The Naugler family of Hardinsburg, Kentucky, lives what can be described as an “unconventional” lifestyle. Joe and Nicole Naugler call their way of life “off the grid,” but the state of Kentucky calls it squalor. A little over a week ago, the state took custody of the Naugler’s 10 children, after receiving a tip that the Nauglers’ “home” had no running water or septic.
While the Nauglers maintain that they live “off the grid,” they do remain connected via Facebook. In fact, it may be some of their Facebook posts, such as the one below, that will make it more difficult for them to get their children back.
The Nauglers maintain that the state has previously inspected their property, and found it acceptable for them and their children. On May 11, Joe Naugler posted the following on their Facebook page:
We have allowed CHFS to inspect our property and interview our children multiple times. After every visit they have confirmed, and confirmed again today that our children are happy, healthy and well cared for and that our property is sufficient for their needs.
But the case is far more than just family wanting to live a simple lifestyle, with a “nanny state” that is trying to tell them what to do. Joe Naugler’s oldest son, Alex Brow, who hasn’t been in his father’s custody since he was about three, says that he was physically and sexually abused as a child. Naugler also offers his take on that in his post.
Alex, my 19-year-old estranged son, testified in today’s hearing. We are both heartbroken with the way Alex’s upbringing away from us and his strained relationship with his mother have affected him. Although we are sad our children will not be returned to us today, we have nothing to hide. We have cooperated with all requests made to us by CHFS and will continue to do so.
The Daily Beast reports that Kentucky has the sixth highest rate of child abuse referrals in the country. In 2013 alone, Kentucky officials found over 20,000 children who were the victims of abuse or neglect. The state’s rate of 19.7 child abuse victims per 1,000 children in 2013 was the worst in the country. Yet, despite those numbers, only one in five victims was placed in foster care; a low rate compared to other states.
Is this a case of a state going overboard, meddling in the affairs of a family that chooses to live differently from most? Or is it a case of a state rightfully stepping in to protect the welfare of children who are being raised without the necessities of modern life?
Here’s a report on the Nauglers and their lifestyle, via “The Today Show”:
Featured image via Facebook