October 25, 2014

Stop beating on Sweden’s parents!

Stop beating on Sweden’s parents!

By Caroline Olsson

Translation: Ruby Harrold-Claesson, Lawyer, President of the NCHR

This article was previously published on the Swedish Internet Site, Newsmill.se – 2009-12-03

http://www.newsmill.se/artikel/2009/12/03/sluta-sla-pa-sveriges-foraldrar

Swedish authorities and legal institutions have a negative attitude towards parenthood, which is not good for the relationship between children and parents. Many children need more time with their parents to feel safe. Now the government intends be even stricter with school attendance, and even prevent parents who want to take care of their children’s schooling, so-called Home-schooling. They are also negative to children’s absence from school for travel with their families, and in general they announce “tougher measures” which will not help the confused children.

Children need their parents as life-coaches, but there is so little time in today’s stressful society. Children need a solid relationship with an adult to find their identity, and develop their personalities in a natural way.
Swedish society does not respect parenthood. Parents are seen as some sort of service to the school system, which will ensure the provision of children who are rested, fed, have done their homework and are interested in going to school.

I am sure that very many of the problems of today’s society, have arisen precisely because time for children and parents to be together has shrunk. This has happened gradually, and perhaps imperceptibly. We have given priority to other things, and now we need to wake up and see that too many children are suffering.

Those in power do not see this connection, so now they want to legislate more stringent attendance at school and even “tougher measures”. They want to prevent parents who have the opportunity to take responsibility for their children’s schooling, so-called Home-schooling, by requiring “special reasons”. It will also be more difficult to get time off from school for example to travel with the family. They have not tried to find out how very many children suffer today in the schools, due to bullying, harassment, and the like. Politicians talk about the “right to education”, as if there are no problems in the schools. Many children and young people are experiencing the “right” to attend school and social interaction, which the politicians are talking about, rather like a prison and a torment. A very large proportion of children today are exhibiting anxiety about going to school.

Politicians say: “We must have schools, because we have had them since the 1800s.” Usually it would not be so modern for you to say that something is from the 1800s. We are living in a completely different society now. Back then they wanted to increase public knowledge. But now the level of education of most adults is much higher than primary school, so now there is no reason to force all children to go to school, if the parents have other options.

The Government’s new Education Act Bill sends out a very serious message to all the parents in this country. We are now being prohibited from giving our children a better alternative to going to school. Parents are simply not allowed to judge what is good for their own children.

Sweden needs a new approach to parenthood. We need to see parents as experts on their children. The solution is not to pull children away from their parents even more, but to support children and parents, to make use of all the time they can get to spend together.

Sweden is selling out the immense power that parents’ responsibility for their children represents. This is a disaster. We cannot afford to do without it. It is upon that power that a society rests. If you who are in power continue to display this negative attitude, you will undermine the whole society. You cannot replace parenting by doubling the number of school nurses and counsellors. Parenthood cannot be substituted at all. Your animosity towards parents will only cost countless extra billions.

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Legal option after School bullying

27 March 2009 7:28 p.m.

Dear Everyone,

I’ve pasted below a news article that exemplifies many of the vast multitude of things wrong with the state’s schooling institutions. I’m letting off a bit of steam because I am so angry at this rotten system that systematically practises institutionalised child abuse by teachers and administrators who are so desensitised to it, they will round on parents and bully them if they dare question what goes on. Many of these lousy schools are in blatant denial, refusing to admit they have a problem. The most amazing thing is that parents and even doctors and nurses will often side with the school against the victimised child, even in the face of bruises, cuts, crying themselves to sleep at night and having vomiting fits the next morning at the thought of returning to the place of torture.

This week has been amazing. I’ve had so many phone calls and emails from parents wanting to start home education because of the bullying their children have suffered for months, sometimes for years. One mum felt she didn’t want to send the child to school since he was so tender at age 5. She considered home schooling, but decided it was too radical a step. Now, at age 6, her son is toughed up and so much more sophisticated as everyone typically said he needed to become…and he is also defiled because of the sexual abuse he suffered at school. She now forever regrets the day she ever trusted him to the state. Another mum’s 10-year-old has significant physical disabilities which require a full-time aide. But the boy has had enough of the school-supplied aides and the constant teasing, as the nature of his disability is somewhat personal. He would prefer his mum, but the several schools approached will not have it as they not only dislike parents observing the reality of the classroom, they say it causes children to become too dependent upon their parents! And besides, they say, the boy stinks (due to his disability), and they’d prefer it if she would find another school. And so the boy refuses to enter the school grounds, the parent is begging them to let her instead of aides attend to her son’s needs, but they won’t let her, and she is now being threatened by a Group Special Education person with police and CYFPS and truancy officers if the child is not in school immediately!

It’s a flamin’ madhouse!

This article below has a typical school response to bullying. “Oh, it’s only girls being girls, boys being boys. It’ll blow over.” So when the girl spirals downhill and hits bottom, it turns out she has parents willing to do something: sue the school. Good on them, I say! Man, has it sobered up the school! The principal all of a sudden comes out of denial and makes a statement most principals would confess to only once they’d been stretched on the rack: “It does not matter what a school does, it can never be resolved completely.” This woman admitted that it is a permanent, on-going, unstoppable problem. We got a straight honest answer at last. I mean, this girl was bullied even after she left the school…by text messages!

The very threat of a legal suit also flushed out the fascinating, yet totally unknown fact, that “it is a statutory requirement for schools to take all reasonable steps to prevent bullying from occurring while pupils are at school,” and that “Failure to take such steps could result in criminal prosecution and hefty fines.” If all parents of school-abused children would simply threaten to sue the school, bullying would be slashed. A few successful suits, some bullies taken down, and the problem would recede way out onto the horizon.

But worst of all is the so-called Children’s Commissar, Cindy Kiro, criticising the parents for considering such an option, but uselessly offering no course of action in its place.

If you don’t know what is going on in these institutions of systematic child abuse called state schools, you need to find out. And then tell your friends and rellies to get their children OUT of those places as soon as possible. All I have to do is read the education column of Stuff.co.nz…it’s enough to make your toenails curl. But I’ve been reading it and other sources for over 20 years…I have stacks of clippings and e-articles of the most horrendous goings on, that just don’t stop, no matter how hard the schools try to cover up…and don’t fool yourself…they go to great lengths to slam the lid on any negative publicity.

Get yourself a subscription to TEACH Bulletin http://hef.org.nz/2007/teach-bulletin-1yr/.  It’s only $9 lousy bucks for 6 issues a year and almost always has a good sampling of the latest in state school violence, as well as other political and statist trends in relation to schools, home education and parenting. Get your friends and neighbours a subscription, too, for it will open their eyes. We’ve got to be informed and stop pretending everything is all right. We’ve got to get children out of the schools, and we’ve got to embolden parents to speak up when their children are being abused by the system.

TEACH Bulletin is available from us at:

Craig & Barbara Smith

Home Education Foundation

PO Box 9064

Palmerston North 4441

New Zealand

Ph. +64 6 357-4399

craig@hef.org.nz

www.hef.org.nz

Legal option after bullying

By NATHAN BEAUMONT – The Dominion Post

Last updated 05:00 21/03/2009

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/2281076/Legal-option-after-bullying

A family is considering legal action against a school after a girl was bullied for so long that she lost 12 kilograms, spent three weeks in hospital and had to move to another school.

The children’s commissioner has described the case as “completely unacceptable” and said she would be prepared to investigate.

And a lawyer is warning school boards that they could be prosecuted by parents whose children suffer emotional harm as a result of bullying.

The parents of the 15-year-old victim said St Mary’s College in Wellington did not do enough to stop the ordeal, which started in August 2007.

Though the bully had written an apology letter to the victim, her family said it was still seeking answers from the school board.

The victim informed the school counsellor when the bullying started, but was told it was just “girls being girls” and would “blow over”, her mother says.

But it did not blow over. Instead the victim said she endured taunts and rumours for a further seven months at school.

The girl’s mother said her daughter developed an eating disorder, lost 12 kilograms and spent three weeks in hospital recovering. The claim was backed up in a letter from a clinical psychologist that was sent to the school.

“After assessment it was clear that [her] weight loss was not due to concerns about her appearance but rather was as a tool to help her maintain control of herself during an episode of bullying by girls at school.”

The parents removed their daughter from the school, but said the taunts continued, with bullying text messages.

St Mary’s principal Mary Cook said the school did everything in its power to deal with the situation.

“The issue with bullying is that it is very difficult to deal with and isolate. It does not matter what a school does, it can never be resolved completely. We do everything we possibly can.”

Meanwhile, a lawyer has warned that it is a statutory requirement for schools to take all reasonable steps to prevent bullying from occurring while pupils are at school.

“Failure to take such steps could result in criminal prosecution and hefty fines,” John Miller said.

Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro said it would be a “sad day” if bullying victims started taking legal action.

“It’s not a route we want to go down, that’s the American way. It is an option, but it is the least constructive option.”

The victim’s mother said the family was keen to explore legal action. “Definitely, we would be keen to look into that area.

“All schools have different approaches to bullying, but St Mary’s seems to be: keep it quiet and deny, deny, deny.”

LETTER TO VICTIM

Letter from the bully to the 15-year-old victim after she left St Mary’s School.

“I don’t want you to have to leave all your friends because of all this shit. I am so sorry for everything. You have no idea how bad I feel. I would do anything to take back what’s happened and everything I have said and done, not only to you, but your friends.

