From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


10/7/2009 3:06:53 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA: Calls Needed to Reunite Homeschool Family

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

HSLDA: Calls Needed to Reunite Homeschool Family

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

We recently told you about the plight of the Johanssons, a Swedish
family whose only child, 7-year-old Dominic Johansson, was seized by
Swedish police from a plane just as the family was about to leave the
country for a new life in India.

After investigating the facts surrounding the case, HSLDA President J.
Michael Smith wrote to Swedish officials to protest this action. To
read his letter click here:

To read the response from Mr. Berglind, minister of public affairs for
the Swedish Embassy in Washington click here:

Citing confidentiality concerns for not commenting on the Johansson
case, Mr. Berglind noted that a county administrative board in Sweden
is reviewing how it was handled by local officials.

In a telephone conversation with HSLDA, Mr. Johansson confirmed that
he has been in contact with the county administrative board.

"They told me that they are looking into the case to determine if
anything was done improperly," he said.

And at a meeting with the social workers on Tuesday, October 6, Mr.
Johansson was told that he and his wife would only be allowed to visit
their son at the social workers office once every two weeks for a
maximum of two hours.

What does Sweden hope to gain from such an aggressive action? The
situation is tragic. It is deeply troubling that a Western democracy
would go to such lengths to prevent a homeschool family from simply
trying to leave the country.

Dominic has been traumatized, and his mother has been hospitalized
several times because of the depression this incident has caused. Yet
the social workers persist in keeping custody of Dominic. When Mr.
Johansson asks why, they reply "Because it's better for him."
According to Mr. Johansson, both he and Dominic have been subjected to
psychological and other testing with results showing no valid reason
for continued separation of the family.

In light of this aggressive behavior and because the Swedish
parliament is poised to impose draconian regulations on homeschoolers,
HSLDA is asking its members to contact the Swedish Ambassador to the
United States.

Swedish Ambassador Jonas Hafstrom can be reached:

By email:
By Phone: 202-467 2600
By Fax: 202-467 2699
The embassy website is

First, we ask you to request that the Swedish government return
Dominic to his family. The social welfare agency has taken custody
of Dominic, and they have the power to return him to his parents.
Request that they do so immediately.

Second, inform the ambassador that homeschooling allows children to
thrive academically and socially. Valid research has demonstrated
that homeschooling is a mainstream educational approach that works.
Tell him that the world doesn't need any more countries like Germany
that repress freedom in education, and that a person should be
permitted to opt out of public education because of philosophical or
religious convictions.

In his letter to Mr. Smith, Mr. Berglind noted that since Sweden is a
state party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, that the
starting point for children is Sweden is the " interests of the
child and the child's right to be heard...". Mr. Berglind noted that
social services have an obligation to "intervene and remove a child
from the family if the child's health and development are endangered."
Mr. Berglind noted that a child should be returned home as soon as
possible if it was "in the best interests of the child."

Of grave concern to HSLDA is Mr. Berglind's citation of the
legislative history of the Education Act which says: "The legislative
history of the current Education Act states that home schooling in
isolated cases, mainly in the lower grades, might be an acceptable
substitute for education if a particular external circumstance exists.
Examples of such are: if the child lives in a sparsely populated area
or needs special care. Legal practice shows that the situation also
arises when parents for other reasons, such as philosophical or
religious, want to educate their children at home. In connection with
the new Education Act, these rules are now being reviewed."

The act is indeed being reviewed and the proposal is even more
draconian. The proposed language would remove philosophical or
religious convictions as valid reasons to home school. The new law
would allow homeschooling only in "extraordinary circumstances" (read:
never). If the proposed Swedish law passes it would become as bad as
in Germany where homeschooling is effectively banned.

Mike Farris recently said in his address to the World Congress of
Families, "Any nation that severely restricts the ability of parents
to choose alternative forms of education, including home education, in
the name of creating national unity, cannot call itself a free nation.
Freedom necessarily requires the individual to have the liberty to
think differently and believe differently than programs instituted by
the current rulers of any nation. Educational freedom is the
cornerstone for all freedom of thought and conscience."

HSLDA encourages its members to communicate their concerns to the
Swedish Ambassador. We hope that his influence may help correct an
injustice and also pave the way for better laws for homeschoolers in

HSLDA thanks its members and friends for their ongoing support. It's
when all homeschoolers join together that we are most effective
advocating for homeschool freedom in America and abroad.

Link to Story Sweden--the Next Germany for Homeschoolers?

-> Will your children's inheritance retain its value?

If you pass on a legacy of freedom, your children and their
children's children will thank you. But freedom is never secure;
it must always be guarded. Membership with HSLDA is an investment
in the future that can be passed on to future generations of
families wanting to teach their children at home.

More reasons to join HSLDA...

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Fax: (540) 338-2733

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