May 18, 2021

Prosecutor to Homeschoolers: No Compromise—You’re Going to Jail!

http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/Germany/200911200.asp

Germany

Prosecutor to Homeschoolers: No Compromise—You’re Going to Jail!

Juergen and Rosemary Dudek of Archfeldt, Germany, were sentenced to 90 days in prison in July 2008 because they homeschool their children. Their sentence was overturned by an appeals court because of a legal error, and a new trial was ordered. Their new trial began November 16. German news reports indicate the judge appears disposed to seek a compromise. But prosecutor Herwig Mueller has vowed to appeal any sentence that does not include jail time for these parents, who have been in the spotlight for years because of their insistence on homeschooling. This was the same prosecutor who appealed the lower court sentence of only a fine, saying to the family, “You don’t have to worry about the fine because I will send you to jail.”

Armin Eckermann, president of the homeschool organization, Schuzh, was present at the trial. He told HSLDA the judge was seeking a compromise.

“This judge said that he thought a jail sentence was too harsh for the Dudek family under this situation,” said Eckermann. “But the prosecutor took a hard line.”

The new trial was continued to next week after more than seven hours of testimony. This included an outburst by Mr. Mueller when Mr. Dudek asked the local school officials if they knew the current laws that criminalize homeschoolers were based on laws from 1938. Mr. Mueller loudly protested: “All those Nazi laws have been suspended, and this one is democratic, and you’ve got to accept it, and that’s it.”

Mr. Dudek disagrees.

“The ‘schuhlpflicht’—the laws that require school attendance—are on the books in the German states,” he explained, “and have been traced back to the ‘Reichsculpflicht Gesetz’ [federal compulsory attendance laws] which was passed in 1938. Except for the removal of references to the Nazi party, these laws are identical or substantially the same as the laws passed by Hitler’s government, criminalizing parents who keep their children home for school.”

The Dudeks feel that homeschooling their children is the right thing to do and are determined resist what they consider unjust laws barring them from home education…..

Read rest of this article at the HSLDA website: http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/Germany/200911200.asp

Calls Needed to Reunite Homeschool Family

Please see below contacts for the Swedish and the Indian Embassies in New Zealand and Australia.

Calls Needed to Reunite Homeschool Family

e-mail October 7, 2009 from HSLDA.org

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

We recently told you about the plight of the Johanssons, a Swedish family whose only child, 7-year-old Dominic Johansson, was seized by Swedish police from a plane just as the family was about to leave the country for a new life in India.

After investigating the facts surrounding the case, HSLDA President J. Michael Smith wrote to Swedish officials to protest this action.

Read his letter: http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/Sweden/HSLDA_Sweden_Letter_9-16-09.pdf

Read the response from Mr. Berglind, minister of public affairs for the Swedish Embassy in Washington: http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/Sweden/Berglind_letter_10-5-09.pdf

Citing confidentiality concerns for not commenting on the Johansson case, Mr. Stigland noted that a county administrative board in Sweden is reviewing how it was handled by local officials.

In a telephone conversation with HSLDA, Mr. Johansson confirmed that he has been in contact with the county administrative board.

“They told me that they are looking into the case to determine if anything was done improperly,” he said.

And at a meeting with the social workers on Tuesday, October 6, Mr. Johansson was told that he and his wife would only be allowed to visit their son at the social workers office once every two weeks for a maximum of two hours.

What does Sweden hope to gain from such an aggressive action? The situation is tragic. It is deeply troubling that a Western democracy would go to such lengths to prevent a homeschool family from simply trying to leave the country.

Dominic has been traumatized, and his mother has been hospitalized several times because of the depression this incident has caused. Yet the social workers persist in keeping custody of Dominic. When Mr. Johansson asks why, they reply “Because it’s better for him.” According to Mr. Johansson, both he and Dominic have been subjected to psychological and other testing with results showing no valid reason for continued separation of the family.

In light of this aggressive behavior and because the Swedish parliament is poised to impose draconian regulations on homeschoolers, HSLDA is asking its members to contact the Swedish Ambassador to the United States.

