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Updated September 8, 2010

International News

Stories of government and independent education from around the world!

Homeschoolers in Russia and Botswana Face Legal Battles


The freedom to homeschool anywhere contributes to the freedom to homeschool everywhere else.


You can help parents in Russia and Botswana whose choices for their children are being severely threatened by authorities. Your e-mails or letters can make a difference.


Help homeschoolers in Russia


Help homeschoolers in Botswana


Whose children are they?


The battle continues around the world between government and parents over who should control the rearing and education of children. Should government define education and control the future or should private citizens control their own families and define their own futures?


This is a war with phenomenal portent for the future. Almost every dictator who has ever lived has recognized and acted on the importance of controlling the education and formation of children. Hitler considered his takeover of Germany's schools vital to his success. Likewise Mao, Stalin and many others. Even less diabolical governments fear losing their influence if they don't control education.


Government must recognize the limits of its legitimate power. Shaping the future by way of controlling the minds of children through political power is wrong and dangerous. For that reason, we need to pay attention to what is going on around the world.


Before you take a look at the alarming stories below, remember that parents, even in these countries, are fighting back. Parents mean to keep government in its place and are showing they have the courage to do it.


Germany: Berlin's education minister says homeschooling is not an option for Germany, claims only government can teach tolerance and social values.


Botswana: Officials raid homes, order parents to stop homeschooling.


Sweden: Swedish officials pass 1500-page education law, restrict parents from choosing education options based on religious or philosophical principles, declare homeschooling unnecessary, restrict private schools' religious practices.


Sweden: Homeschooled child seized by authorities without warrant, held without charges, parents allowed 1-hour visit every five weeks.


Switzerland: St. Gallen canton (state) declares families unfit to educate children.


Caribbean Curaçao (Netherlands): Parents prohibited from taking their children off island during school hours, family denied right to homeschool.


Brazil: Parents convicted in criminal court for homeschooling sons who qualified for law school at ages 13 and 14.


Freedom From Fear
Posted by streiff

RS RedState
Posted February 5, 2010


German homeschoolers finally granted asylum by U.S.


Excerpts[The Romeikes] applied [to German authorities] to homeschool their children and were threatened with fines and jail and losing custody of their children....  Last Tuesday [U.S.] Immigration Judge Lawrence Burman... granted the Romeike’s political asylum....


[Judge Burman said] "the rights being violated here are basic human rights that no country has a right to violate.”....


[British author Gerald Warner commented] Why did the German homeschoolers not seek political asylum in Britain? Because our rulers subscribe to the same tyrannical statist philosophy...


...we know that, while public utilities [in Great Britain] may have been privatised, children have been nationalised....


It takes the forthright remarks of an American judge, in a country where the culture war has not yet been lost, to bring home to us in Europe that we already inhabit the Gulag.


More Parents Opting For Homeschooling
by Sruthy Susan Ullas, TNN

The Times of India

Posted January 15, 2010


Excerpts:  In cities like Mumbai and Pune, many parents have stopped sending children to regular schools. Instead, they learn by themselves at home or are taught by parents or tutors. There are over 50 such children in Bangalore and there's even an online forum where their parents interact with each other and seek help....


Considering the system our schools are following, homeschooling is a good option. [- M S Thimmappa, clinical psychologist, and former vice-chancellor, Bangalore University]



Opinion: Home education student, 14, offered place at Cambridge
by Paul Wallis

Digital Journal

Posted January 7, 2010


Excerpts:  Arran has also raised, yet again, the issue of Home Schooling vs. Death Valley, the standard educational stagger through the school system....


With monolithic fees and standardized qualification requirements as the criteria, not to mention the use of years of people’s lives, institutional schooling is starting to look pretty haggard, stingy, and unproductive....


The fact is that societies can barely afford their education systems, and don’t seem to know what to do with them. The people suffering are the kids themselves, and the employment market...


Home-schooling parents may face criminal record checks
by Steve Doughty
Mail Online
Posted November 30, 2009


Excerpts:  Parents who teach their own children at home must undergo criminal records checks, say Government education inspectors.


Norman Wells of the Family Education Trust said: ‘It is sheer madness for Ofsted to suggest that parents should be required to undergo CRB checks to be with their children between the hours of 9am and 3pm from Monday to Friday during term-time.


