SIGN THE PETITION AT: (from an article on WorldNet Daily by Brian Fitzpatrick): "Army Major John Jackson and his wife Carolyn, devout Christian homeschoolers with a history of serving as adoptive and foster parents, had their five children taken away in April 2010 by the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services – and despite the collapse of the evidence against the Jacksons, DYFS hasn't returned the children to their parents. During the course of a nine-month legal battle to regain custody of their... (from an article on WorldNet Daily by Brian Fitzpatrick): "Army Major John Jackson and his wife Carolyn, devout Christian homeschoolers with a history of serving as adoptive and foster parents, had their five children taken away in April 2010 by the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services – and despite the collapse of the evidence against the Jacksons, DYFS hasn't returned the children to their parents. During the course of a nine-month legal battle to regain custody of their children, the Jacksons say they have encountered prejudice against their religion and homeschooling as they fight a state agency determined to see the children adopted by strangers no matter what the evidence says." Now the statutory time period has come in which the DYFS will begin to terminate the Jacksons' parental rights. We must act NOW to ensure their return.
(from an article on WorldNet Daily by Brian Fitzpatrick): "Army Major John Jackson and his wife Carolyn, devout Christian homeschoolers with a history of serving as adoptive and foster parents, had their five children taken away in April 2010 by the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services – and despite the collapse of the evidence against the Jacksons, DYFS hasn't returned the children to their parents. During the course of a nine-month legal battle to regain custody of their...
(from an article on WorldNet Daily by Brian Fitzpatrick):
"Army Major John Jackson and his wife Carolyn, devout Christian homeschoolers with a history of serving as adoptive and foster parents, had their five children taken away in April 2010 by the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services – and despite the collapse of the evidence against the Jacksons, DYFS hasn't returned the children to their parents.
During the course of a nine-month legal battle to regain custody of their children, the Jacksons say they have encountered prejudice against their religion and homeschooling as they fight a state agency determined to see the children adopted by strangers no matter what the evidence says."
Now the statutory time period has come in which the DYFS will begin to terminate the Jacksons' parental rights. We must act NOW to ensure their return.
To all of our prayer partners. Thank you all for your prayers and support. We petition your prayers while we remain engaged in this court battle. We have been told that it will take at least six more court dates to resolve the fact-finding, which extends the case out to late March. There were only two dates available for us in February. This is disheartening for us, because we were informed to be prepared for NJ DYFS to recommend at the 10 month mark (February) that our children be placed for adoption, and that reunification is not possible with our family.
At the 12 month mark, the Adoption Safe Families Act, allows for our children to be placed for adoption because they have been in foster care for 12 months regardless of if they were abused or not. We will continue to petition the Almighty to intervene for the sake of our children and family. We shall overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
Articles that brought attention to the situation are below.
Major John Jackson like most other soldiers has missed many Christmases, birthdays and Holidays with his family. But, he never thought he would be forced to endure Christmas without his children while his wife sat alone at home and his children were separated into 3 different homes. A nightmare that a seasoned war veteran never envisioned that not only threatens his family, but has put into motion the permanent destruction of his family.
Major Jackson is a passionate husband and family man who is a devout Christian and a patriotic American. Still on active duty, he understands the risks and the sacrifices that he has committed to each day when he dons his uniform to uphold the US Constitution. As a decorated Major in the US Army, he has acknowledged his willingness to give up his life in defense of all Americans. He is stunned and in complete disbelief that a system exists in the United States of America that he claims has “stripped him of both Constitutional and Civil Rights”.
Beginning 267 days ago in April of 2010, the State made a preliminary determination to seize Major Jackson’s five children from his home and place them into a foster system. The reasons for the initial seizure have been completely discounted as errors made by DYFS in this case. On April 16, 2010, DYFS was notified by a social worker that Major Jackson’s daughter was in the hospital for high sodium secondary to dehydration due to fever. Unknown to Major Jackson, once a case has been referred to DYFS, they have totalitarian administrative control and rights over ALL his children. This is in the absence of a thorough and complete investigation, hearings, judicial process or any form of remedy for the parents during this period. A period of time, being 267 days for the Jackson family, where all five children have been taken from the home and some have been bounced from one foster family to another.
Who Are These Parents?
After serving on active duty in both Kuwait and Iraq, the Major now serves at Picatinney Arsenal in northern NJ where he and his wife both live. He is a decorated war veteran and has earned several awards while in the service of his country. Major Jackson and his wife are active in the military community. Prior to State seizure, their children were involved in football, cheerleading, dance, art classes, violin and other music programs including a choir. In addition, they were part of a cooperative homeschool program at a local church.