Swedish Ambassador Jonas Hafström can be reached:

By email: ambassaden.washington@foreign.ministry.se

By phone: 202-467 2600By fax: 202-467 2699

Visit Swedish embassy website: http://www.swedenabroad.com/Start____6989.aspx

First, we ask you to request that the Swedish government return Dominic to his family. The social welfare agency has taken custody of Dominic, and they have the power to return him to his parents. Request that they do so immediately.

Second, inform the ambassador that homeschooling allows children to thrive academically and socially. Valid research has demonstrated that homeschooling is a mainstream educational approach that works. Tell him that the world doesn’t need any more countries like Germany that repress freedom in education, and that a person should be permitted to opt out of public education because of philosophical or religious convictions.

In his letter to Mr. Smith,  Mr. Stigland noted that since Sweden is a state party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, that the starting point for children is Sweden is the “…best interests of the child and the child’s right to be heard….” Mr. Stigland noted that social services have an obligation to “intervene and remove a child from the family if the child’s health and development are endangered.” Mr. Stigland noted that a child should be returned home as soon as possible if it was “in the best interests of the child.”

Of grave concern to HSLDA is Mr. Stigland’s citation of the legislative history of the Education Act which says: “The legislative history of the current Education Act states that home schooling in isolated cases, mainly in the lower grades, might be an acceptable substitute for education if a particular external circumstance exists. Examples of such are: if the child lives in a sparsely populated area or needs special care. Legal practice shows that the situation also arises when parents for other reasons, such as philosophical or religious, want to educate their children at home. In connection with the new Education Act, these rules are now being reviewed.”

The act is indeed being reviewed and the proposal is even more draconian. The proposed language would remove philosophical or religious convictions as valid reasons to home school. The new law would allow homeschooling only in “extraordinary circumstances” (read: never). If the proposed Swedish law passes it would become as bad as in Germany where homeschooling is effectively banned.

Mike Farris recently said in his address to the World Congress of Families, “Any nation that severely restricts the ability of parents to choose alternative forms of education, including home education, in the name of creating national unity, cannot call itself a free nation. Freedom necessarily requires the individual to have the liberty to think differently and believe differently than programs instituted by the current rulers of any nation. Educational freedom is the cornerstone for all freedom of thought and conscience.”

HSLDA encourages its members to communicate their concerns to the Swedish Ambassador. We hope that his influence may help correct an injustice and also pave the way for better laws for homeschoolers in Sweden

HSLDA thanks its members and friends for their ongoing support. It’s when all homeschoolers join together that we are most effective advocating for homeschool freedom in America and abroad.

Read the HSLDA article: “Sweden—the Next Germany for Homeschoolers?” http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/Sweden/200909160.asp

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Our previous story:
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Swedish Representation in New Zealand

The Swedish Embassy in Canberra, Australia, is accredited to New Zealand. Embassy of Sweden
5 Turrana Street
Yarralumla
ACT 2600
Australia
Ph: +61 2 6270 2700
Fax: +61 2 6270 2755
Email: sweden@iimetro.com.au
Website: www.swedenabroad.com/Canberra [external link]

There is a Swedish Consulate General in Wellington and Consulates in Auckland and Christchurch.

Consulate-General of Sweden in Wellington
PO Box 125 38
Wellington 6144
Level 7, Molesworth House
101 Molesworth Street
Wellington 6011
New Zealand
Ph: +64 4 499 9895
Fax: +64 4 499 1464
Email: sweden@xtra.co.nz
Office hours: Mon-Fri 09.30-12.00

Consulate of Sweden in Auckland
Level 3
13 O’Connell Street
Auckland
Ph: +64 9 373 5332
Fax: +64 9 302 2535
Email: sweden.christchurch@xtra.co.nz

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Indian Representation in New Zealand

This family was on their way to India. In a comment on this post https://hef.org.nz/2009/home-schooled-boy-snatched-from-plane-in-sweden/ Cathi said “With the mother being a citizen of India, wouldn’t Dominic have dual citizenship? Maybe we need to also be contacting the Indian Ambassadors in our respective countries to get them to ask why a citizen of India is being held in their country.
So please also write to: High Commission for India in Wellington

General Inquries: hicomind@hicomind.org.nz

Mr. Kunal Roy

First Secretary (Acting High Commissioner)

04-4724851

pshc@hicomind.org.nz
counsellor@hicomind.org.nz

Home schooled boy snatched from plane in Sweden

September 7th, 2009 LAIGLESFORUM | 7 Comments »

Home schooled boy grabbed by police on plane in Sweden

Help reunite this persecuted family!

By Don Hank

Christer and Annie Johannson are a Swedish couple from Gotland that attempted last year to home school their son Dominic, a bright and happy 7 year old, just prior to their leaving the country to take up residence in India. They made all the right moves, informing the school of their plans.

Home schooling was — and still is — legal in Sweden (there is discussion about banning it) and when Christer asked the principal of the local elementary school if he could supply some teaching materials, he agreed to do so.

But in the meantime, some locals decided that these parents should not be allowed to do this. The reasons for this are no more clear than they are legal, but Christer was once involved in an alternative on-line news mag that expressed politically incorrect ideas and as near as anyone can tell, this was the reason his home schooling plans were opposed.

When Christer went back to the principal to get the materials, he was told that he would not supply any materials and that Dominic must go to school.

The Johannsons insisted that the principal keep his promise. The drama quickly escalated and soon the local social services imposed a fine of 250 kronor per day that Dominic was not in school. This did not intimidate the Johannsons, because they knew they were within their rights under Swedish law.

But the Gotland authorities unanimously stood against them and eventually the court got involved and decided that while the school board had violated some of the parents’ rights, they still would have to send Dominic to school.

The Johannsons were on the plane, which was due to leave the gate in one minute when the Swedish police descended on it. Like commandos, they stormed the plane and took Dominic into custody, without stating any reason for doing so. Dominic was so traumatized he later threw up. Annie later fell unconscious to the floor of the police station. The police did nothing to help. Four days later, she stopped breathing in front of social workers, who also did absolutely nothing to help.

Can you even imagine this insanity?

The full story is given below (NOTE: the English version is below the Swedish version), but please come back after you have read it so you can help get Dominic back home where he belongs:

http://vaken.se/modules/smartsection/print.php?itemid=511

I called Christer some time after this happened and we had a long talk. He had not seen Dominic in a while, was only allowed short visits and had spent the  night before and most of the that day crying. Annie has been in bed with a heart condition that was exacerbated by the abduction of their son. (Tonight Christer emailed me that he had fallen into a state of semiconsciousness with an irregular heart rhythm.)

I was very impressed by what a kind and gentle person Christer was. He told me “ever since I was born I have only wanted to help people.” He described how he had traveled to help earthquake victims in India in 2000. He had, unfortunately, been thwarted by the large unruly crowds and was unable to help. I am not easily fooled, but I knew this was a genuinely good man with a kind heart. We both broke down crying when I ended the conversation telling him that God loves him, Dominic and Annie, that this was part of God’s plan and that everything would be all right.

I promised that because I know my readers and know that you will help.

After this conversation, I wrote an email to the Swedish authorities, and would like you to do the same. Please, if you have limited time, just write in the subject line “Please return Dominic Johannson to his parents. Thanks”

Dear Reader, Christer and Annie are actually giving you a rare privilege to help reunite a frightened little boy with his parents who love him with all their hearts. Remember what Jesus said: inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to me.

These words are just as true today as they were 2,000 years ago. God will bless you for just taking a few moments out of your busy day and sending an email to the Swedish authorities pleading their case. Pray that God will give you the words to write and then pray that the icy hearts of the authorities will be melted by reading these words.

Here are the emails of some of the authorities involved. The first two, Sofi Rosenqvist and Caroline Palmqvist, are the ones responsible for the decision to separate Dominic from his parents. The third is Lena Celion, a politician who thinks that kidnapping was the right thing to do.  Apparently, according to her statements in the interview, she thinks children have a right to go to school but not necessarily to be with their parents and definitely not to be home-schooled by people who care about them rather than taught by strangers teaching for money.

Please tell them your opinion of their thoughtless actions, but be as polite as you can. YES, THEY ALL READ ENGLISH!

Pattern in Swedish here:

Hej pa er,

var vänlig och ge Dominic Johansson tilbaka till sin föräldrar.

