Earlier this year, the U.S. government denied asylum to the Romeikes, a German homeschooling family. And today, on Home School Heartbeat, Mike Farris joins host Mike Smith to explain how this decision could affect American homeschoolers.
We started off this spring with the Romeike family’s fight for asylum in the U.S. I think some Americans, Mike, assume this was a German problem—but can you explain for our listeners why the Obama administration’s reasoning for overturning the Romeike’s asylum was so concerning for the state of homeschooling in America?
The Romeike family came to the United States in 2008 to seek political asylum, because Germany bans homeschooling and it takes away children permanently from the parents that persist in teaching their own kids. This family was granted asylum by the first immigration judge. He agreed this was a violation of religious freedom and that the German law was impermissible under human rights principles. The Obama administration appealed, and, throughout the case, they’ve argued that human rights principles permit Germany to override the rights of religious parents who want to give their kids an alternative education. And they’ve argued that it’s a legitimate thing for government to do to force all children to receive government kind of teaching so that children will become tolerant. This kind of thinking is incredibly dangerous because it means you can force American kids just as well. The way they’ve raised their arguments have been in very broad terms. It’s not limited to Germany; it’s about the nature of rights and parents and government in general.
Well, thank you, Mike, this is a very sobering case. And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.