Discussion in 'Homeschooling in the News' started by 2littleboys, Sep 3, 2013.
I read about this the other day.. SO SAD! I pray that HSLDA can get this straightened out and that the family is reunited VERY SOON..
It's so hard to know how to feel about this. They knew it was illegal, and what could happen, yet they still chose to homeschool. But of course it is sad that they do not have the choice to homeschool in Germany.
I am with Heather on this one. First I think it's a tragedy that Germany doesn't allow homeschooling, yet the family knew what they were doing was illegal AND they had a previous warning from the government. I am heartbroken for the family. I can't imagine how the parents are dealing with not even knowing where their kids are or when they will see them again. I am sure the kids are scared to death that they will never be with their family again. I think there could have been a quieter more peaceful way to resolve the issue, but then again I don't have all the facts. This really is a horrible situation. I am praying the family will be reunited.
For me the problem is just as the HSLDA says, this should be a basic right, and a religious freedom. Many people homeschool because it's by religious standards that they believe in. It's never right for a government to dictate a parents religious freedoms with/for their children, when it doesn't harm the children. The government themselves say that they were NOT harming their children.
To me this is tantamount to some christians here in the states...what if you are a christian, and our government said you could no longer take your children to church/sunday school, and you could no longer study the bible with them...for some people homeschooling is just as strong a conviction in their religious views.
The scary thing for me about this is also it being Germany, it wasn't that long ago that children were taken from their parents and killed/concentration camps because of their religious choices (or born into religion/race as in the Jews, but it wasn't only Jews. It was Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses, and any other religion that was not in line with Hitler's views.).
I would say it's very important for the laws to be changed to help these people have religious freedom, especially when it comes to their children.
The problem with WW II is every one kept on going on about their business and decided to just obey the government as long as it wasn't effecting them (as long as they weren't Jewish, Mormon's, Jehovah's Witnesses, Gay, handicap, etc etc). And by the time people had decided this wasn't right, they had a strong hold on the country and many people were killed already.
If no one bucks the system it will always stay that way. So while yes this family knew the law....was it right or moral to obey a unjust law, just to let the government continue their wrong immoral laws?
I'm with Heather, as well. I feel horrible about it, but they knowingly took this risk. I'm not saying it's not worth it... only they can answer that. I'm also not saying that Germany is right. But look at this letter Mike Farris received from a German citizen about the situation. I think it shows that the problem is much more broad in scope than a single court case can tackle.
Just like in the USA, on many religious freedoms it has taken more then one courtcase.
It will take a lot of courtcases, but it has to start some where, with one first. I am so hoping that they can help this family.
It's sad that the average citizen has been this brain washed-that thinking that homeschooling is abusive. But, it wasn't long ago that people thought that here. In fact my own parents said that when I said I was homeschooling my children.
It will take time...but if no one ever stands up and starts something it will never have a chance to change.
For a person who claims to value tolerance and open-mindedness, Stefan's letter was rather intolerant and close-minded. German homeschoolers or would-be homeschoolers certain have their work cut out for them.
This statement from a German citizen is not unique. My sister lived in Germany for 3 years and although they were a military family they lived in the nearby city and not on base. They were immersed in the German culture and found a lot of the Germans beliefs to be that government control is the BEST thing for everyone. My sister homeschooled while they were there and many of the German neighbors called the police to report her but since she was an American and her dh was in the military they couldn't do anything because she was following US laws. She said is was very scary.
One other thing I want to mention is the above letter that was written sounds like it came from a big government fan. I guarantee that if they were in a situation where their religious (or non-religious) beliefs were under attack from the government and they were being help captive, or their family was, they would probably change their mind as to what government should and shouldn't be able to control. Their beliefs stem from never having dealt with government in a negative way.
I also understand that this family tried to live outside of Germany so they could homeschool and it ended up not working out. For me, if the country I lived in didn't allow homeschooling I would move and not go back under ANY circumstances. They chose to go back and they knew what the consequences would be.