Hälsningar fran USA

The 4th is the address for a politician who may be able to help. To save time you can copy them all into your browser at once.

sofi.rosenqvist@gotland.se;

caroline.palmqvist@gotland.se;

lena.celion@gotland.se;

marika.gardell@gotland.se;

Here is some contact info for Swedish government officials:

http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/2052

I especially recommend the Swedish Ministry of Education and Research. Send at least one email to the Minister of Education, but there are others too here:

http://www.sweden.gov.se./sb/d/2133

Then if you have time left, please send a few words of encouragement to Christer and Annie:

christer@mepprograms.org

Finally here is a petition supporting the right to homeschool in Sweden:

http://rohus.nu/?English_information:Petition

Now, there is one more job and it is the most important: Pray that God will have His way here and that this experience, as terrible as it has been for this family, will bring them closer together and will bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, who, as you recall, told the stoners “whoever is without sin, cast the first stone,” and THEN said to the woman: “go and sin no more.”

God bless!

Don

My letter to the Swedish authorities:

I am a friend of Christer Johannson and have seen several documents pertaining to his case, namely, the seizure of his son Dominic by the Socjaltjänst in Gotland.

It is obvious that the authorities have misrepresented the Johannsons’ case to the public and I would like to help shed light on this.

Please consider, for example, the following misleading article:

http://www.helagotland.se/nyheter/artikel.aspx?ArticleId=5350456

In an attempt to whitewash perpetrators in a sensational case of child abuse, this article ignores important facts of the case, such as the following.

  • The Johannsons originally requested study material so that Dominic could be temporarily home-schooled in anticipation of their permanent move to India, and the school originally agreed to supply this material.
  • Inexplicably, the principal changed his mind and the school board started to fine the Johannsons exorbitant amounts of money for not sending their son to school, even though they knew that the parents had properly applied for homeschooling materials and were soon moving to India. I understand that, unlike the former Soviet Union, Sweden has no law that bans citizens from moving away, so once the authorities were notified that the Johannsons were leaving, they should have let them go. This would have obviated all the unnecessary trauma to Dominic and his parents.
  • The Johannsons then asked for a meeting with the school board, to which they are entitled by law under such circumstances. The person in charge, Lena Celion, failed to meet with Dominic’s parents, in violation of the law.
  • Later, Mrs. Celion was quoted in the above-linked news article saying a child has the right to go to school. However, this is misleading, because it suggests that the parents denied Dominic an education, whereas they only decided to move to the mother’s country, where the boy would no doubt have a right to citizenship and would no longer be under Swedish jurisdiction.

I remind you that a few years ago, at the time of the great tsunami, it was widely reported that Swedish pedophiles had been flocking to Thailand as a place to have sex with boys, some of them quite young.

At that time many people here in America were outraged that the authorities in Sweden had done nothing to stop these evil criminals.

Now in an ironic twist, the Swedish government is trying to stop good, loving parents from traveling to Asia to give their child a better life and to steep him in a culture that will teach him diversity first hand — something he could never accomplish in Sweden with its rigid attitudes and dictatorial polices. Many of us are starting to see a pattern here: In Sweden, pedophilia is viewed with tolerance, but parents who wish to give their children the best possible life are considered criminals. Do you not see something terribly wrong here?

I am absolutely baffled at these actions on the part of the Swedish government. How can they be justified?

I ask that particularly in view of the fact that, as I understand it, Dominic vomited when the police seized him and separated him violently from his parents. The police apparently did nothing to intervene. From what I have learned about child psychology, one of the most clear-cut signs that a child is being severely abused is vomiting. Clearly, the authorities abused this child.

Now, imagine a child whose loving parents come to school and force him to come home with them for the day. Can you imagine a child under these circumstances being so traumatized by his parents that he throws up? Of course you can’t. Yet the authorities continue to insist that what they did was good for the child.

The fact that the people who made the decision occupy positions of power in government does nothing to mitigate their guilt. Rather it exacerbates the heinousness of the crime they committed.

Further, instead of remedying the severe trauma done to Dominic by quickly reuniting him with his parents, the authorities further traumatize him by banning further contact with the parents and allowing only very short “visits.” It is my understanding that Dominic, who was very close to his parents and had a warm and loving relationship, was so traumatized that he hardly responded to his father’s first words when they were reunited under very strained and difficult circumstances. This is a clear indication that the child was brainwashed to alienate him from his own parents — another instance of cruel child abuse.

