More than 100 people gathered in a Sandy court Friday to defend a family they say has been punished for educating its children at home.

The four children were taken from their parents' Arizona home on Monday and put into the custody of Utah child-welfare officials, said Denise Bryce of the Utah Christian Home School Association.The family lived in Utah for about seven years and started home schooling the children about three years ago, Bryce said.

They moved to Arizona to be nearer to the mother's relatives but the Utah Division of Child and Family Services had already begun reviewing the case for educational and psychological abuse, Bryce said.

Cases involving DCFS are confidential, as are juvenile court proceedings involving placements.

But Richard Anderson, deputy director of DCFS, said the case isn't about the children's edu-cation.

Anderson said DCFS was taking custody of the children when the family said it was going on a vacation. It never came back. When Utah officials found the children in Arizona, they made arrangements to bring them back to the state.