A Navy veteran who was honorably discharged from service is fighting the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) after his children were forcably removed from his custody due to “unsubstantiated” claims against the family.
Father and Navy veteran Raymond Schwab has been battling DCF for custody of his children for 11 months, despite the fact that the DCF found charges against the Schwab family “unsubstantiated.” The family says that they have not been given a valid reason why their children have not been returned. Instead, the family is forced to sit by and wait after learning their 5-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted in state care, two of the children were physically abused, and their teen son is being fed psychiatric medications and being admitted to a psych ward against their will.
With DCF refusing to listen to the Schwab family’s please, Raymond says he has been forced to go to extreme measures and has initiated a hunger strike that he claims he will not end until his children are returned or he dies.
The Denver Post reports that Navy veteran Raymond Schwab suffers from PTSD following his service to the country. The family is originally from Colorado, and when receiving treatment from veteran’s services for his condition, he was given medical marijuana, which is legal in Colorado. However, after taking a job in Kansas, Schwab was forced to quit his medical marijuana treatments, as marijuana is not legal in Kansas.
Schwab says that after moving to Kansas, he realized that none of the new treatments worked as well as medical marijuana, and to ensure he was receiving the best treatment, the family decided to move back to Colorado. However, before the family could make the move, Amelia Schwab’s mother watched the children for the parents as they packed, but then did something that would change the lives of the family forever. She took the children to a sheriff’s office and reported them “abandoned” to DCF, due to the fact that she disagreed with her daughter’s religious beliefs, anti-vaccination stance, and husband Raymond’s medical marijuana use.
The DCF immediately seized the five children under the age of 18 — one son is 19 and not in DCF care — and placed them in state custody while they investigated the claims made against the Schwabs. Now, Amelia says her mother deeply regrets her decision to take the children to DCF.
After investigating, the DCF found that the claims made against the Schwabs were “unsubstantiated,” but the children were not released because the family had moved back to Colorado and Raymond could continue marijuana treatments once more.
With marijuana illegal in Kansas but legal in Colorado, DCF is using the situation to deem the Schwab family unfit due to intended marijuana use. With the children in Kansas custody, not Colorado state custody, the DCF is able to rule that since the family plans to use marijuana, they are not fit to parent.
“The Schwabs’ case highlights how differences in marijuana laws can make a legal user in one state an unfit parent across the border.”
According to Medical Kidnap, the situation has only gotten worse for the Schwab family as it was discovered that their 5-year-old daughter was reportedly sexually abused while in state care. Two of the children, a son and daughter, were also reported as physically abused in the system while the family’s 13-year-old son has been given psychotropic drugs against both Raymond and Amelia’s consent. Despite pleas against the drug use, the state has admitted the young teen to a psychiatric residential treatment center, where he is set to remain for 60 days.
With his options dwindling, Raymond says he has no other choice but to go on a hunger strike. The Navy Gulf War veteran is refusing to eat until he has his children returned or he dies. He says that he has already attempted to get the children back by stopping all medical marijuana treatments so that he can pass a urine screening in Kansas, but the DCF refuses to return the children. Therefore, he is going on the hunger strike in a bid to gain attention from legislators in the state.
The DCF has responded to the claims noting that the children are not remaining in state custody over medical marijuana use and that the Schwab family is being “dishonest.” However, they would not provide any evidence to substantiate the claims citing privacy laws. They also did not address the letter from DCF noting that the emotional abuse claims were determined as “unsubstantiated.” They would not disclose why the children remained under their care or discuss the alleged sexual and physical abuses of the children which has occurred since in state custody.
“Although we are bound by confidentiality requirements and prohibited from discussing the specifics of the case, to protect the privacy of his children, we can say Mr. Schwab’s accusations are false. He is providing the public with an incomplete and inaccurate account of the events that have transpired.”
What do you think about the Kansas DCF keeping the Schwab family’s five children in custody despite finding the emotional abuse claims unsubstantiated? Is Raymond’s intended use of medical cannabis in a state where medical marijuana is legal a good reason to keep children from their parents?
[Image via Facebook/Free the Schwab Children]