April 24, 2014

Council of Europe report threatens homeschooling

Thanks to everyone who signed this Petition – it has now closed.

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Parliamentarians conflate parallel societies with religious freedom

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A report on the “protection of minors against excesses of sects” from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) calls out homeschooling as a practice that should be restricted because of the danger of parallel societies and religious sectarianism. Rapporteur Rudy Salles from France speaks for the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights: “The Committee … is of the opinion that more measures must be taken at national and European level to counter the excesses of sects which affect minors.” Among other things, the report calls upon all 47 member States to “make sure that compulsory schooling is enforced and ensure strict, prompt, and effective monitoring of all private education, including home schooling” to “counter the excesses of sects which affect minors.”

A coalition formed to oppose the report and its accompanying resolution call them “fatally flawed” and note that the documents “contravene human rights standards.”

“The Salles report and resolution contain sweeping generalizations, vague and unsupported allegations, and one-sided information from biased sources that constitute a blueprint for discrimination against parents and their children associated with religious minority faiths,” the coalition states on its website.

Advocates of religious freedom in Europe and around the world have joined together to oppose the Salles report. The International Religious Freedom Roundtable, a multi-faith association of scholars, religious leaders, human rights advocates and practitioners, sent a letter to PACE President Anne Brasseur on March 31st expressing deep concern about the report. The joint letter attracted a total of 64 signatures from American and European organizations and individuals, including HSLDA.

Michael Donnelly, Director of International Affairs at HSLDA asks friends of homeschooling and religious freedom to make their voice heard.

“Please take a moment to sign the coalition’s petition to help stop the proposed legislation at the Council of Europe and share with others you know,” Donnelly asks. “The Salles report poses a serious threat to religious freedom and goes too far as to undermine a parent’s right to choose to homeschool their child on the basis of their religious convictions, a right that is clearly protected by the European Convention and other human rights treaties.”

 Resources

Read the Alliance Defending Freedom’s analysis of the Salles report.

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Protect Your Family

If you aren’t yet a member of HSLDA, consider joining today! HSLDA’s work benefits homeschooolers in the United States and around the world. We invite you to participate in our ministry to the homeschool community. Join now >>

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Global Homeschooling: A threat to the geo-political climate

Karen Braun from SpunkyHomeschool wrote this back in 2006. It is hard to believe it is 2014 and unfolding before our eyes. (Although this edition is slightly altered: Karen did amend the original post to add in Obama and Duncan and also added in Common Core, back then it was nameless. So Karen called it the Seattle Protocal.)

By Karen Braun at SpunkyHomeschool

A new global crisis threatens the stability of political climates around the world:  global homeschooling.  After repeated attempts by those in the scientific and educational communities to deny its existence, the evidence is irrefutable – global homeschooling is real. It’s an “inconvenient truth” for some to accept, but global homeschooling exists and threatens the delicate balance of power in the political climate worldwide. In unbelievably record high numbers, parents are taking back control of their children’s’ education. Educators are baffled by the trend but confirm that the numbers are indeed rising every year.

Anonymous sources believe that global homeschooling is undermining the socialist trend in our nation and elsewhere by promoting complete freedom of thought and expression. Some of the more obvious effects of global homeschooling are children smiling and playing during “school hours”, mothers leaving lucrative careers to stay home and raise their children, and in perhaps the most frightening sign, children are actually expressing a belief in God.

The United Nothings has issued a brief on behalf of many world leaders. They are demanding a world wide summit in Germany, to discuss the effects of global homeschooling on the political climate and have recommended an aggressive strategy to solve the crisis – the Common Core Protocol.
World education experts praised the political will of the leaders to preserve their education monopolies by putting an end to global homeschooling. But most believe it will take years to undo the damage done by the ridiculous notion that parents can successfully teach their own children, countering experts who claim, “it takes a village to raise a child.” A generation of children’s’ hearts have been reawakened to the Truth and to the joy of learning. What took years for education experts to destroy is being slowly rebuilt one child – one home at a time.

The first step to defeat global homeschooling outlined in the Common Core Protocol is to create an international standard for education. All curriculum and testing will be based on this standard. Conformity of thought will be highly rewarded. College entrance, scholarships, and job placement will be dependent upon successful mastery of certain “necessary” skills.

In an unprecedented move, United Nothings has teamed up with computer tycoon turned philanthropist, Gil Bates, to create the international standards and develop state-of-the art education centers around the world. The UN is hopeful that the international community will rally behind this alliance and allow them free access to the minds and hearts of their children

The second step in the Common Core Protocol is to intimidate parents already contributing to the blight of global homeschooling. Using such devices as the Convention on the Ignorance of Parents, the United Nothings hopes to lure children back into the government system of indoctrination. Most nations have already ratified the Convention. However, the biggest offender in global homeschooling, the United States, has not .

Without the support of the United States, controlling global homeschooling will be difficult if not impossible.  In a hopeful sign, the President appears very committed to the Common Core Protocol and has unleashed his Chicago basketball buddy, Barney Dunkin, to coerce states into compliance.

