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State takes custody of 7-year-old over homeschooling
Posted By Bob Unruh On 02/27/2010 @ 11:05 pm In Front Page | Comments Disabled
Annie and Dominic Johansson
Social workers have been visiting a Swedish couple whose son was “abducted” by government agents last year because he was being homeschooled, but that’s not necessarily a good sign, and now two major rights organizations are exploring options to reunite the family.
The Home School Legal Defense Association and members of the Alliance Defense Fund have been advising Christer and Annie Johansson on the “state-napping” of their son, Dominic, 7, from an airliner as the family was preparing to move to India last year.
“HSLDA and the Alliance Defense Fund are jointly advising the family and exploring all available avenues to help reunite Dominic with his family,” the HSLDA said in a published statement.
“Swedish social workers have recently visited Christer and Annie and inquired about their current ability to take care of Dominic. According to a Swedish lawyer who spoke with HSLDA anonymously, these visits do not necessarily indicate the possible return of Dominic to his parents. Rather, this attorney said, Swedish social services intends to force the parents into ‘complete subjugation and compliance with the system.’”
WND reported late last year when the Administrative Court of Stockholm affirmed the state custody of
Dominic, who was taken from the airliner by uniformed police officers
on the orders of social workers even though there was no allegation of
any crime on the part of the family nor was there any warrant.
At the time, Michael Donnelly, director of international affairs for the HSLDA, called the court decision “deeply disturbing.”
“The hostility against homeschooling and for parent’s rights is contrary to everything expected from a Western nation,” he said.
The HSLDA confirms the family’s options are being reviewed.
The parents are allowed to see their son for 60 minutes every fifth week.
“At times referred to as a ‘social utopia,’ Sweden is completely antagonistic toward homeschoolers and, in reality, anyone who deviates from what the Swedish government defines as ‘normal.’ The government’s quest for conformity produces troubling side effects: the criminalization of actions – such as a parent’s decision regarding the best form of education for his child – that ought to be the hallmarks of a free, democratic society,” the HSLDA said.
“Taking children from their parents over minor differences in approaches to medical care (e.g. choosing not to vaccinate or delaying minor dental treatments) and for homeschooling is completely at odds with the basic human rights which all Western democracies should reflect,” the HSLDA said.
The organization is offering a webpage of information on how to support the family and linking to a petition advocating the return of Dominic to his parents.
On the petition’s forum page, a Canadian wrote, “I am appalled that this happened in a country as open, modern and inclusive as Sweden! I cannot understand it.”
An Australian called it “an abuse of power at the expense of a child.”
From Florida came the comment, “This is frightening!!!! … Please reverse this tragedy.”
The attack on homeschoolers appears to be part of a trend in some Western nations, including Germany. WND reported only a few weeks ago when a German family was granted asylum in the United States because of the persecution members would face if returned to their home country.
The case in Sweden developed when the boy, from Gotland, was forcibly taken into custody minutes before he and his parents were due to take off to start a new life in India, Annie’s home country.
In an online statement at the time, Johansson said, “While we may do things differently than most Swedes, we have not broken any laws and we have not harmed our son. We decided as a family that we wanted to move to India where we could be near my wife’s family. But the government has taken over my family, and now we are living in a nightmare. I fear for the life of my wife under this torture and for the well-being of my son who has only been allowed to see his parents for a few hours since he was taken. The government is alienating my son from me, and I am powerless to do anything.”
“What you have here is a socialist country trying to create a cookie cutter kid,” said Roger Kiska, an Alliance Defense Fund attorney based in Europe. “This kind of thing happens too often where social workers take a child and then just keep him.”
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