September 21, 2021

Homeschooling Family Granted Political Asylum

From:  THE CONTINUING COLLAPSE January, Anno Domini 2010

Homeschooling Family Granted Political Asylum

Immigration Judge Says Germany Violating Basic Human Rights

A federal judge in Tennessee today granted political asylum to the Romeikes, a German Christian homeschooling family from Bissinggen, Germany, who fled persecution in August 2008 seeking political asylum in the United States.

As many of you may know, the German government has been aggressively persecuting Christian homeschoolers using Nazi-era laws. Moreover, the German government has used its power in  the EU to create a legal and administrative environment that has become increasingly hostile to homeschooling throughout Europe.

In his decision Judge Burman recognized that homeschooling is a fundamental human right:

“We can’t expect every country to follow our constitution,” said Judge Burman. “The world might be a better place if it did. However, the rights being violated here are basic human rights that no country has a right to violate.”

Burman added, “Homeschoolers are a particular social group that the German government is trying to suppress. This family has a well-founded fear of persecution…therefore, they are eligible for asylum…and the court will grant asylum.”

In addition to its repercussions in Germany and across Europe, Judge Burman’s decision is a blow against the elements of the educational establishment and the political left in the United States that would like to eliminate homeschooling or regulate independent homeschooling out of existence.

As a final word, The Continuing Collapse would like to point out that cases like these are not won in a vacuum. Judge Burman was obviously influenced by the now widespread perception that homeschooling is a legitimate educational alternative. That perception has been created over the years by homeschool parents, by the selfless work of homeschool leaders at the state and local level, by those who have promoted homeschooling throuugh the media (magazines, radio talk show, television, internet, etc.), and by our national organizations such as NHERI. In this particular case, HSLDA was the tip of the spear, and we should all give thanks for the tremendous job it has done in this case. The ultimate glory and thanks, of course, are due to God.

For more details see:

http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/Germany/201001260.asp

From HSLDA: Court Upholds State-Sponsored “Kidnapping” of Homeschooled Boy

Home School Legal Defense Association--25 Years of Serving the Homeschool Community
Quote from HSLDA article:

“We had hoped that the appeals court would return Dominic to his family. Since they are not, we believe it is critical all freedom-loving people respond to this outrageous decision.”

Court Upholds State-Sponsored “Kidnapping” of Homeschooled Boy

As most people count their blessings and prepare to enjoy Christmas with family, many others face serious struggles. Among these is the Swedish family of Annie and Christer Johansson whose only child, 7-year-old Dominic Johansson, was “kidnapped” by Swedish authorities in June of this year as the family was on a plane leaving the country for a new life and home in India. Annie Johansson is from India where her entire family lives.

Your Help Needed

Please contact Swedish officials on behalf of the Johansson family. We also ask that you keep the Johansson family in your prayers during this incredible trial they are facing.

Contact Information

The social workers
sofi.rosenqvist@gotland.se
caroline.palmqvist@gotland.se

The social workers’ supervisors
kristina.djerf@gotland.se
marika.gardell@gotland.se

National officials

Prime Minister of Sweden Fredrik Reinfeldt
Telephone: +46 8 405 10 00
Mailing Address: Rosenbad 4, SE-103 33 Stockholm

Minister Maria Larsson
Ministry for Elderly Care and Public Health, Ministry of Health and Social Affairs
Telephone +46 8 405 10 00
Fax +46 8 723 11 91
Mail Address: Fredsgatan 8; SE-103 33 Stockholm

To email the officials above visit the webpage: http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/2052

Local politicians and government leaders
Brittmarie.Fagerlund@lansstyrelsen.se
gustaf.hoffstedt@gotland.se
eva.nypelius@gotland.se
lars.thomsson@gotland.se
lena.celion@gotland.se
gotlands.kommun@gotland.se

Indian Ambassador to Sweden
ambassador@indianembassy.se

Australia Contact details:

See below

New Zealand Contact details:

See below

The Johanssons’ lives suddenly changed, and a nightmare ensued as police officers took Dominic off the plane at the orders of local social workers. They didn’t have a warrant, and they didn’t charge the Johanssons with any crime. Their reasoning? Dominic had been homeschooled, and the authorities wanted to make sure he was receiving an education.

After some testing by Swedish authorities, it was discovered that Dominic was only slightly behind in some subjects, but that he had been making academic progress. The family had been refused school materials by their local school when they had asked for them last year. As a homeschooling family, the Johanssons lean towards unschooling, profess the Christian faith, and try to live close to nature. Mr. and Mrs. Johannson had made plans to move to India to work with several orphanages to help them to live simply and economically. Although their lifestyle is out of the ordinary to Swedish officials, nothing in their approach to family life justified such a radical state intervention. In addition to living simply, the Johanssons exercised their legal rights to opt out of vaccinations for their son as well as only taking him to the doctor when he was sick, also reasons cited by the court to allow Swedish social services to retain custody of Dominic.

