Johansson Family Hopeful After Favorable Court Ruling—You Can Help!
In a major breakthrough, a Swedish district court ruled in June that the parental rights of Annie and Christer Johansson would not be terminated. Many of you have closely followed the tragic story of the Johansson family and have diligently responded to our previous calls for action. Thank you for advocating on behalf of the family! The recent court ruling is a victory, and we are hopeful that the court’s decision is the beginning of the end of the nightmare for this family.
Christer recently expressed his gratitude for all the support his family has received.
“I don’t think we’d be here today if it weren’t for the support of many thousands of people through their emails, telephone calls and letters,” he said. “We know many people have been paying attention to this, and we are so grateful for their constant and consistent support. We want to say thank you to all of our supporters!”
This ruling dealt exclusively with whether or not the Johansson’s parental rights would be terminated and could pave the way for the restoration of the family. In a 23-page detailed opinion, the court stated it could not ignore the unanimous and extensive testimony of firsthand accounts of friends, family and others that Dominic Johansson was being properly cared for by his parents prior to Swedish authorities seizing him on June 26, 2009. Testimony after testimony affirmed it would be best for Domenic to be reunited with his parents, including expert testimony provided by psychologist and Professor Trevor Archer. Archer stated that for Domenic’s health and well-being, it would be best that he be returned to his parents’ care right away.
The Johansson family previously filed a request in December 2011 with the family court overseeing the social services case to ask for review of the order that put Dominic into foster care. Swedish law requires that such motions be acted on within four months, but it has been well beyond that time frame without any action by the court or the social workers in the case. It is our hope that this new ruling will cause the family court to readdress Christer and Annie's request. Noted human rights attorney Ruby Harrold-Claesson who is representing the couple has asked the court for the immediate return of Domenic to his parents.
“Based on the information in this verdict, there can be no justification for keeping this family apart,” Harrold-Claesson said.
The recent court case also brought to light Domenic's medical records, which indicate he has had health issues since being placed in foster care. I cannot imagine the confusion and heartache that this now 10-year-old boy has gone through, nor the frustration and helplessness that Christer and Annie have suffered during the three-year separation from their only son. Please continue to pray earnestly that the family will be reunited soon and for their strength and endurance.
Now is also the time to contact the Gotland social services authorities on the family’s behalf and call on them to do the right thing—return Domenic to his parents now! Please visit the link below for email addresses for the social workers and the head of the social board and take a few moments to email on behalf of the Johansson’s today.
Send an email to Gotland social services authorities
Global Conference Needed Now More than Ever!
Finally, I hope you are including the Global Home Education Conference (GHEC) 2012 in your plans this year. In November, global education policy makers and influencers will meet with home education leaders from around the world. As I have been serving as secretary of the GHEC 2012 organizing board, I have become more excited about the potential for this global event. It is the board's hope that the conference will have positive impact for home education everywhere. Visit the conference website below to learn more and to register. The Johanssons are planning to be there to tell their story in person. It is precisely because some governments, like Sweden, act with such disregard for fundamental concepts such as freedom of education that this conference is needed. Make the conference a success by attending and telling others—both homeschoolers and policy makers—about it! Register by August 31st for the early registration discount!
Visit the GHEC 2012 website to register and find speakers, workshops, lodging info, and more.
Mike Donnelly, Director of International Affairs