Saturday, February 16, 2013

Government Tries to Block Homeschooling Refugees

Joseph Knippenberg

Yesterday, a couple of headlines caught my eye. “Homeschooling Not a Fundamental Right, Justice Dept. Argues.” That one came from evangelical commentator Napp Nazworth. “Homeschooling Not a Fundamental Right Says Justice Department” was our old friend Joe Carter’s riff on the same theme. Both articles were inspired by a piece written by the Home School Legal Defense Association’s Michael Farris, in which he responded to the Justice Department’s brief in a case HSLDA is litigating on behalf of a German family that is seeking asylum in the United States. (All the relevant briefs can be downloaded here.)

The case involves the Romeike family, which has run afoul of Germany’s compulsory schooling laws. Alone in Western Europe, Germany offers no conscientious exemption from attending state or state-supervised schools. Homeschoolers are treated like truants–indeed, arguably worse than mere truants–with parents subjected to mounting fines, jailtime, and forcible removal of the children from the family home. Most German families that seek to homeschool their children leave the country. (Indeed, there was one such family involved in our homeschool group.)

Read it all here.

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