Americans Warned: Home Schoolers Stripped of Rights

By on April 30, 2013

by Dale Hurd

Recently, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said that home schooling is not a parent’s right. It is a statement some are saying should frighten American parents.

Nations like Germany and Sweden show that when governments take away home schooling rights, it’s a slippery slope to no parental rights.

America the Refuge or Not

The Romeike family came to the United States from Germany five years ago hoping to find refuge. They wanted to home-school their children in freedom and a federal judge granted them asylum.

But now the Obama administration has been trying to deport them, arguing that home schooling is not a right. The case is currently before a federal appeals court.

Uwe and Hannelore Romeike began home schooling in Germany because they didn’t want their children exposed to things like witchcraft and graphic sex education that are taught in German schools.

“There were stories where [school children] were encouraged to ask the devil for help instead of God and actually the devil would help (in the story),” Uwe said.

“When we found out what’s in the textbooks, it’s exactly the opposite from what the Bible tells us and teaches us, and we wanted to protect [our children],” his wife Hannelore added.

But home schooling is illegal in Germany, except in rare cases. And many home schooling parents are persecuted with fines, jail, or the loss of their children.

Homeschoolers Going Into Exile?

Most home-schoolers in America are left alone. But what if state politicians and the federal government started to move against it?

Two of the worst nations for home-schoolers are Germany and Sweden. If you want to see what things might be like if home schooling was banned in America, travel to Sweden, where the government controls education and the home schooling movement has been crushed.

In fact, the head of the Swedish Homeschooling Association, Jonas Himmelstrand, had to take his family into exile. They fled to Finland.

“We’re in exile. We were forced out of our country and that makes a stronger impact than I can imagine,” he told CBN News. “This was our country. This was where we had our friends and business relationships and a whole lot of things and now we’re pushed away from it.”

Attorney Michael Donnelly, the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, called the situation “incredible for a nation like Sweden that calls itself a free nation, a democracy, so to speak.”

Ruby Harrold-Claesson, President of the Nordic Committee for Human Rights, went even further, branding Sweden a dictatorship where social workers tell parents what to do.

“Sweden claims to be a democracy but it’s far from it. It’s a dictatorship,” he said. “You have the social workers dictating how people are to live. You’re not supposed to be different. You’re not supposed to be different from anyone else in Sweden. Everyone is supposed to be uniform. They want to have these cookie cutter children.”

Claesson is also the lawyer representing Christer and Annie Johansson, who have lost custody of their son Domenic, because of home schooling. After Domenic was abducted by Swedish officials, Annie’s health began to fail.

Christer said the stress of the ordeal is killing his wife.

“If we cannot solve this issue soon, Domenic won’t have a mother anymore,” he said.

Russia, A Home Schooling Haven

Nations like Germany and Sweden could learn a thing or two about parent’s rights from, of all places, Russia, which is one of the freest nations in which to homeschool.

“We have complete freedom of home education in Russia, in terms of legality,” Pavel Parfentiev, a family rights advocate in Russia, said.

“The Russian Federation is sort of a champion of human rights in this particular area, so of course I think it is a good example for both Germany and Sweden where home educators are persecuted,” he said.

Among the persecuted, German home-schooler Juergen Dudek has been taken to court every year for the past 10 years by the German Jugendamt, or Youth Office.

“The Youth Office, I used to call it the ‘Gestapo for the Young.’ As soon as they step in, as soon as they get hold of you, you’ve really got problems,” Dudek said.

German homeschooler Dirk Wunderlich and his wife have lost custody of their children, although they are still allowed to live with them. He also told CBN News he expects to be sent to jail, but said he will never stop homeschooling.

“But I’m not afraid of this. I’m only sad for my family. I will go (to jail) laughing. You can do what you want but my children will not go to school,” he said.

America Safe for Homeschoolers?

In America, a red flag went up earlier this year when the Justice Department argued in the Romeike case that home schooling is not a fundamental human right.

A source close to the case said the White House cares more about relations with Germany than about a family seeking political asylum.

Asylum for the Romeikes might open a floodgate of refugees from Germany, further embarrassing the German government.

Uwe Roemike, who makes his living as a piano teacher, knows what to expect if they’re deported.

“First they would fine us with increasingly higher fines and they would threaten to take away custody,” he explained.

“There might be jail time, too, but the main threat is the aspect of custody because then, of course, the children are taken away from you completely and that’s what no family wants,” he said.

Uwe said the fact the White House would be willing to deny homeschooling freedom to his family, should make all American home-schoolers concerned.


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  1. old lady now

    April 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    after a background check,why shouldn;t immigrants be able to homeschool their children?what upsetsd me is the fact they are threatened with deportation,and boston wouldn;t have happened if the musslim would have been deported when he should have been,the same goes for allot of is a crock that they get caught and can just go on their merry way.

    • Jaenelle

      May 1, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      It’s not THAT they are homeschooling their children, it’s WHAT they are teaching. Those poor kids have absolutely no hope for a decent future of actually getting and keeping a job, unless it includes ‘would you like fries with that’….