I do not think Germany's laws are right, but I also think that obeying the law of the country you reside in is important. If everyone felt that their beliefs were higher than a governments laws there would be so much lawlessness. I hope I am not being misunderstood. For example, if I held a religious belief that I had to sacrifice a child to God every Tuesday at noon, I would assume I would go to jail for murder even though I would try to defend myself with the first amendment of freedom of religion. Laws are there to protect us. Not every country has the same laws, and that I am grateful for. Not every culture in the world is the same. Everyone believes different and I am so glad that I can learn from other people/cultures/countries etc as to what is good and what is wrong. We as US citizens need to respect and allow each country to govern themselves.
What about though when the laws in Germany was to exterminate Jews, Jehovah's Witneses, Gay people, and Mormons. Or what about when the Laws in America was that Black people had no rights and were slaves. It always takes people willing to buck the system and challenge it to make changes in unjust laws.
I do not think that Homeschooling is in any way shape or form abuse of children. Sacrifcing a child (killing) would be abuse. That is totally two different things.
The Bible says to obey the laws of the land, BUT, that God's laws are higher then mans. So it is right to obey the law, till it interferes with God's laws. Unless some one was to twist those laws into abusing children-sacrificing them, molesting them, etc etc. Homeschooling is not a abuse. Even the government themselves said in the report that these children were not being harmed.
I am not saying the USA should be involved in their government, BUT, they have a right to fight this as German citizens themselves, and if that means they get American lawyers I see nothing wrong with that.
The reason this family had to go back to Germany, was the father could not make a living outside of Germany to support his family. THEN the government took their passports away where they could no longer leave-which was against their own laws.
The letter is also the opinion of many in this country. While hs'ing isn't illegal here, there are plenty that feel it SHOULD be, and that it amounts to "mind control". That's why it's so important to NOT ratify the UN's children's rights thing in this country. But this attitude IS coming here, people.
Very right Jackie, the attitude has been here for a long time for sure.
HSLDA's response to that letter (and myriad others)
Ok, so that gives me more to chew on. I might still come to the same conclusion, but for now, I'll say that my jury is out.
I thought this article was pretty interesting, I do not agree with his stance on lots of the issues he points out, but I do think it shows what other people think.
Pretty biased an uniformed, if you ask me. But you're right... shows what other people think.
It really bothers me that when they returned to Germany after leaving the first time, all of their passports were taken away from them. Now they couldn't leave again if they wanted to.
I wanted to add something else, because I was also on the fence about my feelings about this... wondering what would make these parents so adamant about homeschooling knowing what the consequences could be.
I was out with my knitting group last night, and one of the women there is in her early 60's and is from Germany. She and her husband immigrated to Canada when their children became school age, so that they wouldn't have to attend the German public schools. They go back to visit every year because they still have family there. She says the school system there is horrible. The points she made:
-Once children start public school, the attitude is that the children now belong to the school more than belonging to their parents.
-There is no room for the parents to question anything that is being taught, or the way it is being taught. The teachers have all rights when it comes to the education and discipline of the children while they are in school.
-There is immense pressure on the children. They are "streamed" into one of 4 different high schools: One intended for University prep, one a mid-road, one for trade-type jobs, and one for those considered "delinquents". Which high school they are placed in pretty much determines which social class they will be in for their adult lives. She said that the "class" mentality is very prevalent still today (for example, when they moved to Germany for a year for her husband to finish his Master's degree there, she tried to get a job working at a senior's home. When they found out her husband was a social worker, they wouldn't give her the job because it was beneath her social status).
-The "stream" the children are placed in is determined in the 4th grade, based on their academics and personalities. So there is insane pressure on these young children to get into the good high schools. She claims that Germany has one of the highest suicide rates among children in the world because of this pressure.
-There is a large focus on "toughening up" children, in school, from the very beginning. She said it is routine for the 2nd grade children to be taken on a "field trip" for 3 days, with no contact with their parents while they're gone. Parents do not have the option of refusing to send their kids. The purpose is to make them tough and more independent of their parents.
So, I guess I can better understand why some families choose to risk keeping their kids out of the school system there. It probably feels like a lose-lose situation to many of them I thank God every day I was born and can raise my kids in Canada.
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