As the now-infamous case of Swedish homeschooler Domenic Johansson (at left, with his parents) — seized by authorities because of homeschooling almost two years ago — continues to drag on through the judicial system, a group of the family’s supporters turned out at an appeal in Stockholm on May 11 to express their hope that the family would be reunited soon.
The story of the Johansson tragedy has caused an international uproar, attracting the involvement of numerous prominent human-rights groups in Sweden and around the world. At least hundreds of thousands of homeschooling activists, particularly in America, have been outraged by the case. And now, some Swedes are taking an interest too.
First, some background: After years of battling the social services over not sending Domenic to pre-school and not giving him the government’s “recommended” — though technically optional — vaccines, the family decided to move to India, the mother’s homeland. But right before their plane was set to take off, authorities abducted the boy. He’s been in state custody ever since.
The original reason for ripping the family apart was homeschooling, which is technically legal in Sweden until a new law banning it goes into effect later this year. But social services later complained that Domenic had not received all his vaccines and that he had two baby-teeth cavities the family was planning to treat in India.
The battle to reunite the family has been going on ever since. And on May 11, a high-level appeals court was supposed to review the case. Protesters supporting the family arrived with signs — some of the activists were relatively cheerful, others were obviously on the verge of crying — in what a spokesperson for the court referred to as unusual.
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