Carolyn has a BS in Individual and Family Studies specializing in ‘at risk’ families. She also volunteered as a Crisis Intervention Counselor at Life Care Services, a Christian Based Crisis Pregnancy Center. According to her husband, “Carolyn has made a positive impact on every community where they have lived during their 14 years of marriage.”
It began when the five children were forcibly removed, separated and assigned into the homes of strangers. Despite the stated goals from the DYFS website, “foster parents will provide the same care that the children’s own parents would provide”, DYFS placed the Jackson’s 5 children into homes that were antithetical to Jackson parents’ core values and principles. Not only were the children placed in these unacceptable homes, but their 10 and 9 year olds became victims of physical and emotional abuse in the DYFS foster system.
DYFS seemingly operates above the judicial process that has allowed them to strip the Jackson parents of their parental rights and the children of their parents for 267 days without substantiating charges or proving wrongdoing by the parents. As Mrs. Jackson stated, “A criminal is required to be given due process and a speedy trial. If arrested, police have just 72 hours to bring charges or release. Ironically, not so with DYFS: they removed all our kids and took 5 months to complete their so called “60 day review”.
The true victims of this failed system are the children whose worlds have been turned upside down by a process that has dragged on for almost a year.
Morristown Court Date January 10, 2011
Finally, after 267 days the Jacksons are looking forward to their day in court. According to their attorney, “…. although significant exonerating evidence has been brought to light, the Morris County DYFS Office continues to unjustly pursue the Jackson Parents even though the initial erroneous reasons for the removal no longer exist.” The seizure of children by the State is a serious and highly disruptive process. Though there is a need to protect our children, 9 months of separation appears to be grossly unreasonable. This seizure and lack of judicial oversight seems to fly in the face of our founding fathers intent and is a clear violation of our US Constitution and our Bill of Rights.
Major Jackson stated, “This should never have happened in America.”
By Art Gallagher
Prompted by our post this morning, Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R-Monmouth) is looking into the DYFS case of the Jackson family. Angelini’s office called this afternoon seeking contact information for the Jackson’s, which MMM tracked down.
Angelini serves on the Assembly Human Services Committee which overseas DYFS.
While I have not heard the DYFS side of this story, the more I hear of the Jacksons’ story the more disturbing this becomes. Major and Mrs. Jackson have been separated from their children, and their children separated from each other, since April of last year without the benefit of due process, if what I am hearing is accurate.
The Jackson’s took one of their children to an emergency room last April. The child was dehydrated and had elevated sodium levels. DYFS says the child was poisoned and removed all five of the Jackson’s children from their custody the following day. The Jackson’s doctors say the elevated sodium level is medically normal for the condition the child was suffering from.
At an administrative hearing yesterday, DYFS objected to the Jacksons’ doctors tesitfying. The hearing has been adjourned until February.
That’s what I’ve heard so far. MMM will stay on top of this story. We are pleased that Angelini is looking into it.
FAITH UNDER FIRE
Father: 'My children are being held hostage'
Posted: January 20, 2011
1:55 am Eastern
By Brian Fitzpatrick
© 2011 WorldNetDaily
It's every parent's nightmare.
Army Major John Jackson and his wife Carolyn, devout Christian homeschoolers with a history of serving as adoptive and foster parents, had their five children taken away in April 2010 by the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services – and despite the collapse of the evidence against the Jacksons, DYFS hasn't returned the children to their parents.
During the course of a nine-month legal battle to regain custody of their children, the Jacksons say they have encountered prejudice against their religion and homeschooling as they fight a state agency determined to see the children adopted by strangers no matter what the evidence says.
According to the Jacksons, DYFS employees, contractors and foster parents alike have demonstrated anti-religious bias, including one case supervisor who refused to allow the Jacksons to pray with their children as they wished, for the reunification of the family.
"You can pray about other things, you can pray that they'll be happy in their placements," said a DYFS worker identified by Jackson as Denise Hollerbach.
Jackson accuses DYFS of fraudulently misrepresenting statements by himself and his children to build a case against him, "brainwashing" the children by telling them they have been abused and "isolating" them by not allowing them to be assessed independently by U.S. Army investigators.
The father of five claims DYFS suppressed a medical report concluding that injuries suffered by daughter Chaya Jackson could not be proven with "medical certainty" to have resulted from child abuse. Dr. Mark S. Finkelstein of the Alfred I. Dupont Hospital for Children wrote, "It is equally possible that this injury may have occurred in or around the time of birth or in the later post-neonatal period" – before Chaya was adopted by the Jacksons.
