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February 23, 2011

The School Law is Clear

Note: This article is a translation of the original in Swedish that appeared in the newspaper Uppsala Nya Tidning.

The decision not to give permission for the Angerstig family to homeschool their son is not about what the Uppsala municipality thinks, according to Helena Norgren, a municipality official.

“We have tried to follow the current law,” says Helena Norgren. She thinks the current Swedish school law is clear about what exceptions can be made to the Swedish school obligation. The exceptions primarily concern younger children.

The Angerstigs’ lawyer, Percy Bratt, said that the municipality has a one-sided approach.

“It is clear the there is room for homeschooling in the school law,” says Bratt. “But the municipality and the lower administrative court (Förvaltningsrätten) are interpreting the law too narrowly.”

Helena Norgren does not see any reason for the Uppsala municipality to reconsider their decision about homeschooling.

“Our decisions can be appealed. In this case several courts have made the assessment that the municipality has made the right decision. The verdict from the lower court shows that we have interpreted the law correctly.”

Jonas and Tamara Himmelstrand, the second family who has been fined for not sending their child to school, will also appeal their case to the higher administrative court, the Kammarrätten. The fine concerns one of the couple’s children who the parents say has special needs. The child is currently homeschooled.