In this entry I discussed the horrible treatment meted out by Sweden to the Johannson family, whose son was snatched from them off an airplane by government representatives because his parents were planning to go back to his mother's home country of India and (shock) home school him there. As one commentator pointed out, in effect this means that Sweden has an iron curtain for home schoolers. This was further confirmed by a commentator with additional knowledge about Sweden's lynx-eyed watch lest you appear to be planning to move from Sweden to Finland in order to home school your children.
Similar news now comes to us from Germany. And let there be no doubt: The government officials in Germany are absolutely explicit that they are withholding custody from the Wunderlich family, which wishes to emigrate to France, because the family hopes to home school in France. Moreover, the German judge is absolutely explicit that his intent is to weaken the ties, which he believes to be too strong, between the Wunderlich parents and their children. He believes that the Wunderlich parents have too much influence with their children (heaven forbid) and characterizes this as their isolating the children. Apparently, however, the only "isolation" the Wunderlichs were carrying out was not sending their children to public school in Germany. Now, under court order, they have sent their children to public school, but the custodial right to decide their children's location is being withheld from them so that they will not emigrate and home school elsewhere. The German government regards home schooling as being that horrible. So they are holding the children hostage so that the parents cannot take their children out of the country.
The restriction of movement is particularly striking as a punishment for the mere intention of home schooling, and it speaks volumes concerning the German officials' utterly out-of-proportion view of home schooling. From the iron insistence on controlling the family's movements and the statements of the "harmfulness" of the parents' intentions, one would almost think that the Wunderlichs had expressed a desire to take their children abroad so as to sell them into prostitution.
One would like to think that Germans have learned a lot already about what a bad idea it is to keep people imprisoned in the country, but when it comes to home schoolers, apparently not.
Meanwhile, here in the U.S., the Obama administration continues in its determination to throw the Romeike family back to the tender mercies of this same government with its totalitarian approach to school and its willingness to keep families imprisoned in-country by holding their children. But move along, folks, no persecution to see here.
By the way, I find it interesting that one of the anti-Romeike talking points is that, get this, the Romeike family shouldn't even have tried to come to the U.S. but should instead have gone to Austria where German is spoken. Who knew? Liberals now believe that people should emigrate only to countries where virtually everyone speaks their own language, because it's allegedly better for their children. Someone needs to pass on this new wisdom to everybody in Congress pushing for amnesty for illegal Mexican immigrants.
It's also instructive, based on that same attack piece, that the liberals evidently think the Romeikes should just have known that they wouldn't get asylum in America. Y'know, the land of the free and the home of the brave. They should have gone somewhere else! France! Finland! Austria! Why in the world would they come here and saddle us with the decision of whether to give them asylum? Looks like a right-wing plot of some kind.
And then there's the overblown solicitude for German cultural integrity. (Also found here.) Yes, surely German culture is going to fall apart if a home schooling family or two manage to flee to the United States and receive asylum, which would sound like an American criticism, God forbid, of the German tradition of coerced state education. American imperialism at its worst. Next thing y'know we'll be bombing Dresden to free the home schoolers.
I hope that the fate of the Wunderlich family, kept in Germany against their will, can be used by the Romeikes in a successful appeal for asylum in the U.S.