Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Getting Schooled

Homeschooling is apparently a non-right, or perhaps an anti-right, according to the U.S. Government:

Homeschooling is illegal in Germany. The Romeike's did not agree with some of what was taught to their children in the public schools, so they began homeschooling in violation of the law. After paying about $10,000 in fines and watching the police apprehend their children and take them to the public school, they sought political asylum in the United States and immigrated to Tennessee. The Home School Legal Defense Association helped them with the move and now represents them in court.

The Romeike's were granted political asylum by a federal district court judge in Tennessee. Political asylum is granted to refugees who can demonstrate that they are being persecuted for religious reason or because they belong to a "particular social group."

In a legal brief for the case, Justice Department lawyers argue that Germany did not violate the Romeike's human rights because the ban on homeschooling is a ban for all, not any specific group. Since German law does not prevent, for instance, only evangelical Christians from homeschooling, the Romeike's are not being persecuted for a religious reason, the Justice Department says.

The Home School Legal Defense Association is one of my hero orgs, if you didn't know that already.

So the Justice Department argues as such: if everybody is banned from a certain activity, then the ban is not a violation of anyone's rights, because it's all equal. Who knew? The entire Bill of Rights could be done away with under this umbrella, I suppose. Freedom is slavery.

Well, the Romeikes do indeed belong to a "particular social group," those few European parents who wish to educate their children without the state's heavy-handed input. No wonder they offended Eric Holder's Department of Justice.

1 comment:

  1. This is genuinely scary, and disheartening. But the movement will not die, it will just have a harder time being innovative and relevant to the 21st century with the heavy hand of government pressing down on its arteries. I LOVE to envision a future where children remain in the bosom of the family while making use of the tremendous explosion of information and--just as important--a growing body of elders and others who are willing to share their experience and knowledge. Parents and children together choose which courses to take at free-standing centers--homes, parks, museums, scientific labs, whatever. I can dream. It's up to you and others like you to make this a reality. I thank you and your brothers for letting me take a crack at it! You guys turned out okay.