‘If it is deemed unsafe for children to be with their parents during normal school hours, it is equally unsafe for them to be with their parents in the evenings, at weekends and during the school holidays.


‘If Ofsted are calling for CRB checks for home-educating parents now, how long will it be before they are demanding that all parents are CRB-checked?’


Note: You'll want to read the comments left by readers, too. 

Judge Fines Homeschoolers, No Jail Sentence
Posted November 25, 2009


Homeschool father chides media for not doing their part to promote liberty. You can show your support to the Dudek family by writing to them.


Excerpts:  Jurgen and Rosemarie Dudek of Archfeld, Germany, were found guilty under the German State of Hessen’s criminal law that requires that all children go to school. Even as Judge Drier recognized that the family was doing a fine job in educating their children, he still imposed a fine of 120 euros on them.


[Mr. Dudek] chastised the media for not having done more to bring attention to this issue, and that the result has been a heavy burden for his family.


“This whole situation with us as a family wouldn’t have come so far, with all this burden and pressure and sentences, if you had taken up this issue before and looked at this before,” Mr. Dudek said. “Now it is up to you to keep up the interest and reporting on this issue. Germany’s treatment of parents like us is wrong, and it is up to you to help people see this.”


Private Schools in Pakistan Help Defang Taliban
Teacher Magazine
Posted November 9, 2009


Note: James Tooley documents the proliferation of affordable private schools in such places as India, Africa and China in his book "The Beautiful Tree." Here's a story about the phenomena in Pakistan. Parents around the world are taking their children's education into their own hands. Wouldn't it be great to see more of that in the U.S.?


Excerpts:  ...the pupils love the Islamia Model School, one of thousands of private schools popping up in Pakistan....


Pakistan is seeing a surge in private schools...


...since the mid-1990s, small, inexpensive private schools, once an urban phenomenon, have been sprouting in earnest in the poorer countryside, offering relatively affordable tuition, according to a 2008 World Bank report.


Between 2000 and 2005, their number grew from 32,000 to 47,000, the report said. More recent Pakistani government statistics put the figure at more than 58,000.


Blair, Duncan Push Schools as Community Hubs

by Michele McNeil

Education Week

Posted October 28, 2009


The move to make us truly children of the state continues. If this is not a warning to steer clear of all government involvement in education, nothing is.


ExcerptsBy next year, all of England’s 23,000 public schools will become “extended schools” open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the year...


“The school should become the center for the support and nurture of the future generation, and a hub for the whole community,” said Mr. Blair, who served as prime minister from 1997 to 2007 and is currently a visiting professor at Yale University....


The report by the Center for American Progress says that community schools are not just another program, but a way of changing the “school’s role in the lives of students, families, and the surrounding community.”


“Why do we continue to build Boys and Girls Clubs and YMCAs? Let’s get out of the bricks-and-mortar business,” Mr. Duncan said at the Oct. 28 event. Such community groups can, instead, be housed inside schools, he said.

Sweden—the Next Germany for Homeschoolers?

Posted September 16, 2009


7-year-old boy snatched from homeschooling parents.


Excerpts:  Christer and Annie Johansson are the parents of Dominic Johansson, who was forcibly removed from a plane by a fully armed police unit...


"We cannot believe that such a thing as this could happen in a country like Sweden. We are doing our best to be kind and cooperative. All we want is to have our son home so we can get back to being a family again,” Christer [the father] said.


HSLDA Staff Attorney Michael Donnelly has been in contact with the family. Here are some of his comments:


“This kind of gross disregard for family integrity and simple human decency is becoming the hallmark of countries like Germany, and now apparently Sweden..."


“In Germany parents who choose to homeschool are treated severely by authorities. The Jugendamt (Youth Welfare Office) and Schulamt (local school offices) often work together to remove children from their families..."


Donnelly noted that there seems to be an increase in these kinds of attacks against homeschoolers in Europe.


“The case of the Johanssons may be the first shot in extending this type of repression to another European country—all in the name of uniformity and conformity. This spectre is raising its head not just in Sweden but in other places including Great Britain, France, Belgium, and Switzerland where there are attempts to impose additional restrictions on home education.”


