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June 28, 2006

An Illegal Education

Homeschooling in the US continues to grow, and slowly public educators are accepting it as a reasonable alternative given the studies that show how kids excel in it. However, in Germany, it'll get you jailed, and folks are fighting back.

German homeschooling parents who face fines or jail sentences are prepared to take their cause to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe recently turned down an appeal by Christian parents. According to the justices, the parents are required to send their children to state registered schools.

Homeschooling is illegal in Germany, even if parents object to institutional education for religious reasons. Many Christians, however, are defying legal requirements. Some have been fined or incarcerated after refusing to pay the fines. It is estimated at least 1,000 children in Germany are taught by their parents.

Germany is rather unique in this stance.
Germany takes a tougher line against homeschooling than other European democracies. France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland and Austria also require children to receive school education but leave the form of education up to the parents.

If you can't trust parents to make decisions for their own children, who can you trust?

Posted by Doug at June 28, 2006 01:20 PM

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Certainly you can trust parents to care for their children. I would love to know what all these people who have no idea of the Germany of today, are critizing the goverment for.
There are many christian schools here in Germany overlooked by the state. what is wrong about that ?
All these comparisons to Hitler and the persecution of the Jews are totally out of range.
They disqualify themselves with comments like that. Furthermore they do not see , that the government is controlled by the Judicative , the Courts.
What is it, that these christian fundamentalists fear so much ? I have been educated in the German system. There is always a lot to critcize, but I was always encouraged to do so in school. Teachers always respected your personal opionion, in case you had one. Are these so called loving parents afraid, that their childrend may develop an idea of their own.
I would really love to discuss this with them.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

thomas Coss
Bochum, Germany

Posted by: Thomas Coss at August 27, 2006 05:57 AM

If you truly believe that you can trust parents, then the government should reflect that.

I would turn the question around to you and ask what do Germans fear so much about parents educating their children? The parents want to simply exercise a choice that you, by your own words, trust them to make. It's the government that is forbidding homeschooling, so the question is more properly asked of it.

Posted by: Doug Payton at August 28, 2006 11:01 AM