A federal immigration judge in Tennessee has awarded political asylum to a German couple who were threatened by the German government with having their children forcibly removed from their home because the couple chose homeschooling instead of sending them to state approved schools.
Uwe Romeike may now stay as a legal resident in Morrisstown, Tennessee, where the family moved in 2008 after being threatened by German authorities.
The Associated Press was one of the few Old Media outlets covering this story. Of the Romeike’s plight, the AP reported:
The Romeikes took their three oldest children out of school in Bietigheim-Bissingen in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg in 2006. Romeike said the couple was fined the equivalent of about $10,000 over a two-year period.
Mr. Romeike told reporters that, “I think it’s important for parents to have the freedom to chose the way their children can be taught.” (yes, the AP spelled it “chose”)
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.
Sadly, about the only people reporting on these incidents seem to be Christian groups and homeschooling networks on the Internet. Groups like the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). As mentioned above, the AP has a story that has made its way around the wires, too, but there doesn’t seem to be much independent coverage of this by the Old Media.
This seems odd since it is quite an interesting story where it concerns international relations. The HSLDA says that this ruling is “embarrassing for Germany.” That may be but the rest of the media is silent.
“This decision finally recognizes that German homeschoolers are a specific social group that is being persecuted by a Western democracy,” said Mike Donnelly, staff attorney and director of international relations for Home School Legal Defense Associaton. “It is embarrassing for Germany, since a Western nation should uphold basic human rights, which include allowing parents to raise and educate their own children. This judge understood the case perfectly, and he called Germany out. We hope this decision will cause Germany to stop persecuting homeschoolers,” he added.
The HSLDA also notes that homeschoolers in Germany face increasing amounts of persecution.
“There is no safety for homeschoolers in Germany,” Donnelly 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.”
Some might think that a democratic western nation losing some of its citizens to another democratic western nation through a case of political asylum would be quite a story for the media? Unfortunately, the story has an element of homeschooling so the story stays under the radar. And there certainly seems to be a bias of omission being committed against homeschooling in the American media.