Melissa Busekros, continued
This is a continuation of the post on Melissa Busekros because it was getting long enough that some were having trouble loading it. I will continue updates here, but there is a good deal of history on the subject over there.

World Magazine has a nice article about Melissa. The family's "Kindergeld" was finally reinstated. (In Germany, you receive money from the state for each child).

Worth Reading: Scatty's update. The link to the German forum she provides where you can see pictures of the documents sitting in my inbox. Just scroll is all in German, but there it is. The case isn't over yet, but at least we know that Melissa is home, the Youth Welfare office is not going to take her and custody now legally rests with the family. The highlight (my translation):
...the observations and perceptions of Amina in every day life furnished no evidence of acute endangerment which would require the renewed intervention of the Youth Welfare Office....

[The massive intervention] was made solely on observations made over a short period of time.
And a nice article, in German.

The case will be progressing, and we'll see how it goes. Paperwork is being submitted to the European Court of Human Rights, as well.

Update 33
: News! Bildungsinitiative-Zukunft is reporting that a higher court has lifted the case against the Busekros family in light of new evidence. (Follow the link that says News in the sidebar. It is in German, and this site has popups which my popup blocker doesn't seem to filter.)I have a backlog of info in my email box, mostly paperwork in preparation of this hearing, I think. When I have more information and the time to translate, I'll post.

Homeschooling Colloquium: April 27-29, Netzwerk Bildungsfreiheit held it 2nd Annual Colloquium on Home Education in Burg Rothenfels. Melissa was an honored guest, and several other experts gave presentations to the 250 attendees. Pictures and a German description are available here.

One thing which has struck me immensely as I have had continued contact with Netzwerk Bildungsfreiheit is summarized in their report (my translation):
Impressive was how harmonious the varying organizations, initiatives and individuals were in their unified goal: educational freedom instead of compulsory attendance.
It seems we could learn a bit from this approach here in America. Just as pressure is heating up for greater governmental regulations, it seems the homeschool population is splintering.

More info on Melissa's return home: The Youth Welfare Office denied a request for Melissa to visit her parents during her birthday. At 3AM, she climbed out of the window of her foster family and made her way home of her own volition. She left a note, thanking the family for her care.

Being 16, she should have greater rights at determining where she wishes to live, however she has not been discharged from the foster care system and this was not planned. She was able to celebrate her birthday at home. In the picture, you can see her with her mother looking at the letters from around the world. Several people stopped by to offer their congratulations and news agencies, including the Bayerischen Rundfunk (Bavarian Radio), FocusTV and the Nurenburg Nachrichten, were also present.

Authorities did not intervene, however some action is expected. Her lawyer has reportedly advised her to refuse to go with them. Upon questioning from the Nuremburger Nachrichten, the Youth Welfare Office responded, "We are informed as to the whereabouts of Amina." The office stated that it would not act in haste, but would weigh further steps carefully in the interests of the child. There is a nice article in the Nurenburg Nachrichten about the case. The following are some excerpted quotes:

About her flight: "I packed my things in the night, threw them out the window and jumped after them. I would like to stay home and never return there for any reason. I missed my family very much."

The worst part, she shares, was her stay in the psychiatric ward of the local clinic: "No one told me where I was or why I was there. It was like in a prison. I couldn't leave, only eat, sleep and watch a little television."

Plans for the future: "I would like to graduate, if possible, also [complete] the Abitur." (Highest level of German certification. This would allow her to go to university, if she chooses.) She does not rule out returning to a state school. "That depends on the circumstances."

Update 32 (4/23/07) Last night, Melissa left her foster home and returned home. Since she is now 16, the Youth Welfare Office reportedly has no authority over her. There may yet be some issue with other authorities, but the report seems hopeful that all will be resolved favorably for the family.

More here. It is in German and I will try to put up a summary later.

Update 31 (4/22/07) Tomorrow is Melissa's Birthday. A "Birthday action" is being planned which anyone interested may participate in. If you would like to wish her a happy birthday, light 16 candles and send the picture to

They are hoping to have at least 123 families participate so that 1968 candles may burn, one representing each day hour (as of 6PM local time on the 23rd) she has been away from her family.

They will be posted on this website (click on "HAPPY BIRTHDAY MELISSA"). The first pictures are already up and the rest will be put in an online album.

Also, AMN blog is reporting that the new psychologist that interviewed Melissa finds her emotionally healthy. I received the same report and will translate the German in its entirety later (probably tonight). Unfortunately, there is no source with this excerpt, and I cannot verify its authenticity. I hope it proves to be true for it will make the family's case a bit stronger as they prepare to go back to court.

Update 30 (4/15/07) This is the document I referred to earlier. (It is in German and a pdf document). I have only read the first four pages at the moment, but it is largely a summary of what has happened so far in the case in preparation for the next hearing. It came with some minor corrections, such as the career of the mother, etc., but no large discrepancies.

(edited, if you were here earlier. Will post later...parents do have heavily regulated visitation)

Update 29 (4/15/07) In a letter dated 03.04.07, the Bavarian Minister of State responds to a letter from Joerg Grosseluemern of Netwerk Bildungsfreiheit on Melissa's cases. The following is a translation:
Dear Mr. Grosseluemern,

Thank you for the E-mail of 25 February 2007 regarding the case of the Busekros family. Minister of State Dr. Beckstein regrets the development of the proceedings of the 15 year old Melissa very much.

From the view of the Minister of State, the well-being of the girl must stand clearly in the foreground in the judgment of the individual circumstances of the case. The well-being of Melissa also means that she receives and education equivalent to her ability. Out of the legally embodied school attendance law arises for the children and youth a right to an appropriate education.

The unreasonable behavior of the parents has given rise to the need for the family court, according to the laws, to give legal custody over to the youth welfare office of Erlangen. It is not in the power of the Minister of State of the Interior to put into doubt the legality of a decision of an independent court.

In so far as police officials participated in the transfer arrangement to bring Melissa temporarily into a care facility, they participated at the aid of the responsible youth welfare office. The behavior of the participating police officers is, according to what is known at the time, nothing to complain of.

With friendly greetings,

Dr. Sommer
Director of Government
Again, the state seems to contradict the Youth Welfare Office's assertion that this has nothing to do with homeschooling (update 4). Homeschooling is continually portrayed as being in violation of the rights of the child to an appropriate education.

I have another update sent me from Herrn Busekros, but I have not had time to read it, let alone translate it. I hope to have it up before I leave tomorrow, otherwise it won't be until next week. Melissa's birthday is coming up this month and she will turn 16. I have to double check, but I believe some of the legal issues change at that time.

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