“I know that we will never be friends, but I want us to be anything but enemies. I am so sorry for everything that has happened in the past year. I hope you get better soon and that this letter means even a little something to you.”

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Homeschooling goes boom in America

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?pageId=85408

Homeschooling goes boom in America

74 percent increase in number of families teaching own children


Posted: January 05, 2009

By Chelsea Schilling
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

A homeschooling movement is sweeping the nation – with 1.5 million children now learning at home, an increase of 75 percent since 1999.

The Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics reported homeschooling has risen by 36 percent in just the last five years.

“There’s no reason to believe it would not keep going up,” NCES statistician Gail Mulligan told USA Today.

A 2007 survey asked parents why they choose to homeschool and allowed them to provide several reasons. The following are the most popular responses:

  • Concern about the school environment, including reasons such as safety, drugs or negative peer pressure – 88 percent
  • A desire to provide religious or moral instruction – 83 percent
  • A dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools – 73 percent
  • Nontraditional approach to children’s education – or “unschoolers” who consider typical curriculums and standardized testing as counterproductive to quality education – 65 percent
  • Other reasons, such as family time, finances, travel and distance – 32 percent
  • Child has special needs (other than physical or mental health problems) that schools cannot or will not meet – 21 percent
  • Child has a physical or mental health problem – 11 percent

(Story continues below)

Parents who report that they homeschool to provide religious or moral instruction increased from 72 percent to 83 percent from 2003 to 2007.

Above all other responses, parents cited providing religious and moral instruction as the most important factor in the decision to teach their children at home (36 percent). The second most important issue was concern about the school environment (21 percent), while the third reason was dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools (17 percent).

Research has shown the positive effects of homeschooling through the years. While some critics say teaching children at home may stunt their social growth, Dr. Brian D. Ray, president of National Home Education Research Institute, reveals homeschooled students fare well or better than public and private school students in terms of social, emotional and psychological development.

Additionally, homeschoolers earn higher marks than peers who attend public schools. In Academic Leadership, and online journal, Dr. Ray and Bruce K. Eagleson also cite findings from at least three nationwide studies across the United States and two nationwide studies in Canada.

“The home educated in grades K to 12 have scored, on average, at the 65th to 80th percentile on standardized academic achievement tests in the United States and Canada, compared to the public school average of the 50th percentile,” the report states.

Three studies also show that demographics, income and education level of homeschooling parents are generally irrelevant with regard to quality of education in a home setting. On average, homeschoolers in low-income families with less formal education still score higher than state-school averages.

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Parents to get truancy reminders

ttp://www.stuff.co.nz/nelsonmail/4666609a6007.html

Parents to get truancy reminders

By MARCUS STICKLEY – Nelson | Monday, 25 August 2008

Parents could soon start being prosecuted for taking their children out of school for a holiday, a Nelson principal says.

Primary schools have been reinforcing attendance rules with parents after receiving reminders from the Education Ministry to do so.

Under the Education Act, every pupil enrolled at a registered school must attend the school whenever it is open. Ministry guidelines say it is up to principals to decide whether an absence is justified.

Parents can be prosecuted for not sending their children to school, and fines of $15 a day – up to $150 for a first offence – can be imposed if they are convicted.

Hampden St School principal Don McLean said that for a school to prosecute a parent for taking their child away on holiday would be a “bold thing to do, but maybe it’s not too far away”.

In his school newsletter in May, he told parents that the ministry was taking a “tougher line on attendance and have clearly defined what a justifiable absence is and what truancy is”.

“Some of you may be surprised to hear that if you take your child on an overseas trip in school time, this is considered an unjustified absence and therefore your children are recorded as truant.”

Similarly, a week-long ski trip during school time would also be unjustified, he said in the newsletter.

Mr McLean told the Nelson Mail the school kept a record of pupils who missed school due to family holidays, and he planned to “take parents aside” to discuss the issue if they did it regularly.

“We have to get tough on them.”

However, he said the rules were “one size fits all”, which he did not agree with.

If a pupil was travelling to a destination such as Europe, the cultural education they would get could be more valuable than what they would learn in the classroom in that time, he said.

Mr McLean said four children were currently away overseas, mostly for family reasons.

“There seems to be a lot at the moment.”

Hampden St School parent Andrew Meffan has taken his two children on week-long skiing holidays to Wanaka during the school term in previous years.

He said he planned to do the same next week, staying with members of his extended family in a house that was available to them only at certain times during the year.

“But we don’t want to be on the wrong side of the rules and have a truancy officer knock on our door.”

Mr Meffan said truancy rules needed to be targeted appropriately.

“There needs to be more of an evaluation of cases based on the student and family, and commitment to learning.”

