|HOME SCHOOLING / INTERNATIONAL|
Court Says Homeschooling Not Criminal
By Suomen kotiopettajat
We previously reported on a heroic single mother in Turku, Finland who was taken to criminal court by local school officials for her decision to homeschool. On November 5, 2014 the district court ruled in the mother’s favor, and she was found not guilty to charges and in fact the decision states the charges were not based on the law at all. This is the first time that homeschoolers in Finland have received an unbiased and well-reasoned court judgment.
In this case, the city of Turku took the mother to court after supervision inspector Tea Kiviluoma and school principal Arja Alho launched several child welfare investigations regarding her two sons who are homeschooled, wanting the boys “supervised” by the school. None of the investigations were founded, yet Director of the Education Division Timo Jalonen had unjustifiably threatened to take the boys into custody if she did not cooperate.
On October 20, 2014 she spent 9 hours in court, together with her attorney Outi Mannonen, to a good end. The court ruling is a great victory for home educators in Finland: it is parents that oversee their homeschool, not the school that oversees the parents—just as it is the people that oversee the government, not the government that oversees the people. Homeschool parents are to look after that their children are homeschooled; the school has no statutory authority to force supervision on families but must work together with parents. Families are equal to authorities.
Suomen kotiopettajat had the privilege of lending assistance in the court procedures. This decision will help our association and families when we negotiate how supervision should be done. The mother and her case helped to break the ice for homeschooling in this area in Finland.
Suomen kotiopettajat is the national Home Educators Association in Finland.
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