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12/22/2006 4:02:22 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Homeschoolers Need Your Help in Germany and Other Countries

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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December 22, 2006

Homeschoolers Need Your Help in Germany and Other Countries

Dear HSLDA members and friends,

In this Christmas season we have an opportunity to help support
homeschoolers who are struggling in other countries. We can make a
difference for the "least of these," our brothers and sisters who are
faced with legal challenges and lack of finances.

We have sent out information periodically on Germany. The situation,
unfortunately, is not getting any better, and they need your prayers
and support.

Most recently, a decision was handed down by the European Court of
Human Rights, in the Konrad case. This involved a homeschool family in
Germany that Schulunterricht zu Hause, the homeschool legal defense
organization, had handled. The decision came out in October and
confirmed the ruling against the Konrads by the German courts.

Essentially, the Human Rights Court completely turned the European
Union's Constitution's Article 14, the section on parent's rights to
control the education of their children, completely upside down. The
Court ignored the parent's rights to homeschool their children, and
instead focused on the children's rights and their need to get a state
education. Therefore, Germany is free to continue to go forward with
their draconian laws outlawing homeschooling.

The decision applies to all the countries in the whole European Union.
However, it is unlikely that other nations will follow suit since
homeschooling is legal in one form or another in the other European
countries. Nevertheless, if a country ever has a change in government
and seek to outlaw homeschooling, the Konrad decision would give them
the right to do so.

Meanwhile, the German homeschoolers continue to be unmercifully
persecuted. In our last report, we explained that there were
approximately 40 families in court at one stage or the other. Families
are fleeing regularly to other foreign countries in order to continue
homeschooling while the father stays behind to work. Ronald Richert,
the attorney who handled the Konrad case, said "judicially speaking,
there is not a real chance of changing this in the near future. We're
talking about a thousand children that are being taught at home. The
striking thing is, is that the state is after homeschoolers with all
its power. What I find stunning about that, is that the state does not
care much about the hundred thousand students who do not go to school
at all, where the parents do not even care about their children."

A homeschool mom, Olga Block, was recently interviewed by CBN, and
two days after the interview, she was sent to jail.

The Romenikes in Baden-Wurttemberg had police come by at 7:30 in the
morning and forcibly take the crying children into a police car and
drive them to school. They continued taking the children to school
until the family moved from the area.

The Herrmanns, a homeschool family with twins, were forced to have
their children 1attend public school even though one of the children
was very sick. Their medical doctor even provided evidence why the
child needed to be at home. Nonetheless, they are now faced with the
threat of losing the custody of their children, so they have fled
outside of Germany and are in the underground.

At this point, the best hope for German homeschoolers is to work to
have one of the states change their laws to legalize homeschooling.
This would create a haven in Germany for homeschoolers to come to and
hopefully be exported to happening in the other states.

In the meantime, legal fees are still high, and some families are
facing fines to the amount of 15,000 euros, which is equal to some of
these families' whole year income.

If you want to support the German homeschoolers financially, you can
give a tax-deductible donation to the Homeschool Foundation at
https://secure.hslda.org/HSF/support.asp . Simply designate the
donation toward homeschooling in Germany.

HOMESCHOOLERS IN POLAND FACING TROUBLE

The situation for homeschooling families in Poland is getting more
difficult. Homeschooling is legal there but highly regulated

The educational system there enables parents to ask public schools
principals for permission to teach their children at home. Government
authorities and school principals have the discretion to make any
demand they want on parents before granting them their right to
homeschool. Also, every home-taught student is required to pass a
non-standardized school exam at least once a year even though no
public school student faces such a requirement.

Most homeschooling families comply with this law, but the number of
public school principals refusing to grant permission to homeschooling
is growing. This is one of the reasons why last summer, the Stebnikis,
homeschooling parents, met with the Minister of Education who is in
favor of homeschooling in order to work towards more parent-friendly
law. One of the proposals was to include private schools among those
who can grant the right to homeschool. A proposal was unofficially
granted by the minister. Unfortunately, nothing has changed
officially. Now several families who register their children are
facing problems with the authorities.

The Poles have to fight with post communist red tape and unfriendly
school officials. They ask for your prayer as they try to meet again
with the Ministry by the end of January. They will try to meet with
other officials to show them how affective homeschooling is and they
need not fear it. They need a mighty move from above to protect and
broaden their right to homeschool. Please pray for the parents wanting
to exercise their right as parents to oversee the education of their
children in the Polish Constitution but ignore the educational laws.

Anyone who wants to help support the homeschoolers in Poland can give
a tax-deductible donation to the Homeschool Foundation at
https://secure.hslda.org/HSF/support.asp . Simply designate the
donation toward homeschooling in Poland.

HUNGARIANS NEED HELP WITH TRANSLATIONS

Imre Szoke, the President of the Hungarian Homeschooling Association,
has established a vibrant homeschool association and network. He has
traveled to the United States and to HSLDA's National Conference to
gain information and strategies for helping homeschoolers in Hungary.
Lately they have been working to translate more homeschooling books
and curriculum into Hungarian to help meet the needs of the Hungarian
homeschoolers.

Homeschoolers are able to teach their children as private students at
home, as long as they generally follow the state curriculum standards
and have the children examined twice a year.

If you want to help with this Hungarian translation process you can
donate it to the Home School Foundation at
https://secure.hslda.org/HSF/support.asp and earmark it for Hungary.

MEXICO HOMESCHOOL MOVEMENT IS GROWING

Homeschooling in Mexico is growing partly due to the efforts of the
organization El Hogar Educador, which is run by Mike Richardson. They
currently reach over 3,000 families and 32 Spanish-speaking countries
with their free homeschooling magazine. They also hold two annual
homeschool conventions in various parts of Mexico, which have upwards
of over 1,000 homeschoolers in attendance.

One of the big issues that El Hogar Educador needs help in is with
translating homeschool materials into Spanish. If you would like to
donate to this ministry you can donate to the Home School Foundation
at https://secure.hslda.org/HSF/support.asp and earmark it for
Mexico.

Donations to Homeschool Foundation are tax deductible.

There are many other countries that have various needs and we urge you
to look at http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/ and see all the
international homeschool organizations in various countries
represented. Any of the countries you can donate to by simply
earmarking the name of the country and visiting the Home School
Foundation website.

Thank you all for your time in considering helping these small, but
growing homeschool movements in other nations where children are being
trained up in God's ways. In America we have so much and this is a
wonderful opportunity to give to help these ministries.

Merry Christmas!

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Klicka
Senior Counsel

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