Tuesday, December 13th, was a day of victory for the Schwab family, and their advocate Jennifer Winn is calling it "a miracle." When Raymond and Amelia Schwab walked into the Riley County Courthouse in Kansas Tuesday morning, it looked like they were going to lose their children. Child Protective Services' social workers had made it clear that they were pushing for termination of parental rights during the 3 day permanency hearing. Instead, the judge ruled that there will be no termination, but instead, they are to be reunified with their children. Raymond Schwab told Health Impact News: "They really were attempting to terminate, and they failed." It has been 18 long months since 5 of their 6 children were first seized by Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) over false allegations. (Their oldest was already of age.) Raymond, a Navy Gulf War veteran, went on a hunger strike last spring in the hopes of getting his children home. Like many military veterans, Raymond suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and when pharmaceutical products were used to treat his symptoms, he developed a heroin addiction. He was prescribed medical marijuana to break his heroin addiction, and the family was living in Colorado homeschooling their children where medical marijuana is legal. The family was happy, and Raymond had successfully returned to the work force. But while visiting Kansas where marijuana is not legal, false allegations led to CPS taking custody of their children. The Schwab family case gained national media attention over the civil rights of military veterans and medical marijuana users.
Just before 11:30 am on Saturday morning, police arrested Amelia Schwab, wife of Raymond Schwab, who is the Navy veteran dad who went on a 17 day hunger strike at the Kansas state capitol in an effort to get their children free from child protective services custody. The strike ended only as a federal lawsuit was filed against Kansas DCF (Department for Children and Families). Raymond and Amelia and some of their supporters have been spending time at a local cafe which has wi-fi access. Amelia had just left from there when police pulled her over to arrest her. Raymond speculates that they may have been trying to see if there was any marijuana in the car. (There wasn't.) Health Impact News called the police department, which confirmed that Amelia Schwab has been arrested on a bench warrant for a battery charge, dated May 11, 2015. Her bond is $674. Interestingly, the police appear to have learned about the bench warrant from an anonymous tip, according to Raymond Schwab. When we spoke with Raymond, he said that this was around the same time as the bogus charges that he was arrested for recently. No charges were ever actually filed against him, and he was released on his own recognizance after spending a brutal night in jail on March 24. He sees the arrest of his wife as further harassment and intimidation, and the trumping up of bogus charges.
The hunger strike is over for Navy veteran dad Raymond Schwab, and a federal lawsuit has been filed against Kansas DCF for their role in kidnapping his children and holding them in state custody long past the time when the allegations against the parents were found to be unsubstantiated. But the battle is far from over. His children are not yet home, and thousands of children in Kansas and around the United States remain separated from their families without any evidence that the allegations are even legitimate. He fights for these children and others who are in the foster care system simply because a parent has used medical marijuana.
A Navy veteran father was arrested on Day 11 of a Hunger Strike at the Kansas Capitol building on Thursday, March 24th, on a warrant for charges that no one seems to know anything about. Raymond Schwab and his supporters believe that his arrest is about "retaliation" and "intimidation" because he has been publicly fighting to get his children back since they were legally kidnapped by Child Protective Services and abused while in state custody. After spending a night in jail that he says "was like being in hell," Raymond was released Friday afternoon, with no charges filed against him. The treatment that he describes after being arrested is shocking. He reported that he was stripped naked and forced to remain in that condition in a filthy, cold room for the duration of his stay. There was "urine everywhere" and blood on the mattress. There was a hole in the floor where prisoners are expected to urinate.
Navy Dad Goes on Hunger Strike in Kansas Until State-Kidnapped Children are Returned or He Starves to Death
A U.S. Navy veteran is currently on a hunger strike in hopes of getting his children back from what he calls a very corrupt child protective system in Kansas. He is prepared to continue his hunger strike until he and his wife's children are returned, or until he starves to death. Raymond Schwab and his wife Amelia say that their children never should have been taken away from them almost a year ago, but what prompted the hunger strike was the fact that the Department for Children and Families (DCF) said they planned to place their 13 year old son in a psychiatric residential treatment center. They started him on psychotropic drugs 2 weeks ago, against his parents' will. Raymond Schwab began his strike on Monday, March 14, two days before DCF was to institutionalize their son. He doesn't belong there, the parents insist, and he certainly doesn't need dangerous psychotropic drugs. But he was placed into the facility on Wednesday, against his parents' wishes, and is expected to be there for up to 60 days. Three of their children have reportedly been abused while in DCF custody. DCF has reported to the family that their 5 year old little girl has been sexually assaulted in their care, and the 13 year old and another son have been abused in the DCF placement.
Attorneys Sarah Swain and Matthew Pappas have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the State of Kansas and its Department for Children and Families on behalf of cannabis oil activist and Crohn’s disease patient Shona Banda, whose 11-year-old son was taken by authorities in April of this year after he spoke out about his mother’s successful medical marijuana treatment during a public school anti-drug presentation.
Throughout history, people have taken a stand for their faith which oftentimes resulted in unfavorable consequences for the individuals. For disabled veteran David Owen and his wife Teresa, their refusal to stop practicing their Christian faith was ultimately used as a rationale in Kansas Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) seizing custody of their two special needs daughters, Angel and Catrina. According to Teresa Owen: ''Our daughters were wrongfully removed from our home because we refused to stop attending church and teaching our daughters about Christ. Angel and Catrina are being wrongfully kept out of our home, abused, and medically neglected. We are still fighting for our daughters and trying to help other families.'' Their children were taken at the beginning of 2011. To this day, they are not home, and Teresa and David are fighting to regain custody of their daughters. They believe their daughters are being abused both physically and emotionally in State custody, and are pleading with people to get their story published.