Thursday, March 01, 2007

German homeschooling nightmare

Our friend from The Brussels Journal, Paul Belien, has a piece in the commentary section of The Washington Times on the absolute nightmare home schoolers have in Germany (congrats Paul).
Earlier this month, a German teen-ager was forcibly taken from her parents and imprisoned in a psychiatric ward. Her crime? She is being home-schooled.

On Feb. 1, 15 German police officers forced their way into the home of the Busekros family in the Bavarian town of Erlangen. They hauled off 16-year-old Melissa, the eldest of the six Busekros children, to a psychiatric ward in nearby Nuremberg. Last week, a court affirmed that Melissa has to remain in the Child Psychiatry Unit because she is suffering from "school phobia."

Home-schooling has been illegal in Germany since Adolf Hitler outlawed it in 1938 and ordered all children to be sent to state schools.
I do not home school my kids, as I think Mrs. Salamander would wind up in the looney-bin (by her own admission) but almost all the home schoolers I know are like Anne from PalmTreePundit - a woman we need millions more of - raising kids the way they should.
Last March, a judge in Hamburg sentenced a home-schooling father of six to a week in prison and a fine of $2,000. Last September, a Paderborn mother of 12 was locked up in jail for two weeks. The family belongs to a group of seven ethnic German families who immigrated to Paderborn from the former Soviet Union. The Soviets persecuted them because they were Baptists. An initiative of the Paderborn Baptists to establish their own private school was rejected by the German authorities. A court ruled that the Baptists showed "a stubborn contempt both for the state's educational duty as well as the right of their children to develop their personalities by attending school."
Hermann Stucher, a pedagogue who called upon Christians to withdraw their children from the state schools which, he says, have fallen into the hands of "neo-Marxist activists," has been threatened with prosecution for "Hochverrat und Volksverhetzung" (high treason and incitement of the people against the authorities). The fierceness of the authorities' reaction is telling. The dispute is about the hearts and minds of the children. In Germany, schools have become vehicles of indoctrination, where children are brought up to unquestioningly accept the authority of the state in all areas of life. It is no coincidence that people who have escaped Soviet indoctrination discern what the government is doing in the schools and are sufficiently concerned to want to protect their children from it.
Some things do not change much in Germany, I guess. We took the Amish and Mennonites - I guess we will have to take the home schooling Baptists. We'll take them, easy. Too bad for Germany, they are about the only Germans having children.

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