St Paul’s Catholic Primary School principal John Dorman said he had received a letter from the ministry before the start of the school year, saying schools should not condone parents taking their children out of school for holidays.

Craig wrote this letter to the editor:

25 August 2008

Letter to Editor

Nelson Mail

Nelson

The idea of schools threatening parents with truancy notices for taking their children on holiday demonstrates one of the more obvious characteristics of state schooling institutions: that they are simply prisons or child warehouses, designed to baby-sit kids and keep them off the streets.

A holiday with the family, the MoE apparently informs the schools, is not a “justified” absence from school. So the MoE equates a geographical/cultural/social field trip with a child’s parents and siblings to hanging around the mall or sitting at home watching videos all day. The MoE demonstrates again its disconnection from the real world. Any formal notification by the parents that they are taking the child out of the schooling institution should be justification enough: the parents’ authority should trump that of the MoE any day.

Regards,

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German Youth Authorities Allow Gorber Children Home ‘Temporarily’

http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/Germany/200808190.asp

Germany

Germany


August 19, 2008

German Youth Authorities Allow Gorber Children Home ‘Temporarily’

In a surprise decision earlier this week, the Youth Welfare Authorities in Germany, the “Jugendamt,” have allowed the remaining five Gorber children to return home until the beginning of September. The five girls have been kept in youth homes for the last eight months with minimal visitation from their family.

The family’s attorneys have been arguing that there is no valid reason for the Jugendamt to retain custody of the girls. Earlier this month, a German family court judge ordered that the Jugendamt retain custody of the school-age children because the judge feared the parents would refuse to enroll the children in school and undergo court-ordered psychiatric examinations.

Mr. and Mrs. Gorber are so pleased that their children are now home with them. A person close to the family reported that the “children have held up well under the circumstances and have not been susceptible to manipulation by the Jugendamt or other children in the homes. This is a real testimony of the strength of the family and the parents.”

Despite Germany’s inhospitable education laws, the Gorbers have homeschooled there for quite some time, motivated by their sincere religious convictions. In January, authorities seized the Gorbers’ seven minor children in an aggressive raid of the family home conducted while the parents were absent. At the time of the raid, Mr. Gorber was visiting his wife, who was hospitalized due to a complicated pregnancy. The seizure was conducted without advanced notice and required authorities to carry off at least one child “kicking and screaming.”

A similar raid occurred in 2007 when the Jugendamt and police authorities seized Melissa Busekros from her home in Erlangen and kept her in foster homes for months with minimal visitation from her family. Melissa escaped from her foster home in April 2007, and is now at home. She is pressing her case against the state for breaching her and her family’s civil rights.

The Gorbers, too, have vowed to fight on until they regain permanent custody of all of their children.

Homeschoolers in Germany remain gravely concerned about recent changes in federal law that have made it easier for the Jugendamt to seize children from families who homeschool. In July, German President Horst Kohler signed a law that made it easier for the Jugendamt to take German children from families where the children were “endangered.” The term “endangered” is not defined in the law, and German Courts have already ruled that homeschooling is “an abuse of parental rights.”

Another homeschool family in Germany, the Dudeks, were sentenced to 90 days each in jail in July for homeschooling their children. The Dudeks, who receive daily letters of encouragement, told HSLDA that “they so appreciate the letters from American homeschoolers. Some days we are quite depressed about the situation in Germany, and then we go to the mailbox and we read a wonderful note of encouragement from an American homeschooling family. Our children love the letters and have already several pen-pals.”

The Dudeks’ attorneys will be filing their appeal of the conviction this week with the state appeals court in the German state of Hesse. The Dudeks are hopeful that their appeal will overturn their conviction. “Sending people to jail because they homeschool is wrong,” says Juergen Dudek. “We are educating our children well. They are well-adjusted and not deprived in anyway. We have again applied for status of a private school in Hesse. We are willing to work with the authorities to come to an understanding how we can educate our children, but we will not compromise on whether we, as their parents, will educate them. It is our duty and responsibility and our conscience will not allow us to give that up.”

Other families have fled Germany under threat of extraordinary fines, threat of jail and the possible loss of custody of their children. Some have fled to Canada, England, New Zealand, the United States and even Iran to be able to homeschool their children.

“Families should not have to choose between their homeland and homeschooling,” said HSLDA Staff Attorney Michael Donnelly, who coordinates HSLDA’s involvement in Germany, “These families are following their conscience, and Germany is simply out of step to treat parents who choose to educate their own children in this dramatically autocratic way. This kind of behavior by the Federal Republic of Germany is very disturbing. HSLDA is committed to helping persecuted homeschoolers in Germany and calls on state legislators in Germany to take action to change their laws to make homeschooling legal. Homeschooling works and is legal all over Europe—Germany should not be allowed to get away with this kind of repression of a fundamental human right.”

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