Hearing Set In Germany For Schmidt Family
by Joel Thornton
Our team is headed to Germany in a couple of weeks. We have a four or five goals for this trip, but the most important goals are to help the 700 Club’s reporter put together a piece on the Schmidt family. This report is important because it will expose the persecution that many families are facing in Germany from overzealous school and government officials. It will also put pressure on those local officials who have decided that they can run roughshod over the rights of this incredible Christian family whose only “fault” is that they have chosen to home school their own children in Germany.
As a result of this decision the family has been fined over $10,000 by the government. As if that were not enough, they have a hearing scheduled for 22 September 2009. This hearing is to determine whether the Schmidts keep the legal custody of their one child remaining in school or have the court take that custody and give it to the Youth Welfare Office.
This is a critical human rights battle and we must be there in order to keep the pressure up. We have a great team of lawyers preparing to handle this case.
Johannes Hildebrandt is a skilled advocate for families like the Schmidts. Also, Gabriele and Armin Eckermann have led the fight in the courts of Germany for years. Together we will do everything in our power to see that the Schmidt family has a chance to educate their son according to their sincerely-held beliefs.
I will be in the court room as an international human rights observer, making sure the court knows that the world is watching what happens in Germany. Already we have seen states like California try to import a German style treatment of home school families. Sweden is currently looking at a law that could be used to make home schooling all but illegal.
Why is this so important? It is not just about home schooling. The real issue is the right of parents to control the upbringing of their children. One of the fundamental rights of parents is the right to educate their children according to the dictates of their own religious beliefs. If the state has the right to control education regarding the reading and math curriculum without question, they will soon exercise the right to control the religious education as well.
This is a real threat in an ever increasing secular society.
Stand with us in prayer!