Noted expert, Al Bore has also been called upon to lead the public relations campaign in the fight against global homeschooling. His experience and success in ending a similar crisis many believe will be invaluable in controlling global homeschooling. Appearing on This Week with George Spunkanopolus, Mr. Bore said, “The debate is over, global homeschooling exits. We are in a planetary emergency.”

We at Spunky Homeschool want to do our part to raise awareness about the effects of global homeschooling. Please forward this message to everyone you know. If we each do a little, together we can accomplish a lot.

(Author’s Note: Any sarcasm or resemblance to actual people, places, or events is purely intentional. This post was first published at www.spunkyhomeschool.blogspot.com in 2006)

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 2 February 2013:  One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting started: http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemption: http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

 

HSLDA:Scotland – Officials Overstep Bounds by Passing Bill to Invade the Family

Bill Assigning Government Agent for Every Child outside the Scope of Scottish Powers

Families in Scotland have petitioned the secretary of state to prohibit the passage of the Children and Young People Bill, calling the bill “anti-family” and “illegal.”

“We hope that the secretary of state will refer the bill for determination [legal review by the courts],” stated a spokesperson for Schoolhouse Home Education Association (HEA) in Scotland. “There is precedent for striking down such legislation by invoking Scotland Act powers to prohibit the presiding officer of parliament from submitting a bill for royal assent, which is the final step in becoming law.”

The group also stated that the Christian Institute in Scotland has indicated its intention to mount a legal challenge to the “named person” and non-consensual data-mining provisions of the bill if it is not referred for determination.

Strong Objections

Final debate and passage of the bill by vote took place in the Scottish Parliament on February 19. Schoolhouse HEA published an open letter to Secretary of State Alistair Carmichael on the same day, strongly objecting to sections of the bill that would constitute a massive invasion of every home. The “named person” provision assigns a government social worker to “promote, support or safeguard the wellbeing” of every child from birth. The data collection elements permit information to be shared without parents’ “freely given, specific and informed consent when a child is not ‘at risk.’ ”

HSLDA previously reported on this situation in July 2013 and asked families to support Scottish homeschoolers by submitting written concerns to the parliamentary Education and Culture Committee. HSLDA Director for International Relations Michael Donnelly notes that the bill’s passage indicates members of parliament have dismissed parents’ concerns about its negative impact on families.

“Unfortunately, the situation has only escalated since last summer,” stated Donnelly. “The bad provisions in the Children and Young People Bill still exist, despite the call for evidence issued by the Education and Culture Committee. This law shows the natural progression for a country that has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and attempts to live up to its treaty provisions.”

Broad Policy

The Children and Young People Bill is part of a larger government policy initiative in Scotland called “Getting it Right for Every Child” (GIRFEC), a response to the CRC.

“The children and families of Scotland have been sold for GIRFEC gold” by 105 members of the Scottish Parliament, a Schoolhouse HEA representative told HSLDA, “including those who so squealed loudly over ID cards, yet didn’t raise a whimper over the wholesale collection and sharing of every child’s (and associated adult’s) personal data.”

The organization’s open letter explains the duty for the government-assigned named person to “report anything they perceive might affect an individual child’s ‘wellbeing.’ ” Wellbeing is based on indicators such as being “safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible, included” (Section 72 of Part 13).

“With the exception of ‘safe,’ none of the ‘wellbeing’ indicators is of itself an indicator of a child at risk,” explains Schoolhouse HEA. “Therefore, they are not necessary for the state to mandate as thresholds for compulsory involvement in family life by the named person.”

Spreading the Word

“Raising awareness is what is required,” Schoolhouse notes, “in order to shine a light on the illiberal legislation introduced by our representatives who should be upholding the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath—a Scottish document on liberty upon which the American Constitution is said to have been founded.”

Donnelly asks freedom-loving families and individuals around the world to spread the word.

“Schoolhouse HEA as well as other Scottish organizations have been working hard to lobby against the bill,” Donnelly said. “Thank you to everyone who previously contacted the committee to express concerns about the bill and stand with Scottish families. Please help us spread the news about this situation as Scottish homeschoolers have asked.”

Further details are available on the Schoolhouse HEA website.

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Protect Your Family

If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 2 February 2013:  One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting started: http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemption: http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

HSLDA: Dangerous Policy Lurks behind Romeike Triumph


Federal officials announced last week that they will allow the Romeike family to stay in America. The decision came after Department of Justice lawyers argued that Germany’s mistreatment of homeschoolers like the Romeikes is perfectly reasonable. Read more about the Romeike family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Michael Farris
HSLDA Founder and Chairman

Other than the Romeike family themselves, no one could have been more thrilled than me with the sudden reversal from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which allowed them to remain in the United States. Just one day after the Supreme Court refused to review the court order that demanded their deportation to Germany, the Romeikes were informed by DHS that they could remain indefinitely in the United States where they can continue to homeschool their children.

The DHS notification came to attorney Will Humble, who was the immigration lawyer assisting the Romeikes and HSLDA at all phases of these proceedings. Humble was lead counsel before the administrative judge, and I was lead counsel before the federal courts.

