January 7, 2008

Persecuted Homeschool Family to Leave Germany

The Neubronners, a German homeschooling family in Bremen, Germany, have been fighting for several years to homeschool their children. When the government refused to allow them to homeschool, they sued. In response, they have been harshly persecuted by the local authorities.

The Neubronners have suffered intense pressure in the form of huge, coercive fines (nearing $10,000), the threat of criminal prosecution and the possibility of losing custody of their children, methods authorities have employed to persecute other homeschooling families like the Brausse and Busekros families. The Neubronners have become the latest victim of Germany’s harsh and repressive policy towards families who homeschool.

Faced with these harsh measures, the Neubronners have decided that the risk to their family is too great. The family will leave Germany to protect their children from the threat of being taken away, and so that they can continue to homeschool. Mrs. Neubronner will maintain her residency in Germany, so that the lawsuit can continue and their publishing business can go on. The family hopes that they will win their legal battle and be able to return to their homeland. The Neubronners are making a stand not only for themselves, but for all homeschoolers in Germany.

Germany’s policy is in stark contrast to all other democratic and free societies that embrace homeschooling and recognize that parents have the primary responsibility and inalienable right to direct the upbringing and education of their children. It is tragic that German families must choose between living in their homeland and homeschooling their children.

Home School Legal Defense Association, in partnership with ADF and other organizations, continues to support legal, political and humanitarian efforts to change this draconian policy toward homeschoolers. Such behavior should not be tolerated by the rest of the free world. We call on governments and private citizens to take action to tell Germany that such policies are an embarrassment to them and must be changed.

Please join us in praying for and encouraging families like the Neubronners as they fight for homeschooling freedom in Germany.