"DYFS kept this out of the court. We had to get it and provide it as evidence," said Jackson.
"DYFS had the information to exonerate us before they removed our children, but they continued on to try to gather information to remove the kids," said Carolyn Jackson. "It's been difficult to work with them and try to walk in integrity and love when you know anything you say will be turned around and used against you."
John Jackson added DYFS conducted a "forensic assessment" under the guise of fulfilling a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation: "It was really an interrogation. They should have been read me my rights, and I should have had a lawyer present."
"They've got all my children," John Jackson lamented. "My children are being held hostage. They've been kidnapped.
"They're not accountable to anyone," Jackson told WND. "They told us they do not lose cases, and they will substantiate the abuse. This has not been an objective investigation in the first place. They want to adopt the children out, because they get money for adopting children out."
A DYFS spokesman refused to comment on the case, citing "strict confidentiality laws."
"This is a good, Christian homeschooled family. They're being persecuted," said the Jacksons' lawyer, Grace T. Meyer, a New Jersey attorney affiliated with the Home School Legal Defense Association. "They're homeschooled and they don't fit the pattern for most DYFS cases. Most cases involve parents who are on drugs or in jail … in these cases you're guilty until proven innocent."
"We were told we're 'excessive Christians' by our therapeutic supervisor," a DYFS contractor, said John Jackson.
During a visit with the children, a DYFS supervisor told Jackson he was not allowed to pray with his children for reunification of the family. Jackson recorded the following conversation with a woman he identified as Denise Hollerbach:
Jackson: I was told by Mr., ah, [unclear] that we can't pray about reunification?
Hollerbach: No. Not about reunification. You can pray, I can talk to you in the other room away from the children if you'd like.
[sounds of movement]
Hollerbach: Can you tell me what the prayer is about?
Jackson: Yeah, the prayer is about our family and restoring our family.
Hollerbach: OK, and that's what – because we don’t want the children to feel guilty about anything that's going on and we're afraid that would inspire guilt in their heart, which we're trying to, you know, we’re trying to keep that out of it. [garbled] We're talking in terms of prayer, not about reunification
Jackson: OK, you're telling me what I can and can't pray about.
Hollerbach: Well, for the kids' sake, the psychologists have recommended that we not discuss reunification right now.
Jackson: That you not discuss it or …
Hollerbach: No, that you not discuss reunification.
Jackson: All right, so I cannot pray about reunification.
Hollerbach: Correct. It's for the psychological benefit of your children, because we don't want them to feel guilty about anything that's going on. We don't want them to – that will inspire guilt in their hearts and we don't want that to occur.
Jackson: I just don't understand. How can that inspire guilt when reunification means restoring the family? They didn't do anything to separate the family, so they shouldn't feel guilty about separating the family…
Hollerbach: But they feel that, so we're trying not to …
Jackson: Well, I don't see how they feel that because they’ve done nothing
Hollerbach: We agree wholeheartedly
Jackson: And the evaluators know they've done nothing.
Hollerbach: We agree wholeheartedly on that.
Jackson: So they can't feel guilt about something that they haven't been …
Hollerbach: Well they can, they can, and that's been discussed with us, as far as that …
Jackson: So I cannot pray about reunification.
Jackson: Is there anything else I can't pray about?
Hollerbach: Right now that's one thing that we've been told that there shouldn't be a prayer about. You can pray about other things, pray that, you know, they're happy in their placements. You could pray about, umm, you know, but that you can't pray about.
Jackson: So DYFS gets to tell me how I can pray to God with my family?
Hollerbach: Well right now, right now for the benefit of your children, we're asking that you not pray about reunification because we don't want the children to feel guilty about anything that has occurred and when parents talk about reunification, that sometimes even though we tell the children, and I'm sure you've told the children that this is not their fault, they feel that it is.
Jackson: All right, I understand. We don't pray about reunification. Got it.
Hollerbach: All right, thank you.
The following week, DYFS withdrew the prohibition on praying for reunification.
After another supervised visit, Carolyn Jackson said the DYFS supervisor told her, "It was a good visit today because there wasn't much God talk. We have a problem with your believing in the part that talks about spanking." Jackson added, "They are changing our children's words, 'if a man loves his child he'll beat his child.' They will skew any words they can to fit their own purpose."
Allegations of abuse disproven
The Jacksons' problems with DYFS trace back to 2008 when their adopted two-year-old son Joshua died of a seizure. The Jacksons had provided foster care to several medically at-risk children while living in Oklahoma and adopted Joshua, who was born with birth defects and a drug addiction.
According to John Jackson, when possible abuse of Chaya emerged, a hospital social worker claimed Joshua had died at home under suspicious circumstances and was cremated rapidly so his death could not be investigated.
