A new YouTube video and website are publicizing the plight of an American woman who lost her children to a state social services agency – perhaps permanently – essentially because she called police asking for help during an episode of alleged domestic violence.
Phelicia Jackson’s story is told on the HelpforPhilecia.com website as well in an online video:
Her battle, according to the website, is against the German Jugendamt, the government youth welfare office. The agency has been at the center of a number of cases in which homeschooling families have clashed with a law dating back to the days of Hitler that bans parents from educating their own children.
The Germany embassy in Washington was closed during business hours and officials could not be reached by WND for comment.
But Pastor Phil Jackson, Phelicia’s father and minister to a nondenominational church in the Phoenix, Ariz., area, discussed with WND the attack on his daughter by the German government.
He explained his daughter had married a man with citizenship ties to Germany, and they lived in the United States for several years and had two children. Ultimately, the marriage broke down because of his alleged violence and abuse, and when Phelicia’s husband was scheduled to appear in court on the allegations, he traveled to Germany instead.
After months, the husband resumed contact with Philecia, according to her father. She ultimately decided to travel to Germany with her children to try to restore the family.
But it wasn’t long before she called her father, telling him of new incidents of abuse.
“I told her quickly to call the embassy,” Pastor Jackson told WND.
His daughter needed help leaving Germany, he said, because her children’s passports had disappeared.
The U.S. embassy told her to call German police, and they responded, taking her and the children to a battered women’s shelter. The next day, social services workers from the Jugendamt arrived to scoop up her children and place them in foster care. A day later, a Sunday, Phelicia Jackson was called to a court hearing where, she explained, she essentially lost her parental rights.
Since then, she’s remained in Germany, battling the power of the Jugendamt to regain custody of her children.
“Her whole life is in her children,” Phil Jackson said. “She’s just absolutely depressed. It takes a tremendous amount of energy, emotion, to endure [this.]”
He reported she has been told by her counselors in Germany that regaining full custody of her children appears unlikely, but she remains hopeful an agreement will be worked out.
The same agency appeared in in a recent story by Dale Hurd of Christian Broadcasting Network.
In that case, a 7-year-old named Dan Schulz was taken by police and Jugendamt officers.
A video of the state-sponsor abduction shows the child screaming, “I don’t want to go,” with an official responding, “Mom can’t help you.”
“He was screaming so much. ‘Hold me tight.’ I couldn’t do anything,” his mother, Heidi Schulz, recalled.
The mother eventually was reunited with her son, but even now there are whispers that his residency at his own home may not be allowed to continue, the report said.
The Jugendamt has played a role in the alienation of a large number of homeschool families who have fled Germany. Because of the nation’s law banning homeschooling, and the court’s determination that homeschooling is a form of child abuse, child welfare agencies often intervene against homeschooling families.
“Ms. Jackson is not alone in having to face the Jugendamt in Germany,” said Michael Donnelly, a staff attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association, the HSLDA
The HSLDA is the world’s biggest advocacy organization for homeschooling families and works worldwide to help parents who object to public schooling systems because of religious or other reasons.
“Homeschooling families in Germany have been pursued by this instrument of the German state in a number of cases. Among the most infamous is of the long-time homeschooling family Gorber whose minor children were taken in a harrowing and dramatic raid in January 2008,” Donnelly said.
“The children were returned after 10 months only when the parents agreed to put them in public school. The family has since left Germany. It appears increasingly that these so-called ‘social welfare’ institutions like the Jugendamt in Germany and the Socialnamnden of Sweden have become instruments of persecution used against families where there isn’t any harm being done to children,” Donnelly said.
WND has reported when homeschooling parents in Germany decided to appeal their prison terms, when other parents have lost their children over homeschooling, when a teen girl was taken from her home and sent to a psychiatric ward because she was being homeschooled, when families have fled Germany because of the threats from the Jugendamt over homeschooling, when homeschool families have been fined thousands of dollars as well as other cases.
The heavy hand of the Jugendamt and other German government agencies appeared especially in the recent case of the Romeike family of Tennessee.
The family fled to the U.S. from Germany to escape the Jugendamt and other agencies in Germany, and sought asylum in the U.S.
Judge Lawrence Burman’s granted the request for Uwe and Hannelore Romeike and their family, stating, “We can’t expect every country to follow our Constitution. The world might be a better place if it did.
“However, the rights being violated here are basic human rights that no country has a right to violate,” he said.
The parents wanted to provide their children’s education because of content in modern German textbooks that violates the family’s religious beliefs. The family said the objectionable material includes explicit lessons on sex, the promotion of the occult and witchcraft and an effort to teach children to disrespect authority figures.
The HSLDA estimates there are some 400 homeschool families in Germany. Virtually all of them are either forced into hiding or facing court actions.
Wolfgang Drautz, consul general for the Federal Republic of Germany, previously wrote on the issue in a blog, explaining the German government “has a legitimate interest in countering the rise of parallel societies that are based on religion.”
As WND reported, the German government believes schooling is critical to socialization, as evident in its response to another family that objected to police officers picking up their child at home and delivering him to a public school.
“The minister of education does not share your attitudes toward so-called homeschooling,” said a government letter. “… You complain about the forced school escort of primary school children by the responsible local police officers. … In order to avoid this in future, the education authority is in conversation with the affected family in order to look for possibilities to bring the religious convictions of the family into line with the unalterable school attendance requirement.”
The cases that have developed in Germany, and more recently in Sweden, where a 7-year-old named Domenick Johansson was taken by police from a jet while his family waiting to move to India, are a warning to the U.S., officials have said.
That’s why a Parental Rights.org website has been assembled to promote a constitutional amendment in the U.S. recognizing parental rights.
The recent CBN report noted the Jugendamt dominates Germany’s family court system and it appears to take children “when it wants, from perfectly normal families.”
Heidi Schulz told the CBN reporters, “My experience with the Jugendamt has been terrible. They destroy families; they torture people, and make money out of it.”
The CBN report cited opponents of the institutionalization of children who accused the Jugendamt of being, essentially, a child-trafficking network that uses normal children to generate the business to support its foster home and other facilies.
“There is a system of persons, of social workers, of teachers, psychotherapists, who live on children being taken out of the family,” German psychologist Carola Storm-Knirsch told CBN.
The report suggested some 80 children per day are taken from their parents.
CBN reported the case of the German 7-year-old generated $8,000 a month for the state foster agency to which he was delivered.
The situation has developed to the point that not only are concerns being raised by those caught by the German system, outside agencies such as the French-language CEED-Europe website are taking note.
The organization did the work of posting Phelicia Jackson’s story on YouTube,
The website set up to generate support for Phelicia and her children, Cam’ron and India, described her encounter with the German town of Guterslogh as “parentel abduction with the assistant of the German government.”
The site quotes Isaiah 59:14-15. “And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.”
The website said Philecia’s husband reportedly targeted her with false accusations about using drugs, but even though she passed a drug screening, she was not restored custody of her children.
CEED also has posted a longer video about the Jackson case and others: