Police action against German homeschoolers
On Friday 20 October 2006 at around 7.30 a.m. the children of a home educating family in the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg were brought under duress to school by police. This action is rarely undertaken in this part of Germany.

The Romeikes, from Bissingen, have been home educating their children since the start of the school year, something which is legal in practically the whole of the EU. On this morning they were confronted by police officials, who, in an incredibly inconsiderate manner, forced their crying children into a police car and drove them to the school. The police stated that they had been instructed to continue this measure in the coming week. This is almost the first time that homeschoolers in Baden Wuerttemberg have been dealt with in this manner.

The previous Minister of Education for Baden Wuerttemberg, Annette Schavan had expressly declared that it was not necessary to carry out such acts of force against such families because "...the children are generally not lacking in any other respects." (Statement of the Ministery on 20.6.2002). The ministery's press officer said at the time, "We do not use such forcible methods in Badem-Wuerttemberg. It is not in the long-term interests of either the children or the police."

The family involved emphasises that their children are neither truant nor school deniers, which are the cases for which such measures were intended. The Romeike family is fulfilling their children's right to an education by educating them at home, with the support of teachers from a distance learning academy, which also supplies the necessary material.

The arguments of the school authorities, that this form of education endangers the welfare of the children, lacks any factual foundation, as well as contradicting several international studies and the practical experiences of home educators in most of the democratic world.

Tearing the children from the bosom of their family by force certainly does not contribute to their welfare. The result is more likely to be traumatisation and the development of an aversion to instruments of state authority.

The Netzwerk Bildungsfreiheit strongly empathises with the Romeike family, whom many of us know personally to be an intact and conscience-driven family. We condemn the degrading act carried out by the police as a blatant breach of the personal rights of individual family members and call for the Mayor of Bissingen, as well as the Office for Education of the District Authorities of Esslingen, to end these sanctions, which were first leglised in 1938 by the National Socialist State, and to guarantee the right of free choice of education to the family.

The Netzwerk Bildungsfreiheit is an association of different organisations, initiatives and private individuals, which lobbies for the right of individuals to free choice and free design of their education, whether with the aid of publicly or privately initiated resources. We are politically and religiously neutral and are working towards the transformation of compulsory, forced education into freedom of education, to allow children and their parents to choose their own form of education in free self-determination.

Netzwerk Bildungsfreiheit - Network for Freedom in Education
-The board of directors-
Joerg Grosseluemern
Am Hahnengraben 8
90592 Schwarzenbruck

Translation via AMN Blog

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