In our March/April 2001 newsletter, Home School Legal Defense Association reported that Brazilian federal prosecutor Carlos Alberto Carvalho Vilhena Coelho (whom we have since learned prefers to go by "Carlos Vilhena") had asked HSLDA for help in his attempt to legalize home schooling. As a result of Carlos' courageous effort, he and his wife Marciá were facing court action for choosing to home school their children. We asked each of you to contact the Brazilian Embassy in Washington on behalf of the Vilhenas, and as a result of your efforts, the family was allowed to continue to home school during the appeal process.
Since then, the Vilhenas' attorney, Dr. Aristides Junqueira, former Prosecutor General of Brazil, has filed a counter motion, petitioning the Superior Judicial Court to order the minister of education to reject the Federal Council of Education's opinion and instead to legally recognize home schooling.
This is a crucial juncture for home schooling in Brazil. The outcome of the Vilhenas' current crisis could set a permanent precedent-for better or for worse.
Now, we are asking you to act again on behalf of the Vilhenas. It is important for home schoolers everywhere, through e-mail, letters, and phone calls, to attempt to influence the ministers in the Superior Judicial Court who will be voting on this critical issue. (See Requested Action for Brazil to right.)
Your entire family can participate-this can be a great educational opportunity for your children! Not only will it demonstrate to them the importance of the freedoms we enjoy in the United States, but it will also provide an opportunity to help those in less fortunate circumstances.
Please take a few moments now to act on behalf of home schooling in Brazil. Thank you for your willingness to be involved!
Requested action for Brazil
- Please call and write the Brazilian embassy with this message:
Innocent home school families, such as the Carlos Vilhena family, are being persecuted in Brazil. A parent's right to direct the education of his children is a fundamental right that should be protected. Home schooling works, and we urge the government to officially legalize home schooling in Brazil.
We encourage you to rephrase this message in your own words and include a paragraph or two describing the benefits of home schooling to your own family. Because e-mail at the embassy is sometimes deleted without being read, phone calls and letters are also important.
Embassy of Brazil
3006 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
- Please e-mail the ministers ruling on this case (see list below) with a similar message.
You might also send a copy of your e-mail to the embassy. Most of these officials know very little about home schooling.
Minister José Delgado: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister Franciulli Netto: email@example.com
Minister Humberto Gomes de Barros: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister Francisco Falcão: email@example.com
Minister Garcia Vieira: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister Laurita Vaz: email@example.com
Minister Paulo Medina: firstname.lastname@example.org
Important note: Be sure to include the following case identification at the beginning of your message to the ministers:
Referencia: MS 7407/STJ (ESCOLA EM CASA).
Senhor(a) Ministro(a) do Tribunal da Cidadania do Brasil