This administrative victory needs to be understood for what it is. It is a victory for the Romeike family alone. No other German homeschooling family can benefit from the administrative grace that was shown in this one instance.

Damage Done

Despite this welcome relief for this one courageous family, the damage done to our laws on asylum and the principles of religious and parental freedom remains.

We cannot slip into complacency and believe that all is well on all fronts. The dangers latent in this case must be understood, combatted, and reversed.

Some court decisions contain language that presents a self-evident danger to liberty. Other times the dangers are much more subtle. For example, in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States (1935), the Court held that Congress could not regulate commerce once goods had come to rest within a state. It could only regulate commerce while in transit and—with words that launched a thousand regulations—those things that “directly affect” commerce. The “effects test” has been used by Congress, the Supreme Court, and the executive branch to impose countless regulations on all manner of activity that would otherwise be outside of federal jurisdiction.

The dangers to liberty that are embedded in the Romeike case are equally subtle. One has to take a closer look at the facts in the record, the arguments of the Obama Justice Department, and the decision of the Sixth Circuit to fully appreciate the very dangerous ideas that were embraced in this case.

But once these dangerous ideas are unmasked, it becomes apparent that they pose real threats to the principles of freedom that virtually all Americans would have believed were solidly established.

Burden of Proof

As with any asylum case, the Romeikes needed to prove two basic propositions to be entitled to asylum. They had to prove that they faced either past or future persecution and that this persecution was motivated, at least in part, on one of the grounds contained in our asylum statute. Religious persecution is one of these recognized grounds for asylum.

Thus, the case boiled down to two particular questions:

1. Was the punishment that the Romeikes would face upon deportation back to Germany sufficiently severe to count as persecution?

2. Was the motive of the German government marked, at least in part, by a desire to repress the family’s exercise of their religious beliefs?

On one level, the first question was not seriously debated. All parties agreed that if the family returned to Germany and continued to homeschool, they would face the threat of losing custody of their children.

Our government was not so callous as to suggest that losing one’s children would not be a severe punishment. However, the government and Sixth Circuit contended that it would not be persecution, because the family could just stop homeschooling and send their children to public schools in order to avoid the punishment.

In this context, the controlling legal rule is that persecution is proven when a government acts against a person either for an immutable characteristic or for a reason that one should not be required to change.

Our government contended that forcing a parent to have their children attend a school that violates their religious beliefs does not offend a conviction that one should not be required to change.

Read the Dangerous Conclusion here…

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 2 February 2013:  One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting started: http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemption: http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

The Romeike Reprieve

The Obama administration still denies refugee status to the German homeschooling family.

Hannelore Romeike and daugher Damaris

For now, the Romeikes get to stay in America. Homeschoolers Uwe and Hannelore Romeike fled their native Germany in 2008 and brought their five children to the U.S. They have since had a sixth child.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear their appeal to stay here. It seemed the Obama administration would succeed in its efforts to have this devout Christian family deported. But at the eleventh hour, the Department of Homeland Security relented. The family has been granted an indefinite stay of the deportation order.

This is a matter of grave concern not only to the family involved and their many friends but to us all. The position taken by the Obama administration in court documents is that the Romeikes cannot claim refugee status and appeal for asylum because they were not truly being persecuted in Germany. The Obama administration does not see homeschooling for reasons of conscience as a legitimate expression of our First Amendment rights to the “free exercise of religion.”

And so the Obama administration still denies refugee status to the Romeike family. In so doing, it places at grave risk the fundamental freedoms of millions of American citizens who homeschool their own children. This Romeike reprieve, answer to prayer that it is, does not constitute a repudiation of the Obama administration’s deeply troubling position.The Romeikes fled a Federal Republic of Germany that in many ways has been a model modern democracy. The Germans have admirably turned away from their troubled past and have become a mainstay of constitutional government and human rights in Europe. In 2009, Germany’s ambassador to the United States, Klaus Scharioth, expressed his government’s thanks to the U.S. for sending some 60 million soldiers to his country over a period of nearly half a century. They were stationed in Germany to protect the liberties of former enemies. The ambassador’s Heritage Foundation audience was deeply moved by his eloquent message. (And I am personally indebted to the humanity of a German U-boat skipper who, in 1943, spared my father’s life and the lives of his shipmates after sinking their freighter.)

Nonetheless, we can in all friendship appeal to the German government to change its policy of persecuting Christian homeschoolers. German friends have explained that they must assure the continuation of their democracy and cannot allow individual families to withdraw their children from state schools. We must be sympathetic but firm on this point: Germany’s failure to recognize the rights of parents to “train up their children in the way they should go” is a major reason why Germany succumbed first to Bismarck’s statism in the 1860s, then to Kaiser Wilhelm II’s militarism in the first decade of the 20th century, and finally, and most tragically, to the Hitler Nazi nightmare in the 1930s and ’40s.

This, not incidentally, is what liberal advocates here seek to do with the so-called Common Core education standards. They want to impose a “general power of the State to standardize its children.” This is one of the main reasons we should oppose the initiative rightly called Obamacore…

Read the whole article here…

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 2 February 2013:  One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting started: http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemption: http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/