DSS Is Back, Banging on Door of Neil and Heidi Howard
DSS caseworkers are back banging on the door of Neil and Heidi Howard, Tyngsboro, as the result of an anonymous tip, demanding to "interview" at 1:30 today these parents of three children.
The Howards were just reunited last year, in January 2002, after two years of separation and 30 hearings with Atty. Chester Darling and Greg Hession representing them. The grueling ordeal finally ended happily when retired Judge Robert Belmonte had the courage to stand up to the system and send the children back home.
But DSS is now back again. It all started again last Friday, Jan. 10, when two obvious caseworkers came to the door and started banging.
If there is one thing Heidi learned the hard way, it was, "Always say 'no' when a DSS worker wants to enter your home, and always take their threats very seriously." So she did not answer the door when they appeared without warning on Friday.
On Monday they returned and banged some more. This time they left a notice that an anonymous 51A violation had been received against the Howards and the social workers would be back today at 1:30 for an interview. But Neil Howard called and told them not to come. He informed them that if an interview is scheduled, it will include Atty. Hession, a reporter from MassNews and a tape recorder.
This case brought speculation last year that the Howards were chosen for punishment by lesbian social workers or other women who dislike men intensely because Heidi refused to leave her husband. Like many other women, she was told by the social workers she would lose her children if she refused to do so. She did refuse and the children were taken.
What bothers observers this year is that an anonymous tip is causing this trouble and the Howards will never know whether an anonymous complaint really was filed, and if so, what the alleged tip was about. Is there some snoopy neighbor who dislikes them that much or is it just angry caseworkers? The Howard family will never know the answers to those questions.
Copyright 2008 ©All Rights Reserved