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Court-ordered foster care replaces psych ward
Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 02/20/2007 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
An international human rights organization says the 15-year-old homeschool student taken from her home by a SWAT team and deposited in a psychiatric ward on a judge’s order has been allowed to contact her family.
“Melissa called her parents today to tell them she was moved to another mental ward. She was then moved to a ‘clearing house’ and finally to a foster family; but she was unable to tell them where she is now,” said a statement from the the International Human Rights Group, which has tried to involve the international community in the attack on homeschooling in Germany.
The case involving Melissa Busekros is being highlighted by Netzwerk-Bildungsfreifeit, a German organization that advocates for homeschoolers there even though the activity is illegal.
Joel Thornton, the president of the IHRG, told WND in a telephone interview from Germany that he is scheduled to meet with the schoolgirl’s family and lawyer this week, in attempts by his organization to reach a resolution in the dispute.
He reported a five-hour court hearing was held on Friday, but that resulted in no immediate decision when social workers refused to accept a compromise that the judge and Melissa’s parents had worked out.
“This is a precedent that’s going to affect not just Germany,” Thornton said. “This is an extreme case, even for Germany, but it won’t be extreme any more if they get away with it.”
A written ruling from the judge is expected soon on that proposed compromise, which would have allowed Melissa to return home under certain conditions, the IHRG reported. “The social workers and the legal counsel for Melissa, however … opposed this compromise,” the group said. “They have insisted that Melissa remain in stationary care, separated from her parents.”
The group said authorities’ action in the case of the schoolgirl “clearly goes beyond what is justifiable. They took unreasonable measures for which they had no basis. They intimidated the family with a ‘SWAT’ team of 15 police officers to take captive a 15-year-old unsuspecting girl early in the morning, taking her to a state psychiatrist.”
“Our prayer is that we can work together to end this nightmare for this family,” Thornton said. “Please know that the International Human Rights Group is working with the family and attorneys to secure and protect the human rights of Melissa and her parents.”
As WND reported earlier, Melissa already was hospitalized under a judge’s order for her alleged “school phobia” when authorities suddenly took her to a new location, not revealed to her parents and their legal counsel.
“Neither the parents nor their attorney are informed where Melissa is arrested now,” said an urgent statement from Netzwerk-Bildungsfreiheit.
“The situation is [horrifying] for the girl and the parents,” said the statement, which was written in German and then translated into English.
The German organization said the situation confirmed its worst fears: That “Germany blatantly spurns parental and human rights and cannot be regarded any longer as a free country. It is running more and more to tyranny and dictatorship.”
WND reported that German authorities had assembled a team of police officers and other officials to take the teen from in front of her shocked family.
Homeschool supporters in Germany have told WND the girl had fallen behind in Latin and math studies, and was being tutored at home in the subjects. However, when school officials found out, they expelled her, then took the family to court when they began homeschooling.
The court order to take her into state custody, executed by police officers, said, “The relevant Youth Welfare Office is hereby instructed and authorized to bring the child, if necessary by force, to a hearing and may obtain police support for this purpose.”
Her father, Hubert Busekros, told the homeschool group the state was out of line with its “zealous drive to enforce compulsory schooling.” She initially was hospitalized in the Child Psychiatry Unit of a clinic in Nuremburg, but then moved without notice, officials with Netzwerk-Bildungsfreifeit said.
When WND initially reported on the situation, the Home School Legal Defense Association launched a campaign to have its supporters, mostly in the United States, contact the German embassy about the case.
Then officials with the IHRG got to work on the case, and said they had assembled a list of German officials to contact on behalf of the teen. Among those are:
Youth Welfare Office
Director: Edeltraud H?llerer
Tel. +49 9131 86-2844
Fax +49 9131 86-2438
Local Court Erlangen
Tel. +49 9131-782 01
Fax +49 9131/782-361
(No Email address available)
Minister of Justice in Bavaria
Tel. +49 89 5597 1799
Fax +49 89 5597 3580
Officials in Germany have told WND historically the German phobia about homeschooling began with Adolph Hitler, whose design was to control the minds of children as they grew, leaving them with only his worldview.
“The ‘Jugendamt’ (youth welfare office) has its origin in the German Nazi state,” the German homeschool group said. “German Wikipedia writes about the Jugendamt: ‘In 1939 the Jugendamt [was] adopted … as a part of government in the NS-state control of child-education. The Jugendamt controlled and observed families and children politically from their birth.’”
A spokesman for the group told WND, “Today the Jugendamt … is free to take the children away from their parents when in their opinion the child’s welfare is jeopardized. A false accusation of neighbors is sometimes sufficient to capture the children from their parents.”
Officials with HSLDA warned “what is happening in Germany today may be knocking on our door tomorrow.” The group now is tracking the circumstances of about 40 families in Germany with court cases in various stages.
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