      • Ron D Simonson

        May 2, 2013 at 4:36 pm

        how do you even know what they are teaching them – Home schoolers routinely score higher than public schooled kids. Perhaps if you don’t understand the subject you should remain silent.

      • Joanne

        May 2, 2013 at 6:50 pm

        Obviously you don’t know that homeschooled children statistically earn higher scores in testing that non-homeschooled children. They actually are capable of wonderful occupations. This is because they have individualized teaching….not all the busy work that a classroom teacher needs to give in order for chaos NOT to break out. By the way I have my teaching degree and have experience in the classroom as well as homeschooling. I have been homeschooling my children for the past five years and they are doing GREAT.

      • beary

        May 3, 2013 at 10:11 am


        I home schooled and my son and he now has two jobs and going to college. He has not worked at a fast food place yet. The home schoolers are the ones that are our future leaders because they are taught HOW to think NOT what to think.

    • patrick Henry

      May 2, 2013 at 7:50 am

      Old Lady Now,

      How do you jump from Eric Holder declaring it is not a fundamental right, to background checks and immigrants? Open your very narrow and failing eyes and realize this has to do with American and inalienable rights of parents to control the education and upbringing of their children not the state or some centralized state education police controlling them. Jeez, the lack of vision in the US has decline to the point where an article raising a flag on a fundamental right of parenting is completely missed because we are too blind to think our precious rulers would never do anything harmful to us!

    • Piwimama

      May 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      I think may have misunderstood. The US government is not stopping immigrants from Homeschooling when they are living in the USA. This family came from Germany (where they are not allowed to home school and were being persecuted because they still chose to do so for religious reasons). They used this reasoning in claiming refugee status here.

    • aaheart

      May 3, 2013 at 2:51 am

      There are some things you apparently didn’t learn in your public school: people are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law by a jury of your peers…it’s the law. So far we only know what the government agents are telling us or the corporate news media. We don’t have all the evidence and some of it very suspect. It’s not just a quaint habit we have developed, it’s at the heart of our law to consider everyone innocent until proven innocent. And the racism in profiling Muslims is also stereotyping that we have tried to avoid ever since the Civil Rights movement of the 50s and 60s.

    • Oliver

      May 5, 2013 at 5:32 am

  2. Hispanic Old Lady

    May 1, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    If you’re talking about the illegals from Mexico, they won’t home school their children. They come to the US for the freebies, and they have no problem with sending their kids to public school to learn English so that the child can act as a translator for the parents who don’t want to bother to learn English. Furthermore, these kids are often sent to school with no school supplies on the first day because they claim they are too poor to buy even the most basic things, and they know the school will supply them for free.

    Kind of makes you wonder how poor they are when they come to school driving a new car though. I should know…I used to teach bilingual 5th grade, so I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

    • charles

      May 1, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      Thanks for sharing the truth! I’m from New Zealand, I’ve fought tooth and nail to obtain my education and residency the HONEST way. I also came to the U.S.A. for the freedoms and liberty, all three of our children were homeschooled and are decent, hardworking honest citizens who actively care about their community and live good moral lives. To Eric “The Hitler” Holder, “respect THE RIGHTS FROM GOD for parents to home school their children, THEIR children, not the STATES children”

    • Gonzalo

      May 1, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      Wow you have never been more accurate.
      I can tell you because I’m a secong generation Mexican.And it looks like you just walked aday in my footseps growing up. We need more peolple to speak up.

    • Raul

      May 1, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      Nobody said anything about Mexican kids, the article was about home schooling you idiot not all Mexicans are lazy like you think now shut your trap!

      • smel

        May 2, 2013 at 12:02 pm

        Old lady now referred to illegals. That brought up the discussion on Mexicans.

      • Just Sayin

        May 2, 2013 at 6:24 pm

        Raul: Can you say M-O-R-O-N. Now, do us all a favor and look in a mirror. lol

  3. James Brenner

    May 1, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Home school are outperforming “system” students by a wide margin.

    The Government is threatened by people who can think critically – this continual push to control should alarm every citizen.

    • that guy

      May 1, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      Right on the money sir.

  4. Brigid

    May 1, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Holder: Our rights are not yours to take. The Federal Gov’t has no business in education of any sort.

  5. Lynda

    May 1, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Parents have the natural and inalienable right and duty to educate their children – either directly or through others. The state can never be given powers to come between a mother, father and the care, nurturing and education of their children. States may be granted powers to intervene only in exceptional circumstances where parents have objectively failed in fundamental duties towards their children – and then only to the extent necessary to protect the child from serious objective harm thereby caused. Any intervention must follow due process and be wholly transparent, rational and predictable.

  6. Anne Howe

    May 1, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    They run guns to drug-lords people die but give your kid a good education and you are the criminal! Sure, your kid will figure out they are slaves to the criminals and they don’t want that at all cost. – Solution, ignore them – Deny their authority – they have none.

  7. mark

    May 1, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Holder: you do not have the ability to remove peoples rights, what you are saying, is that you advocate that people be violently attacked for peaceful actions… surprise! you advocate tyranny.

  8. Freedom McFreedom

    May 2, 2013 at 2:01 am

    Germans do not teach witchcraft in scools. It is a science based, logic based country. You are not allowed to home school in Germany because not every parent is as qualified as a teacher (who in germany MUST have a masters degree and trained for 18 months pror to being able to teach). Parents, well are people. Who could beleive in things like witchcraft, abstinece, no gun control, or consipiracy theories. Unlike schools in the USA, German schools have their grades based on 50% written exams and 50% DISCUSSION in class based on quality not quantity.
    Furthermore, Germans have parental rights, as many as in the USA.
    So I ask myself, and American wo went to school in USA and Germany. Where in the world can you post such a bull shit aritcle?

    • Tom

      May 3, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      Please take your socialist propaganda back to germany where it came from. Your masters degrees don’t mean a thing. Kids need real life educations. I think this world has seen enough of second rate germany. All of you european contries owe what little freedom you have to the United States. Or did you forget you little encounter with adolph.

  9. Bob in Ca

    May 2, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Our constitution is very explicit as to what laws the Federal government have a right to make. Schooling is not one of them, schooling is a state level debate and the federal governance needs to back off. The problem is that the feds are loaning or granting monies to the states with strings attached. So if you want their funding you play by their rules. The same is true for just about everything the feds do with the states. If things were really correct we wouldn’t have federal taxes at all. We would only have state taxes and each state would allot so much per person to support the limited operation of the federal government. Not the other way around as it is now which is outside our constitution. Home schooling is the only way to be sure your kids receive an education based on your values and not that of the party in office at that time. This is ringing very true right now with the administrations push for the teaching of gay rights, sex education at younger ages and other moral values that our governments have no right to dictate.

  10. steve tompkins

    May 2, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Eric Holder
    There is no law that requires anyone to attend public schools. Natural rights are those rights such as LIFE, LIBERTY, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. FREEDOM of RELIGION, SPEECH, LEARNING, TRAVEL and SELF DEFENSE.
    Holder is another satanist who obviously does not know the US Constitution.

  11. smel

    May 2, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    HSLDA has made this case what it is. Eric Holder is wrong in his assumptions, but HSLDA made this mess.

    They told this family to come here.
    The brought them here and made promises they couldn’t keep.

    Rules of asylum are you go to the nearest country to seek political asylum. Germany is part of the EU. They could have left Germany and gone to any EU country that allows home schooling and there would have never been an issue. Austria allows homeschooling and they speak German. There would be no issues for us or them, if they had followed the laws of Asylum.

    • Mamma bear

      May 2, 2013 at 11:38 pm

      Absolutely right. Irritating.

  12. Seth

    May 2, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    In regards to Holders comment… The Federal Government is not set up to give, or take away, rights. It’s set up, by the governed, to protect people’s God given rights from those who would disregard them. Sadly, our government does not know it’s place anymore.

  13. Freedom McFreedom

    May 3, 2013 at 3:41 am

    Germany is not a place of witchcraft or satanism. Germany happens to be rather successfull in schooling. German engineers are imported into America. Because of Germany’s superior schooling. How many home-schooled engineers do you know? I would trust it is 0. Don’t you think that regulation can provide a great way to keep with certain standards in order to raise and sustain the bar? It isn’t a fluke that Germany is successfull, the only country NOT hit by the reccession of 2008. That is when unemployment WENT DOWN!!!!!!!!!! This was also caused by REGULATION!
    Why don’t we just stick to the facts here and not really obvious bullshit.

  14. tammy

    May 3, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Well how about this, get all the hoodlums, gangs , bullies and dirty teachers and principals along with parents who send their kids to school just to rule and beat the weaker children. Make special ed just that, not a class with a group of kids with various ages, disorders and anger issues. Make schools more individualized, not 1 size fits all. Make it where it’s not all about competition with other states and countries, less on test scores and more on ensuring our kids graduate being able to read, write and speak clearly and knowledge that being fly and hip don’t mean crap in the real world. You see, 3 of my children were in the system and 2 were jaded. 1 with MR who was beat on and among other things while my son was also beaten, handled by teachers and treated like the lowest form of life. Stop passing kids along even though their learning and social skills are impaired. Here’s what I know, kids go to school to learn, not compete, socialize or have tea parties, we socialize our kids. I live in a gang infested area where the school setting would traumatize them, heck I’m even fearful to walk in the school. The thing is that there are so many services our kids can and are lawfully entitled to , regardless of this need that can be sought in many hospitals, clinics and organizations. I think the fear is that the gov’t has no control over said student and want to take all rights away from us and place them in the hands of incompetent souls. I would like to take a trip to Washington and approach our lawmakers and ask them if they would like to pay the money for private schools where their kids attend. This is crazy.

  15. Robert

    May 4, 2013 at 8:59 am

    The last thing the American government wants is kids educated as to what the government can and cannot do. They need mind numb robots that ask no questions they just do what they are told.
    I also feel that is why obama care is to get rid of the older population as we know how the government works and with us they cannot get away with anything. SO what to do??? Eliminate us.

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