"'There is no safety for homeschoolers in Germany,' [Mike] Donnelly [staff attorney and director of international relations for Home School Legal Defense Associaton] said. 'The two highest courts in Germany have ruled that it is acceptable for the German government to ‘stamp out’ homeschoolers as some kind of ‘parallel society.’ The reasoning is flawed. The fact is that homeschoolers are not a parallel society. Valid research shows that homeschoolers excel academically and socially. German courts are simply ignoring the truth that exists all over the world where homeschooling is practiced. They need to look beyond their own borders.'"The Associated Press reports that a German couple threatened with the loss of their children was recently granted political asylum by a U.S. immigration judge in Tennessee.
Uwe Romeike, his wife and five children fled to the U.S. after being hit with fines totaling about $10,000 in the space of two years. Worse than the financial impact was the threat that the German state would seize the Romeike's children. So the Romeike's sought asylum in the U.S. in 2008.
German law requires that children attend a state approved school whether public or private. Even though the quality of the children's education was never an issue, in October 2006 German officials came to the Romeike home and forced the three oldest children to attend public school.
Unfortunately, the threat from the German government to stamp out homeschooling has already resulted in the removal of another homeschooling family's children.
This isn’t the only case of a German family facing the wrath of state sponsored schools negating the rights of parents to guide their own children’s education. In 2009 the Wunderlich family had their children seized by French officials at the behest of German authorities for the family’s violation of official German schooling policies.Though the French are cooperating with the German crackdown, the ruling by U.S. Judge Lawrence Burman has put an obstacle in the path of the German attempt to break up German homeschool families.
The echoes of German statism of the 1930's and 40's in this policy are a bit too real for comfort.