John Jackson replies that Joshua was cremated only after his body was examined and released by a medical examiner, and the family was cleared of any wrongdoing by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division.
"He died of a seizure disorder in the hospital," said Jackson, who asserted in a court document that Joshua died at St. Clare's Hospital in Dover, N.J. The Army major then observed that, as an active duty serviceman, he has no permanent home.
"I [cremated Joshua] so we can take him with us. When we have a permanent home he will be buried there, with us."
After the Jacksons brought two-year-old Chaya to Morristown Memorial Hospital with a high fever and heavy sweating, they were accused of "medical neglect, malnourishment and salt poisoning," said Jackson. He added that the hospital "manufactured evidence" of broken bones to prove Chaya had been physically abused.
The hospital found that Chaya was very small for her age and had abnormally high levels of salt in her blood. X-rays revealed evidence of a healed fracture in the wrist.
"All five children were taken away, right away, " said Meyer. The five children include the Jacksons' three natural children, 13-year-old John Jr., 10-year-old Cameron, 9-year-old Chavon, and two adopted children, four-year-old Jana and Chaya. The two adopted children are daughters of a cousin of Carolyn Jackson, and were classified as medically at-risk when they were adopted. Chaya, in particular, has not grown in length since she was one year old, and has been diagnosed with "failure to thrive."
"When the kids were in custody, they said 'Yes, we were spanked,' and they quoted the Bible, 'Spare the rod, spoil the child.' So DYFS said they were beaten with rods and are 'over-religious,' and took their Bibles away," said Meyer.
In addition to physical abuse, the Jacksons have been accused of abusing the children through corporal punishment and depriving them of TV and video games, and of harming their social development through home schooling.
According to Meyer, a pediatric nephrologist has found that Chaya's excessive salt is caused by a medical condition called hypernatremia, not by "salt poisoning." Another specialist will testify that Chaya's broken bone may have occurred at birth, not resulting from abuse by the Jacksons.
"Many of the reasons they took the children in the first place have been disproven," Meyer added. "Now the case is just about spanking."
Jackson children allegedly mistreated in foster homes
As the legal battle drags on, the five Jackson children have been bounced around between several foster homes, and currently live in three separate homes.
"We have relatives willing to take all five children, but DYFS told us that family is not an option for placement for our children," said Carolyn Jackson.
"They put our children into homes completely opposite to our lifestyle … It has just been a constant barrage of them coming against our faith," Carolyn Jackson continued.
"They went through a process of forcing our children to assimilate, trained our children to defy authority, and tried to break down their resolve," she added. "Foster parents encouraged kids to do ungodly things. [DYFS] wouldn't put them with the family we chose whose values were consistent with ours.
"They've been ridiculed for praying before their meals, their Bibles have been taken away from them. I made up books of pictures for the kids. They took away pictures of all their parents, brothers and sisters, stripped them of any memory of home.
"Two of our kids, Cameron and Chavon, have been moved to relative care after being moved around in four different homes," added Carolyn Jackson. "In the fourth home, the man picked my daughter up off the floor, slammed her against the wall and screamed at her. They stripped our children of any comfort food, only water and cold cut sandwiches. They were 10 and 8 at the time, Chavon is now 9."
Chaya is living in a special foster home for "medically fragile" children. According to John Jackson, she has put on weight, but still hasn't grown in length.
John and Jana are living with foster parents who "told them they had been abused," said Carolyn Jackson. "They told the kids we are religious fundamentalists who didn't allow the children to socialize because we homeschooled them. This unmarried couple has put out documents saying we were religious fundamentalists, enrolled our daughter in public school and refused to bring her out to the Christian school.
"The foster father threatened my husband, so he filed a police report. DYFS won't see it is a hostile home environment. They moved instead to cut off our phone access to our kids. DYFS successfully got our daily phone contact cut to two times a week."
John Jackson added that the foster family enrolled John and Jana in public schools in defiance of a court order allowing the Jacksons to enroll their children in Christian schools.
"We were told we don't have a right to know what school our child is going to, after we won in court the right to keep our children in Christian schools."
The case returns to court Monday, when the Jacksons will present their defense.
FAITH UNDER FIRE
Outraged WND readers support Jackson family
Posted: January 22, 2011
12:40 am Eastern
By Brian Fitzpatrick
© 2011 WorldNetDaily
Jackson family portrait taken while Army Maj. John Jackson was deployed in Iraq in 2010
WND readers are leaping to the defense of John and Carolyn Jackson, homeschooling Christian parents whose children were taken away in April 2010 by the N.J. Division of Youth and Family Services.
