Judge Calls Homeschooling Abusive “Straitjacket”
Following 21 days in German state custody, the four Wunderlich children were reunited with their parents, Dirk and Petra, in September. But now a family court judge refuses to return legal custody of the children to the parents. Read more about the Wunderlich family.
Following a hearing on December 18, 2013, in Darmstadt, Germany, Family Court Judge Marcus Malkmus slammed the door on the Wunderlich family’s emigration hopes. Lawyers for Dirk, Petra, and their children had asked the judge to return legal custody to the parents because they have complied with court orders that the children go to school and because they wish to move to France where homeschooling is legal.
In August 2013 the four Wunderlich children were seized in a raid by 20 police officers and social workers simply because they were being homeschooled, an activity that is illegal in Germany. After an international outcry, the children were returned three weeks later on the condition that the parents send them to public school. Testing conducted on the children during their stay in a group home indicated that they were well adjusted, social, and academically proficient.
In Malkmus’s written order, (an unofficial English translation is avalaible here) he compared homeschooling to a straitjacket for children. While acknowledging that the Wunderlich children were well cared for and did not have educational deficiencies, he refused to return legal custody to the parents.
He said it was necessary to keep the Wunderlich children in German public schools to make sure that they were integrated into society. If they were allowed to be homeschooled in Germany or anywhere else, the consequences might be that “the children would grow up in a parallel society without having learned to be integrated or to have a dialogue with those who think differently and facing them in the sense of practicing tolerance.” Malkmus also wrote that homeschooling creates “concrete endangerment to the wellbeing of the child.”
“A Human Right”
Dirk Wunderlich told Home School Legal Defense Association that he was shocked by the harshness of the decision: “I had really hoped the judge would just let us leave Germany peacefully. We don’t isolate our children. They are well adjusted and doing well academically. We are happy for them to be connected to society. We just prefer to homeschool them because we believe it is better for them. It is so sad that my countrymen are not able to see that homeschooling should be allowed. It is legal in many other countries, and I believe is a human right.”
“Judge Malkmus has erected another Berlin Wall apparently designed to prevent all parents who might leave to homeschool from leaving Germany. This is no different than what happened in the former East Germany under communism and before that under the Third Reich,” he continued. “We need help from others around the world to help our country see this terrible violation of human rights.”
Read the rest of the article here……
Please feel free to forward, email, share, etc – thankyou