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9/1/2004 5:08:08 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Persecution of German Homeschoolers Intensifies - Help Needed!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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September 1, 2004


Persecution of German Homeschoolers Intensifies - Help Needed!


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

German homeschoolers need your help now!

Although they have experienced rapid growth in the last 6 months with
two homeschool conferences and widespread publicity in the press, the
persecution has intensified. The homeschool movement in Germany is
now at a critical juncture.

The United States has been blessed for many years with the freedom to
homeschool. Other countries do not have this freedom. If we do not
help "the least of these" in other nations, who will help them? Please
take a moment to read the paragraphs below and see if you can both
pray for and donate to the homeschoolers' cause in Germany.


German Family Flees Country to Stop Government from Taking Custody

A few weeks ago, a German homeschool family escaped to Central
America, just ahead of a judge who wanted to take custody of their
school-aged child. A social worker helped the family escape by warning
the family of the judge's intent and delaying the paperwork.


German Homeschoolers Escape to Austria

Another German homeschool family had to flee to Austria. The judge,
after being informed that the family had already left (even though he
possessed documents including the registration of the child in
question at the local school in Austria), went ahead anyway and gave
custody of the child to the state. The father of the family told the
court appointed official who appeared at their door in Austria that
the child was no longer registered in Germany but rather in Austria.
The judge then wrote to the family saying that it would immediately
take custody of the child if the family were to return to Germany.


German Homeschool Family Told by Judge They Do Not Have Rights

Another German homeschool family lost a recent court case when the
judge ruled that the parents have no rights whatsoever concerning the
manner and method of education in government schools. In this case,
hard-core pornography was being used to teach the children in their
German language course! The judge ruled that the school has the
authority to determine what is against the conscience of the parents.
The judge also ruled that fundamentalist Christians, who do not want
their children to attend the government schools, are not protected by
the constitution!

More and more families are beginning to flee Germany. Many are in
hiding and some fathers work in one state while the family lives in
another. We have a German homeschool family in our local church here
in Virginia who left Germany because of the hostility to
homeschooling.

Nonetheless, advancements are continuing as the homeschool movement
continues to grow in spite of the persecution. The homeschool legal
organization is growing, conferences are being held, the Konrad case
is before the European Human Rights Court, many articles are appearing
in the press, German homeschool curriculum is being written, and
lobbying is taking place in the state of Bavaria to pass a law
legalizing homeschooling.

But the homeschool legal organization in Germany, School Instruction
at Home, is being swamped with families in need of help. If they do
not receive some immediate financial support, the homeschool movement
in Germany will be stalled and even stamped out.

Many homeschoolers in the United States have forgotten the terror of
being taken to jail for exercising their God-given responsibility to
homeschool. We have been able to legalize homeschooling in all fifty
states. We have demonstrated over time that homeschoolers, on the
average, perform above average in standardized tests, college entrance
examinations, and are successful in college, the military and the
workforce. But our freedom to homeschool was not free. Many families
had to sacrifice in order to legalize homeschooling in the 1980s and
90s.

German homeschoolers are facing this battle right now. It is vital
that we in America, who have been given so much, rally around these
families and lift up the homeschooling movement in Germany.

We are asking Home School Legal Defense Association members to pray
for the German homeschool families who are suffering for their
decision to homeschool. Additionally, we are asking for families to
consider giving financial support for the cause of freedom in Germany.


Two years ago HSLDA helped the German homeschoolers start their own
legal defense group, Schulunterricht zu Hause. However, it needs
support to fund cases, hire full-time help, and promote homeschooling
in Germany.

You can send donations to the Home School Foundation, earmarked for
German homeschoolers. Please go to
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1787 . We will send the donations on
to Schulunterricht zu Hause to help with advising homeschoolers,
negotiating with school districts, funding cases and appeals, paying
fines, and defending the rights of homeschoolers in whatever way
necessary.

For more information on the homeschooling situation in Germany and
history, visit our web site at:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1788

Thank you for your prayerful involvement.


Sincerely,

Chris Klicka
Senior Counsel
Home School Legal Defense Association



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