Just as we believe in health freedom, and are concerned about the serious inroads which are eroding that freedom and threaten to erode it even more, we also believe in educational freedom. Home schooling is one of the most obvious expressions of educational freedom.
We applaud a U.S. federal judge's decision this week to grant political asylum to a German homeschooling family who fled their home country's Hitler-era laws which deem education to be a right of the state, rather than of the parents.
According to the family's attorney, Mike Donnely, the children, while in Germany, were escorted to school by police officers and social service officials against their wishes and their parents' wishes. Donnely also said that the family was fined more than $10,000 for failing to enroll their children in public or private school.
In a 2006 case involving a different family, Germany’s highest court said the the government could take custody of a child if his or her parents wanted to homeschool him for reasons of conscience. (This 2006 case has been mentioned online, but we were unable to verify it, as the source site was not accessible today.)
Now, we truly hope that the family who was granted asylum in the U.S., and who are understandably happy and grateful for it, never have to face a cancer diagnosis for one of their children. Because then they might have custody of the child threatened in the U.S. if they were to refuse chemotherapy for him, and decide to use an alternative cancer treatment instead--one which would be allowed in their native Germany.
Ironic and sad to contemplate, isn't it?
Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality. -- Beatrix Potter (1866-1943)
If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny. -- attributed to Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)