Swedish press has reported that senior police officials in Sweden have criticized local police and social workers for their sensational actions. Press reports also suggest that the local social services may be caught in a trap of their own making. They must continue with their course of action or otherwise admit that they have disgracefully ruined a family and traumatized a child. Some Swedish newspapers also report that the pride and stereotyping exhibited by social workers in this case imply they are out to get this family. According to letters obtained by HSLDA, the most recent decision of the local social workers is that they will not be allowing Annie and Christer to visit with Dominic until after New Year’s Day. And then they will be permitted one-hour visits every fifth week.

Mr. Johansson expressed deep concern about the state of his wife. “Annie cannot even talk right now. We are in total shock. We had hoped the court would return our son. We have been and remain willing to cooperate with social services, but they keep telling us we are not capable of caring for our son. This is not true. We have taken care of Dominic. While we may do things differently than most Swedes, we have not broken any laws and we have not harmed our son. We decided as a family that we wanted to move to India where we could be near my wife’s family. But the government has taken over my family, and now we are living in a nightmare. I fear for the life of my wife under this torture and for the well being of my son who has only been allowed to see his parents for a few hours since he was taken. The government is alienating my son from me, and I am powerless to do anything.”

The Swedish press has reported that the court admits the family has taken care of Dominic as they thought best, but insists the government’s plan is better.

In its opinion the court noted that Dominic had some untreated cavities and had not been vaccinated. The court also said that because Dominic had not been in school he had been “socially isolated.” This, the court said, demonstrated that the parents were not aware of the impact their decision to homeschool would have on Dominic’s future development and opportunities. Social workers and the court have mentioned the psychiatric condition of Mr. and Mrs. Johansson. However, Mr. Johansson vehemently denies any such mental problems.

“I have had a mental check with a psychiatrist who has given me a clean bill of health,” says Christer Johansson. “My poor wife, on the other hand, has been absolutely traumatized by this kidnapping. She is in a deep depression and has been hospitalized on several occasions. Is it any wonder? Our only child has been stolen from us and we have only been permitted to see him a few times since he was taken.”

A former Swedish social worker who spoke with HSLDA anonymously severely criticized how current social workers are treating the Johanssons.

This case is an absolute outrage,” the former social worker said. “From the taking of the child off a plane by uniformed police officers to the absurd visitation schedule and now the complete cessation of visits. The social workers in this case are letting their pride interfere with the best interests of this little boy. In Sweden the socialist mindset of the government is that it knows what’s best for kids—better than their own parents. And in the case where a family, like the Johanssons, may do things that are different, the government intervenes.”

The court opinion also noted that Dominic had not been to the normal child care facilities and to school.

The social worker continued, “What is normal? In whose opinion? Why should the government get to make this decision? The boy is being taken care of and not being harmed. The family had decided to move to India where the mother is from. What is wrong with this?”

Now that attempts to renew contact with local social workers have been rebuffed, the Johanssons are feeling especially frustrated.

“We had hoped to have a meeting with the local board to provide new information,” says Christer Johansson. “But since our hearing before an appeals judge a few weeks ago they have told us that we can no longer see our son. They have said that the visits are traumatic for him. Is it any wonder? The poor boy has been kidnapped from his parents and is being forced to live with other people. No wonder it’s hard for him after the visits with us. He wants to come home but is being held against his will and our will by the government.”.

Roger Kiska, an Alliance Defense Fund attorney based in Europe, noted that this kind of behavior was shocking but sadly not without precedent. Kiska has been following the case and has sent several letters expressing concern over the incident.

“What you have here is a socialist country trying to create a cookie cutter kid,” Kiska said. “This family is a little different from the average Swedish family. There are so few homeschoolers in the country that this, along with their issues, has caused the social services agency to take the child in order to coerce changes from the family. Unfortunately,  in Europe this kind of thing happens too often where social workers take a child and then just keep him. The parents in these cases are really powerless since the system is so one-sided.”

Michael Donnelly, director of international affairs for HSLDA, expressed indignation at the court decision.

We had hoped that the appeals court would return Dominic to his family. Since they are not, we believe it is critical all freedom-loving people respond to this outrageous decision.”

Donnelly continued, “HSLDA is gravely concerned about this case as it represents what can happen to other families who might wish to homeschool their children. Furthermore, in response to inquiries from HSLDA, Swedish authorities have cited the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to explain and defend their actions. If the U.S. were to ever ratify this treaty, then state-sponsored kidnapping could occur here. Every homeschooler would be at risk. Such treatment of families and children is inhumane and inconsistent with a reasonable understanding of basic human rights. Therefore, we are asking our members to contact Swedish officials asking them to return Dominic Johansson to his family.”

Keep an eye on the HSLDA website:

http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/Sweden/200912220.asp

For those in Australia and New Zealand:

Please use the emails and website addresses for the Swedish people to email and send letters to.

We can also send emails to the Swedish  Consulates in Australia and New Zealand

Canberra

New Zealand contact details:

http://www.swedenabroad.com/Page____21473.aspx

Australia Contact details:

Previous posts:

New Study: Home-Educated Canadian Adults Excel

New Study: Home-Educated Canadian Adults Excel

Thursday December 3, 2009
Retrieved 12/7/09 from
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/dec/09120305.html

By Patrick B. Craine

Synopsis
Full Version

Home Education in Canada: A Report on the Pan-Canadian Study on Home Education 2003

LONDON, Ontario, December 3, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A new study released yesterday by the Canadian Centre for Home Education (CCHE) reveals that  home-educated adults in Canada excel in all measured areas of adult life,
including education level, religious observance, civic and community  participation, life satisfaction, and income.

The study, entitled Fifteen Years Later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults,  surveyed adults whose parents had responded to a 1994 study on home education.  In total, the researchers collected 226 questionnaires.  Ranging  in age from 15 to 34, the respondents answered questions on a variety of  topics for which Statistics Canada has comparable data from the wider population.

The results were astounding, says CCHE.

The study found that, when measured against the Canadian average,  home-educated adults were more socially engaged and almost twice as likely  to have voted in a federal election. Their average income was higher, with
more self-reliant sources of income, such as investments and self-employment.  In fact, of all respondents, there were no cases of  government support as the primary source of income.

The respondents were happier in their work and about their lives in general.  They also have more varied recreational pursuits.  The study notes, for  example, that the respondents “were much more likely than the comparable
population to have read books and attended concerts of classical music or  theatrical performances.”  Overall, when reflecting on the value of being  home-educated, most felt that it was an advantage in their adult life.

“In terms of income, education, entrepreneurial endeavours, involvement in  their community, and all the other characteristics measured, home-educated  adults not only excel, but also make meaningful contributions to their
communities,” stated Paul Faris, president of CCHE.  “They are the type of  neighbours we all want.”

The full study and a synopsis are available here
http://hslda.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=95&Itemid=156

Home Education in Canada

Synopsis

You can also click here to contact us directly with specific questions related to research and statistics on home education in Canada.

Judge Fines Homeschoolers, No Jail Sentence

http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/Germany/200911250.asp

Germany

November 25, 2009

Judge Fines Homeschoolers, No Jail Sentence

Jurgen and Rosemarie Dudek of Archfeld, Germany, were found guilty under the German State of Hessen’s criminal law that requires that all children go to school. Even as Judge Drier recognized that the family was doing a fine job in educating their children, he still imposed a fine of 120 euros on them.

“We recognize in our German basic law about philosophical and religious conviction and that parents have rights, but the basic law also includes that it is the state’s role to educate all children,” said Drier.

In 2008 the couple had been sentenced to 90 days in jail each. Their trial was completed today after being continued from last week.

As the family left the courtroom they were swarmed by German reporters and media, who have been following this case very closely. Mr. Dudek told the reporters that they had a duty to keep covering this issue for the sake of the country and for what is right.

“It is time for Germany to look beyond the rim of their bowl—to look beyond its borders to see how other countries handle this issue of homeschooling,” said Mr. Dudek.

He chastised the media for not having done more to bring attention to this issue, and that the result has been a heavy burden for his family.

“This whole situation with us as a family wouldn’t have come so far, with all this burden and pressure and sentences, if you had taken up this issue before and looked at this before,” Mr. Dudek said. “Now it is up to you to keep up the interest and reporting on this issue. Germany’s treatment of parents like us is wrong, and it is up to you to help people see this.”

Mr. Dudek felt that their family had received a fair trial, but surmised the judge did not feel like he could do any less than find them guilty and impose a fine.

“God has heard our prayers and our requests for justice,” he said. “The difference between this trial and the last is night and day. We feel that we had a fair trial, and that the judge was very careful to be fair. We disagree with the result, and we are thinking about appealing.”

The pressure on the family has been high, Mr Dudek said, but he is grateful for the international support he has received.

“There has been some much pressure on our family through this with all of the attention and the threat of jail,” he explained. “We know that what we are doing is right, and it is frustrating to have this same result that all homeschoolers in Germany get. The support of HSLDA and homeschoolers in America and other countries has really helped to carry us through.”

Michael Donnelly, staff attorney for HSLDA, who has been working in support of German homeschoolers and in close contact with the family, was relieved that they were not sent to jail. However, the family is still subject to future prosecution and potentially higher fines if they continue to homeschool.

“No family should go to jail or be fined for homeschooling,” Donnelly said. “German public policy makers need to make changes to their laws to stop this kind of persecution of homeschoolers.”

Donnelly was encouraged by the media’s response to the case.

“The ray of sunshine here is the response by the German media. Never before has a homeschooling case captured this much positive attention in the German media. To me, this means that things are changing. As the media reports on this there is a chance of public opinion and laws. But it will take time.”

Donnelly asked that homeschoolers continue their support of these brave families.

“We need to keep supporting these families who are fighting for a basic right that many of us take for granted. Juergen Dudek is a hero to me. His simple faith and trust in God’s providence and his courage to stand for what he knows is right inspires me. But like all of us, he needs encouragement. I hope we will all continue to keep him and his family in our prayers and continue to send notes of encouragement and support.”

You can send letters of support and encouragement to the family at:

Family Dudek
Friederichestr No. 6
37293 Archfeld, Germany

For more information about the plight of German homeschoolers visit HSLDA’s Germany homepage.

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

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