Is our freedom to home school our children here in the United States in jeopardy? Even more, in the view of our government, who has the ultimate responsibility for raising and teaching our children – parents or institutions?
Uwe and Hannelore Romeike and their children fled from Germany to the United States seeking political asylum. They want the freedom to home school their children and were facing severe penalties for doing so in Germany. After legally following the immigration process in the United States, the family was originally granted asylum. The United States government then appealed that decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals. The Board sided with the government. Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is representing the family in an appeal of the Board’s decision. If the court rules in favor of the government, then the family would be legally required to return to Germany and potentially face losing custody of their children if they continued to home school.
Being a “home school family”, this situation is very close to our hearts. Is this a stand by our government against our freedom to raise and educate our children and even against individual liberties? Michael Farris, HSLDA Founder and Chairman writes the following:
When the United States government says that homeschooling is a mutable choice—they are saying that it is a characteristic that a government can legitimately coerce you to change. In other words, you have no protected right to choose the education for your children. Our nation could remove your ability to homeschool and your choice would be mutable—since the government has the authority to force you to implement their wishes.
The prospect for German homeschooling freedom is not bright. But we should not reserve all of our concern for the views of the German government. Our own government is attempting to send German homeschoolers back to that land to face criminal prosecutions with fines, jail sentences, and removal of custody of children.
We should understand that in these arguments by the U.S. government, something important is being said about our own liberties as American homeschoolers.
The Attorney General of the United States thinks that a law that bans homeschooling entirely violates no fundamental liberties.
It is important that Americans stand up for the rights of German homeschooling families. In so doing, we stand up for our own.
(From http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/2013/201302110.asp, accessed March 19, 2013).
To read more about this family and the efforts being made in their defense, click on the link below: