Germans who choose to homeschool their children are coming under increasing pressure from the state with some families escaping the European Union nation to keep from having their children taken from them.
The U.S.-based Home School Legal Defense Association, or HSLDA, has appealed to its members to assist its counterpart organization in Germany as it battles for the right to homeschool.
Said a statement from HSLDA: “The United States has been blessed for many years with the freedom to homeschool. Other countries do not have this freedom. If we do not help ‘the least of these’ in other nations, who will help them?”
The organization tells of the struggles German families are having with the judicial system there.
A few weeks ago, HSLDA reports, a German homeschool family escaped to Central America under threat of a judge who wanted to take custody of the couple’s school-aged child. A social worker helped the family escape by warning them of the judge’s intent and delaying the paperwork needed for the seizure.
In another instance, a family escaped with their child to Austria. According to HSLDA, even though the family no longer lived in Germany, a judge gave custody of the child to the state and let the family know if it ever returned to Germany, the child would be taken.
Another German homeschool family lost a recent court case when the judge ruled that the parents had no rights to have input into the manner and method of education in government schools. In this case, hard-core pornography reportedly was being used to teach the children in their German-language course. The judge also ruled that fundamentalist Christians who do not want their children to attend the government schools are not protected by the nation’s constitution.
HSLDA helped start an advocacy organization for homeschoolers in Germany, School Instruction at Home, and is encouraging Americans to donate to the German group to help in its battle for the rights of families there.
“Many homeschoolers in the United States have forgotten the terror of being taken to jail for exercising their God-given responsibility to homeschool,” HSLDA said. “We have been able to legalize homeschooling in all 50 states. … But our freedom to homeschool was not free. Many families had to sacrifice in order to legalize homeschooling in the 1980s and ’90s.
“German homeschoolers are facing this battle right now. It is vital that we in America, who have been given so much, rally around these families and lift up the homeschooling movement in Germany.”
The group has set up a site where donations can be made to the German homeschooling organization.
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