“Any nation that severely restricts the ability of parents to choose alternative forms of education, including home education, in the name of creating national unity, cannot call itself a free nation.... Educational freedom is the cornerstone for all freedom of thought and conscience.” [Michael Farris, speaking at the World Congress of Families]


U.N. protocol used to regulate homeschoolers
New Brit. report: Authorities have "right to access of the home"
By Bob Unruh
Posted June 16, 2009

ExcerptA British plan to allow local authorities "the right of access to the home" and "the right to speak with each child alone" in order to evaluate homeschooling families and make certain they do what the government wants is a warning about what could happen in the United States, according to the world's largest homeschool advocacy organization.

Georgia to Germany: Let Parents Homeschool!
Posted April 7, 2009


Homeschool mom who heads up traveling dance troupe spurs legislative

resolution in support of German homeschoolers.


Excerpt: The Georgia House of Representatives recently adopted House

Resolution 850, which calls on the Federal Republic of Germany to “recognize

the basic, fundamental rights of parents and allow their citizens to determine

the educational upbringing of their own children.” The legislature of the

Southern U.S. state also resolved that the clerk of the House is “authorized and

directed to transmit an appropriate copy” of the resolution to the federal

government of Germany.


This effort was spearheaded by Georgia homeschooler Tina Liedle. Mrs. Liedle is

leading a homeschooled folk dance troupe on a cultural exchange tour of

Germany with the intent of encouraging that nation’s homeschoolers and

engaging citizens in a debate over the right to home educate.


Note: If you live in Georgia, how about writing to thank the sponsors of this

resolution for standing in support of freedom in education?


Georgia House Resolution 850

Addresses (physical addresses under "Fact Sheets") for Georgia State Representatives

Schools and the rise of parent power
by Carolyn Moynihan
Posted April 2, 2009


Excerpts:  The likelihood of a surge of parent power in British schooling under a future Conservative-led government has met with an ambivalent response in the current affairs magazine, Prospect....


And yes, this “radical” opening to parent power and entrepreneurship within the state system does seem to worry him somewhat. Exactly how this new mixture of powers would be more risky than the power of the old centralised state system, however, is not clear. 


Family flees Germany to home-school in U.S.

by Rose French, Associated Press

The Washington Times

Posted April 2, 2009


What would you sacrifice to choose freedom in education?


Excerpts:  Home schooling is so important to Uwe Romeike that the classically trained pianist sold his beloved grand pianos in order to pay for his wife and five children to move from Germany to the Smoky Mountain foothills of Tennessee....


Germany's approach to home schooling differs starkly from the U.S. and other European countries....


"The idea is home schooling might lead to the emergence of separate societies that would not share the same vision of the [German] state," she [Bernadette Meyler, Cornell Law School professor] said.

Watching Out for Her Little Ones

Belgium and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

by Peter Kamakawiwoole
Posted December 15, 2008


There's plenty in this article that is even more frightening than government control of education in Belgium, but we should keep in mind that when parents refuse to let the state educate their children, they keep the upper hand in their children's rearing and keep the state's hunger for control in check.


Excerpt: Unlike their American counterparts, however, Belgium’s “private schools” are not strictly run by private individuals, but receive subsidies from the government, along with significant oversight from national and local education ministries. All schools - even within the home - are required to teach children “respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the cultural values of the child and others,” under Article 29 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Public, private, and home schools are all inspected by the government to insure compliance, and disobedience could result in the children being placed in a school of the government’s choosing.


Unfortunately, Belgians are discovering too late that it is difficult to rein in the government once it gains power in all schools.

No School Like Home

by Jessica Shepherd

The Guardian

Posted August 19, 2008


Home education, long dismissed as a hippy option, can be 'astonishingly efficient', says a new study. Jessica Shepherd meets the children who don't go to school.


Excerpt: Home education is just an extension of good parenting, Thomas and Pattison argue. "School itself necessarily curtails such parental contribution." Why, they ask, do we as a society assume that formal learning needs to take over beyond the age of five? "There is no developmental or educational logic behind the radical change in pedagogy from informal to formal when children start school," they say.