Despite the misleading article linked above, there is nothing noble about this act on the part of the officials, no excuse whatsoever. They pose as champions of children’s rights but that is hypocritical. No human being with a beating heart could call their action by any other name except kidnapping and no one who knows the Johannsons’ story will call it “protecting children” or think of these pompous officials as heroes. Through their incompetence, these authorities may well have destroyed this child’s trust in others for the rest of his life! Every one of them deserves to be fired.

What strikes me about this case is that, here, for the first time, a country other than Germany has adopted such an inhuman approach to ‘child protection.’ In Germany, there are several grassroots groups (I am a member of one) that have arisen to oppose these tactics and it is common knowledge that the authorities there (das Jugendamt) began to use these cruel tactics around the time of the Third Reich.

Now my question to the Swedish government is this:

Why are you reverting to the cruel tactics of the Third Reich? Do you not have the imagination, natural kindness and good will to devise a family-friendly and child-friendly way to deal with unique and special families like the Johannsons? Can’t you tolerate a dissenting viewpoint? After all, the Johannsons  represent true diversity, not the stultifying politically correct type that is rammed down children’s throats in schools throughout Europe by ideologically indoctrinated teachers, many of whom have never traveled abroad or lived in a foreign culture.

Finally, is Hitler not officially condemned throughout Europe? If so, then why does Sweden — like Germany — now wish to resurrect his cruel policies that led to so much misery in Europe?

We thought we had rid the world of him. But now it seems he is back.

Sincerely,

Don Hank

Hearing Set In Germany For Schmidt Family-22 September

Excerpted from:
http://joelthornton.com/2009/08/28/hearing-set-in-germany-for-schmidt-family/

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!

“Homeschoolers are only good for cleaning toilets”

http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=105455062377&h=Sarow&u=DuXBF&ref=nf

“Homeschoolers are only good for cleaning toilets”

Postby GaryDeMar » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:04 pm

The title for today’s post is taken from a response to one of American Vision’s daily articles about homeschooling. The respondent is an atheist who claims he can refute any argument raised in defense of the Christian faith. I have irritated him so much by answering his poorly researched responses he sends to me that his true character is spilling out in a public way. His personal emails to me are worse than what I have reproduced here. If you want to know what the world would be like with atheists in control, here’s a little taste:

It’s good that Christians homeschool. We need citizens to clean our toilets and mow our lawns. Perhaps some homeschooled Christians will be able to fill these types of jobs. The rest will be unemployable retards like their parents.

Here’s what I want homeschoolers to do: First, reply to this post and leave a comment describing what kind of work you are doing since you completed homeschooling. Second, send this post and its link to every homeschooler and homeschool organization you know and encourage them to leave a comment at the end of this post describing what they are doing since being homeschooled. Third, I don’t want to exclude those who have graduated from a private or church-related Christian school. You can get in on this as well by adding your comments.

The public school graduation rate is around 65 percent, and in large cities it’s lower as this April 1, 2008 report demonstrates. “New York City has one of the nation’s sorriest graduation rates, with less than half of city high-schoolers earning a diploma on time. . . . Even using the most optimistic calculation of the city’s graduation rate—including kids who earn GEDs and excluding special education students from the formula—only 60% of students graduated in 2006” Test scores continue to fall even though education budgets keep growing. It seems that all we hear from government educators is the need for more money.John Stossel’s 2006 “20/20” report (also see here and here) “Stupid In America: How We Are Cheating Our Kids” is a real eye-opener, especially when he asks South Carolina school official Dolores Wright, “How much money would be right?” Wright answers, “Oooh. Millions. And it would really make it right. . . . The more, the better.”

Is it any wonder that the judicial numbskulls in California and the new fascists in Germany are trying to wipe out homeschooling? They fear its superior product and how it makes public (government) education look so bad, especially when the cost of educating a student is factored in. While homeschooling has a great academic track record (also see here and here), enough so that some of the best colleges in the nation recruit homeschoolers, one of its greatest social benefits is its demonstration of true liberty. Liberals love to talk about freedom of choice as long as that freedom does not include the freedom to educate their own children. It would have been OK to kill the child while he was still in his mother’s womb, but once he’s born, he belongs to the State and its educational hacks.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT HERE

We know that not all atheists think like this infact lots of atheists home educate their children and are our best friends.

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