Government officials in Norway have demanded that a homeschooling mother and father give up their passports if they want to be reunited with their 12-year-old son.
WND reported last week Norwegian police and social services workers chased down, tackled and captured the 12-year-old for the offense of being homeschooled.
See it for yourself, in this video from the Home School Legal Defense Association:
During the chase, the student’s mother is screaming: “Some people, please help. I need people to help!”
HSLDA then launched an online petition campaign to complain to the Norwegian embassy in the U.S. about the “atrocious treatment,” which to Americans is absolutely “intolerable.”
Now, according to CTV News, Kai Kristiansen has been allowed to return to his home with parents Terese and Leif Kristiansen, if they meet certain conditions.
The demands from Barnevernet, Norway’s child protection agency, were that Kai return immediately to public schools and his parents relinquish their Canadian passports.
“We had to sign an agreement to get him home, and it’s their terms; but we’re just happy that he’s home,” Terese Kristiansen told CTV News
She described her son as “strong” and said he’s doing well after being in custody for a week.
“We are happy to announce that Kai is back in his home with his family,” Leif Kristiansen said in a Facebook post translated from Norwegian, according to CTV.
“This is an exhausting process, but anything to get Kai home.”
When the video surfaced, Jim Mason, HSLDA’s vice president of litigation and development, said the Kristiansens had moved from Canada, where Terese and son Kai are citizens, to Norway in search of opportunities.
Kai immediately was the target of bullies at the local school, so his parents removed him from the school and immediately began to homeschool him.
They were just doing what the school should have done, the report said, “keep Kai safe and provide him with a healthy learning environment.”
But local government officials dispatched agents of the Barnevernet, the nation’s child-protective services, and police officers.
In the video, HSLDA said: “Kai’s mother, Terese, looks on in terror, screaming for help as Kai is chased by the police and the Barnevernet. ‘My son is being stolen by Barnevernet in Norway because we want to homeschool!’ Terese shouted as helpless friends and neighbors watched.”
Kai screamed “No!” as he was captured and taken into government custody.
It was, according to Ray Skorstad of Barnets Beste, which helps parents whose children have been the subject of government-seizure orders, a “brutal invasion of the family without sufficient justification.”
Michael Donnelly, HSLDA’s director of global outreach, said Kai’s mother told him: “We had hoped that we would be welcomed in our own home country. But I am living a nightmare; I can’t believe what they did to my son.”
Donnelly previously fought the Barnevernet in his support of the Bodinariu family, whose children were taken when authorities disagreed with the Christian values of the family several years ago.
He said the homeschool community needs to come together.
“An attack like this is an attack on homeschooling,” he said. “Parents are the ones who have the right to decide how their children are educated and what is best for them. Parents do not have to give a reason for homeschooling, but the Kristiansens were well-justified in taking their son out of school in order to keep him from being bullied.”
Donnelly said the schooling dispute “is no justification” to tackle a child by force.
Kai’s father told HSLDA that the local school situation was so dangerous that he was worried about his son’s “mental and physical health.”
The petition contends international law is on the parents’ side and they have “a right to privacy and protection from unwarranted state intrusion.”
WND has a long history of reporting on the case of Dominic Johansson, who was “state-napped” by authorities in neighboring Sweden when he was 7 for being homeschooled.
The government eventually simply ordered his parents’ rights terminated and he was kept in state custody.
He was grabbed by agents in 2009 from a jetliner as his parents were set to leave for India. It sparked a global outcry among human rights activists and home educators, and the Home School Legal Defense Association and the Alliance Defending Freedom went to the European Court of Human Rights to challenge Sweden’s actions.
Numerous experts and attorneys have described the Johansson case as a brazen example of “state-napping.”
Legal experts have said Swedish officials violated multiple human rights enshrined in international treaties to which the Swedish government is a party, including the right of parents to direct the education of their children, family life, due process and travel.