Contrary to expectations, the home-educated children had no difficulty entering formal education, the authors found. The informal curriculum is "as good a preparation as any" for college, university or academic correspondence courses, they say. "The young people had the personal skills to make the transition with apparent ease." 



International Homeschooling Theme at HSLDA Leaders Conference

Posted September 16, 2008

In September of 2008, homeschool leaders from around the world attended HSLDA’s annual National Homeschool Leadership Conference. We are including links to updates provided by some of the leaders.


Excerpt: Representatives from Germany, Canada, Australia, Kenya, Lithuania, Norway, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, South Africa and South Korea spoke to the conference attendees on the state of homeschooling in their countries. For the most part, the news was encouraging as the homeschooling movement appears to be continuing to grow rapidly all over the world. These representatives expressed a common theme in their gratefulness for the freedom to homeschool their children and for the way the homeschooling movement has been able to grow in spite of attempts by some national governments to curtail it. 



HSLDA Files Asylum Application for German Homeschool Family

Posted November 17, 2008


Excerpt: Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is supporting a first-of-its kind application for political asylum by a German homeschooling family.... According to Staff Attorney Michael P. Donnelly, HSLDA’s contact attorney for Germany, “German homeschoolers, of which there are few because of the persecution, are fined thousands of dollars, sent to prison or have the custody of their children taken away. Many of these families have fled Germany when threatened with the custody of their children. Some have told me that they are willing to go to jail for their beliefs if they have to, but they will not allow the state to take their children. This year alone nearly a dozen families have fled this in the face of this harsh persecution.” 



Zurich Restricts Homeschooling to State-Licensed Teachers

by Ellen M. Rice

Posted December 9, 2008


Excerpt: The leading Swiss newspaper, Tages Anzeiger, reports that the by next summer the Canton of Zurich will restrict homeschooling rights to parents who are certified teachers.... Professor Georg Stöckli of the Education Institute of the University of Zürich says he agrees with the new restrictions: “Children from early on have an urge to separate themselves from their parents. One should not hinder them in this ... The family alone is not enough to satisfy the social needs of the children.”


International Freedom in Education Day
September 15, 2008

This is the second annual event. It looks like a lot going on around the world - including John Taylor Gatto speaking at a conference in Scotland - but nothing for the United States!  If you have something planned, please post it at JIPLI's website - and let us know so we can post it under Events! 

Teaching Kids about the Environment, Government Style
by Ben O'Neill

Ludwig von Mises Institute

Posted June 10, 2008


Excerpt: In Australia, governments have adopted environmental education programs that teach children that human intrusion into nature is to be condemned and that man's life must be subordinated to the preservation of nature, by government force if necessary.... Greena [a character from the on-line game "Planet Slayer," recommended by the Australian government for school children] invites children to use the website's Greenhouse Calculator to "find out what age you should die at so you don't use more than your fair share of Earth's resources."

'Bring private schools under state control', says Britain's biggest teacher's union

Evening Standard

Posted March 23, 2008


Excerpt: Private schools should be abolished, the new leader of Britain's biggest teachers' union said yesterday.

Pupils' creativity to be assessed

BBC News

Posted February 15, 2008


Excerpt: The government says it is monitoring work by the exams watchdog on how best to measure children's creative abilities in schools.



Under-fives curriculum 'will harm children'

By Graeme Paton


Posted February 16, 2008


Excerpt: Under the Government's Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, which will apply to about 25,000 nurseries plus registered childminders, children will be expected to meet up to 500 targets between birth and primary school.


They will be continually assessed on writing, problem solving and numeracy.


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International News

Some of the more
well-known signers of our proclamation:

Ed Crane
President, Cato Institute

John Taylor Gatto
1991 New York State Teacher of the Year

Fr. John A Hardon
The Catholic Catechism

Don Hodel
Former Secretary of Interior

D. James Kennedy
Coral Ridge Ministries

Rev. Tim LaHaye
Left Behind

Rabbi Daniel Lapin
President, Toward Tradition

Tom Monaghan
Founder, Domino’s Pizza

Ron Paul
US Congressman, Texas

John K Rosemond
Parenting Author, Columnist, Speaker

They and 29,000  others have signed Our Proclamation

"I favor ending government involvement in education."