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3/26/2003 4:49:32 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
National Alert--Ukrainian Homeschoolers Desperately Need Our Help

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 26, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

The country of the Ukraine has a small but growing homeschool
movement. Most of the families homeschooling are doing so for
religious reasons. They believe they are called by God to train their
children in God's ways, rather than using the secular public school
curriculum.

Although the laws of the Ukraine technically allow for homeschooling
with certain restrictions, the Kaliya region is presently prosecuting
six Christian homeschool families: the Krivosheev, Petrenko,
Boboshko, Smirnikh, Kushnirenko, and Kasyanenko families. On January
27, their minor children were taken away by village officials and
questioned without their parent's knowledge. Currently, proceedings
are underway to deprive these parents of their parental rights and to
remove these children from their own homes.

You can make a difference by simply contacting the Ukrainian embassy
and voicing your concern.

HSLDA has sent out alerts on behalf of homeschoolers in other
countries with great success. See our background information below
for more detail on the effectiveness of previous alerts regarding the
persecution of homeschoolers in other countries.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please contact by phone the Consular Office of the Embassy of Ukraine
as soon as possible and give them this message:

"Homeschooling is legal in the Ukraine, yet six innocent families are
being prosecuted in the Kaliya region. If the Ukraine is to be
recognized as a truly free country, it must protect this most basic
of all rights: the right of parents to choose how and where to
educate their children. The cases against these six families must be
dismissed immediately."

Be aware that phone lines may get quickly jammed. The phone number is
(202) 333-0606 (You will hear a recording. Press 5. Then choose
either 0 to try to leave a message with receptionist or option 4 for
the press/consular)

Also please send a letter, fax or email to the ambassador that says
the following in your own words:

"Homeschooling is legal in the Ukraine, yet six innocent families are
being prosecuted in the Kaliya region. The Kaliya Regional Court has
issued fines against the Krivosheev, Petrenko, Boboshko, Smirnikh,
Kushnirenko, and Kasyanenko families. Proceedings are currently
underway to deprive these parents of their parental rights and to
remove their children from their homes.

"If the Ukraine is to be recognized as a truly free country, it must
protect this most basic of all rights: the right of parents to choose
how and where to educate their children. The cases against these six
families must be dismissed immediately."

Please explain that you are a homeschooler and how homeschooling has
been a successful option for your family.

His Excellency Kostyantyn Gryshchenko
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the United
States
Consular Office of the Embassy of Ukraine
3350 M Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20007
Phone: (202) 333-0606
Fax: (202) 333-7510
E-Mail: consular@ukremb.com

BACKGROUND

In the past, U.S. homeschoolers have had similar opportunities to
help struggling homeschool families of other countries and we have
seen some dramatic results.

> South Africa: two homeschool parents were freed from prison and
eventually homeschooling was legalized through three separate phone
call alerts.

> Germany: a case against a homeschool family was dropped within
three weeks after thousands of calls were made to the German embassy.

> Ireland: draconian home visit legislation was defeated after two
alerts to the Irish embassy and additional work with the Parliament.

> Czech Republic: over 170,000 e-mails were delivered to the Czech
Parliament by U.S. homeschoolers, shutting down the Parliament server
for a day. The e-mail campaign helped stop a bill which would have
made it nearly impossible to homeschool in the Czech Republic.

Thank you for your willingness to sacrifice your time to write a
letter, email, or make a call. We urge you to make this an
opportunity to train your children in geography and history.

If you need any other information on homeschooling in the Ukraine or
other countries, please review the international section of our
expanding webpage at:

http://www.hslda.org/hs/international

If the homeschoolers of America do not come to the assistance of
these homeschool families in the Ukraine, who will?

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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