Several readers have already called on N.J. Gov. Chris Christie to intervene on the Jacksons' behalf, and others are offering legal assistance.
Telephone operators at the governor's offices acknowledged that Christie has received numerous phone calls about the Jacksons and is aware of the family's plight. A Christie spokesman told WND that Christie has no comment. "We cannot comment on an ongoing DYFS case," the spokesman explained.
One WND reader asked how readers can help the Jacksons:
Your article about Army Maj. John Jackson's family was a sad eye opener. I have a suggestion. Why don't you let readers know what they can do to help? Would it be helpful if the state governor was bombarded with letters/emails/phone calls in regard to this issue? If so, then let us know!
Other readers have already found that contacting Gov. Christie is effective.
Catherine Crabill, a Virginia mother who home schooled her own children, has posted WND stories about the Jacksons on her Facebook page and is urging friends to contact Christie.
"I tried to imagine myself and my husband in that situation, how desperate and horrified we would be, and how much we would appreciate having an army of fellow Christians and homeschoolers stand up for us. I wanted to be part of that army for the Jacksons," Crabill told WND.
Crabill described Christie as "a responsive, engaging and reasonable man" who will respond to public cries for action.
"I was pleased when Christie stood up for the young man who had legal weapons and ammunition, but was convicted when New Jersey threw the book at him," said Crabill.
Crabill was referring to the Brian Aitken case. Aitken was sentenced to seven years in prison for having two legally owned, unloaded guns packed in his car trunk while he was in the process of moving to New Jersey, where gun laws are extremely strict. Christie commuted his sentence.
Another home schooling parent wrote:
As a home school father, I appreciate the article about what this family is going through. I will be praying for them. Please keep us updated on this story and if there is anything we can do to put pressure on the NJ authorities please let us know.
Here's how two more readers reached Christie:
I just contacted Governor Christie about this matter through this link: http://www.nj.gov/governor/contact/ asking that he take a look at this case, as he recently did with the Brian Aitken case, and see if there is anything he can do to reunite these children with their family, or at least allow the family to practice their Christian faith together. It might be worthwhile to ask others to do this as well, politely, of course, since there IS strength in numbers."
Another reader who emailed Christie received a quick response.
Dear Governor Christie,
I am writing to you to report an alleged injustice by the NJDYFS that was reported in the e-mail news outlet WorldNetDaily. As the report begins, “It's every parent's nightmare...
I believe that this case is one that you should review, as it alleges anti-religious bigotry and constitutional first amendment infractions by NJDYFS. Please investigate NJDYFS in this matter, and correct any injustice that you may find.
Thanks for you consideration on this matter. Although I was so pleased to see your election victory, I never thought that I would actually communicate with you. However, when I saw this matter described in the news, I thought that I needed to speak up."
Christie thanked him and provided contact information: "NOTE: You can also contact Governor Christie by writing to the Office of the Governor, P.O. Box 001, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0001, or by calling (609) 777-2500."
The WND reader added: "I will also include the Jackson family, and their quest for reunification, in my prayers (despite the wishes of NJDYFS)."
Two readers representing parents' rights organizations weighted in, and one offered legal help:
And again, absolutely normal CPS behavior. They call this sort of case a "High Risk Case". Not a risk to the children, mind you- but a risk to CPS having their damnable dirty deeds nationally exposed.
Leonard Henderson, co-founder American Family Rights http://familyrights.us "Until Every Child Comes Home"©
Have Army Major John Jackson contact me about getting his children back from NJ Division of Youth and Family Services immediately.
He can contact me at the below e-mail.
I have successfully used state petitions for writ of habeas corpus to get children back in similar cases when even the parents' lawyers said it wouldn't work.
Now these same lawyers are using my writ of habeas corpus for their own use.
I am a constitutional law and family law paralegal and fathers' rights consultant.
Bruce Eden, Civil Rights Director DADS (Dads Against Discrimination)--New Jersey & New York Chapters Fathers' Rights Consultant Constitutional law & Family law Paralegal-Consultant email@example.com www.dadsamerica.org
Another reader offered to help with legal expenses:
We were very disturbed by the article you wrote about the Jackson family. My husband wanted me to ask you a question. Has there has been a legal aid fund set up for the family's expenses? If so, can you forward and/or print online the information so we and others can help this family?
Legal Fund has been setup at this website - Tab located at the top of website.
Read more: Outraged WND readers support Jackson family http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=254101#ixzz1BoJzwBwj
Read more: Outraged WND readers support Jackson family http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=254101#ixzz1BoJlxVqV