Thursday, August 31, 2006

Homeschooling in Germany

There have been quite a few comments here in recent weeks advocating that state involvement in homeschooling is the best way to keep homeschoolers accountable. The reasons range from our refusal to "police our own" and that those who don't want the state involved are just "fearful". We would do well to consider what this German homeschooling father is going through before inviting the state to regulate our children's education. I admit that this is an extreme example, but much of our education reform is patterned after the German educational model. So it's worth a look forward to see where state accountability may lead if we become complacent.

In February, Andre R and wife Frauke, 39, were hauled into court and fined 840 uros (1,090 dollars) for defying education laws. This month, five police showed up at the family's rented, suburban row- house and hauled Andre R off to the Hamburg city prison.

Andre R refused to give in, so after a week among murderers and drug dealers, he was released and the authorities tried a new tack. Officials last week began fetching the children each morning from the R home and taking them to school. Custody of the children is to be taken away from the parents and the children will become wards of the state.

On Monday, no one answered when officials came knocking at the door of the R home... Alexander Luckow, a spokesman for the Hamburg education authorities, said application had already been made in court to seize custody of the children, with a decision due within days. The order would apply throughout the 25-nation
European Union, he added...

A majority of home-schooling parents are concerned that schools will undermine the religious commitment of their children. German educators argue in reply that schools are a means to integrate children into society.

Parents who accept the regulation for the convenience and accountability may find it tolerable now. But what if the state decides to cross your threshold and requires you to do things that you find unaccepable for your child. Will a distinction matter to you then? Or perhaps the "champions of state accountability" feel that this German Christian father is acting out of fear and in error. Maybe he should just come out of hiding and willingly turn his children over to the secular state for their education indoctrination.

(HT: Gary)

Related Tags: , , , , , , ,

No comments: