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Our friends at the Home School Legal Defense Association have shared more distressing news about the state of homeschooling in Germany. Last month, several police and social workers stormed into a family’s house in Germany, and they by force took all four of the children (ages 7–14). Why? The parents, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, had been homeschooling their children.
From what I understand—after talking to the Romeike family, Christians who fled to America from Germany because of their homeschooling and are seeking asylum in the USA—Germany has signed human rights treaties that declare the right of parents to homeschool, especially if it involves the parents’ religious beliefs. Germany is not honoring these treaties.
Here is an excerpt from a recent AiG article about the Wunderlichs in this new development in homeschooling and also the possible ramifications in the USA:
Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, following their convictions that they should educate their children themselves, for four years have been seeking a new home within the European Union. Failing to find employment, Mr. Wunderlich last year had to bring the family back to their home country of Germany. Within days the “Youth Welfare Office” was granted legal custody of their children on the grounds of criminal truancy. The court noted the children were well treated, however, and left them in their home, but authorities—in violation of European Convention of Human Rights—confiscated the children’s passports to ensure they could not escape Germany again.You can read the entire AiG article.
The sole charge against the family is their failure to cooperate with authorities by sending their children to school outside their home. Yet on August 28 Judge Koenig of Darmstadt family court signed an order to seize the children. He even authorized the use of force “against the children” because the children had likely assimilated their “parents’ opinions” and would be uncooperative.
Meanwhile, the TV program Truth that Transforms produced a segment about the Wunderlich case. Dr. Jerry Newcombe and his cohost, Jennifer Cassidy Kennedy (the daughter of the late pastor and AiG friend, Dr. D. James Kennedy), discussed the German homeschool case.
For more information on threats against homeschooling, read the HSLDA article.
In our article about the Wunderlichs, we noted the irony that Germany was a country that gave up totalitarianism over sixty years ago. Yet this democracy today is becoming heavy-handed as it does not allow families to teach their own children and ignores treaties. We just recently learned that the children have been returned to their parents but on the condition that the children will have to attend public school. See yesterday’s News to Know article for more.
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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.