While Americans enjoy the freedom to home educate, German homeschoolers face restrictive laws and oppressive court decisions. On today’s Home School Heartbeat, host Michael Farris talks with HSLDA Attorney Mike Donnelly about the status of homeschooling in Germany.
With me today is Home School Legal Defense Association Attorney Mike Donnelly. Mike has been our special liaison to the German homeschool community. He and I traveled together to Germany some months back, and together HSLDA’s been fighting for German homeschoolers for quite some time now. Mike, can you tell us what’s been going on lately?
Well Mike, as you know, Germany is unique in its harsh treatment of homeschoolers. Because of this harsh treatment over the years, there are very few German homeschooled students, under a 1,000. And these German families who choose to homeschool face very serious risks when they homeschool. Recently, a German appeals court determined that homeschooling should not be allowed because it would result in what the courts calls parallel societies, something that here in America we would call pluralism.
In Germany, school officials have the authority to fine families thousands of dollars, and this is just the first step. When these fines do not cause the families to change their ways, they can add additional fines, put families in jail, mothers and fathers in jail, and can even temporarily or permanently take custody of the children from the parents.
Mike, thanks so much for your work on behalf of the German homeschooling families. Mike Farris.