered attempt to be able to attend pub­lic school, not con­sid­er­ing the impli­ca­tions that could dev­as­tate younger siblings.

Anoth­er friend of the fam­i­ly post­ed on the Face­book sup­port page Bringth­es­tanleykid­shome that the Stan­ley kids have nev­er shown any signs of being abused.

I have seen first hand the kids who need help who have been abused and neglect­ed (because I grew up in the fos­ter care sys­tem). The Stan­leys are not like these kids. They were hap­py, joy­ful kids. They knew no fear, they were hap­py to talk and vis­it with any­one, smart, well edu­cat­ed, clean, healthy, nev­er sick, love their par­ents, always smil­ing. It was said best by some­one who has seen them, since they were tak­en: the smil­ing Stan­leys smiles are fad­ing. You tell me, is this right or just?”

There have been no charges filed against Hal or Michelle Stan­ley. Even when the chil­dren were being removed, the DHS work­ers report­ed­ly remarked that there was no rea­son to take the chil­dren out of the home. When Mr. Stan­ley asked who actu­al­ly made the deci­sion to take their kids, Gar­land Coun­ty Deputy Mike Wright alleged­ly replied, “I did, and I am proud of it.”

How to Destroy a Family


Now the close-knit fam­i­ly is only allowed a few hours per week togeth­er, under strict guide­lines as to what may or may not be said in the pres­ence of their chil­dren. At one vis­it, Hal says their 4 year old asked:

Dad­dy, can you come spend the night with me in my new house?,” while refer­ring to his fos­ter guardian as “dad.”

The children’s lives have been turned upside down, over a claim that the par­ents say was eas­i­ly dis­missed as invalid, with no evi­dence of abuse or neglect. They have been placed in pub­lic school, where their par­ents are con­cerned that they may not be pre­pared. They alleged­ly have been seen wear­ing cloth­ing that doesn’t fit, and shoes that are worn out. Their diet has changed and they no longer are eat­ing their most­ly organ­ic, health-based diet. They have nev­er need­ed to see a doc­tor before for ill­ness, because they have always been very healthy.

The Stan­ley par­ents have always been able to be there for their kids as their pro­tec­tor, and now the state has tak­en that away from them. They are upset, and feel help­less to take care of their fam­i­ly right now, but they are more angry at the bro­ken sys­tem than at any one per­son. Hal tells us that “there are good peo­ple bend­ing over back­wards to help our kids, but the sys­tem is bro­ken.” They were “basi­cal­ly treat­ed like crim­i­nals run­ning a meth lab” because of the (not ille­gal or banned) sub­stance MMS.

Why are These Children Being Kept Away from Their Parents?


They don’t under­stand why they are being treat­ed like this, and want to know how this kind of injus­tice can hap­pen. Michelle has ded­i­cat­ed her life to serv­ing her fam­i­ly, mak­ing choic­es that she has believed were in the best inter­est of her family.

You can’t imag­ine the hor­ror of it,” says Hal, who has served his coun­try in the mil­i­tary from 1960 – 1963. He is appalled at the way the rights that he took an oath to uphold have been com­plete­ly tram­pled, as well as a num­ber of Con­sti­tu­tion­al rights.

MMS has not been men­tioned by the author­i­ties in recent weeks, lead­ing some sup­port­ers to ques­tion what the real motive behind the “kid­nap­ping” is. To some, it appears that the sheriff’s depart­ment has tak­en the kids first on alleged­ly false premis­es of the home being unsafe, then try­ing to fig­ure out how to build a case after­wards, fish­ing for dirt on the Stan­leys. The chil­dren were all found to be in excel­lent health when the doc­tors checked them, and to date, no one has pre­sent­ed any evi­dence of abuse or neglect.

So why aren’t the Stan­ley kids home, sup­port­ers want to know.

It will be at least 6 more weeks until this ordeal has the pos­si­bil­i­ty of end­ing, 6 weeks with­out hold­ing their chil­dren, or being there to com­fort them when they are hurt­ing. Hal Stan­ley has no inten­tion of just wait­ing to see what hap­pens. He wants to learn as much as he can about how to fight back, because he and Michelle have made it clear that they are nev­er giv­ing up on their children.

Supporters Are Asking for Your Help

Friends of the Stan­leys sup­port­ing them are request­ing you con­tact the fol­low­ing people:

Please con­tact every­one you can about this ongo­ing, mas­sive injus­tice against two Amer­i­can par­ents and their chil­dren: friends, busi­ness asso­ciates, media, gov­ern­ment offi­cials at all lev­els —from the Gov­er­nor of Arkansas to Arkansas State Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and Sen­a­tors to DHS to the Juve­nile Court of Gar­land Coun­ty, Arkansas. This is Amer­i­ca and We the Peo­ple have to stick together!

The DHS address is: 115 Stover Ln. Hot Springs, Ar. 71913
Call DHS: 501–321-2583

Gar­land Coun­ty Sheriff’s Depart­ment at 501–622-3690 or email Sher­iff Mike McCormick direct­ly at mmccormick@garlandcounty.org.

The above link will allow you to send an email direct­ly to the governor’s office.
JOHN VINES In Ses­sion Phone: 501–682-6211
Out of Ses­sion Phone: 501–682-7771
TWITTER: @ArkansasHouse