Buffalo mother files federal complaints

Posted at 6:57 PM, Feb 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-22 18:57:33-05

A mother, who says she lost her children after homeschooling them, is formally accusing Buffalo Public Schools and Erie County of civil rights violations.

Kiarre Harris says both Erie County Protective Services and Buffalo Public Schools have policies that discriminate against African-Americans.

Harris says she believes that the homeschool incident is based on race and that's why she's filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Harris is still fighting to regain custody of her children, after she says they were taken away over claims of educational neglect because she was trying to homeschool them. Harris says she hasn't seen them for any length of time in 35 days, and says she isn't giving up this fight.

"The only contact I have had with them has been by telephone. I had city court and I'm almost sure that the criminal charges will be thrown away. I just want my children back and I believe my family and myself have been victims of racial discrimination and we're asking the Justice Department to look into this further," said Harris.

Erie County Social Services says it has no comment on the filings.

Harris is working with the District Parent Coordinating Council in Buffalo -- the group supports Buffalo school parents.