Home-Schooling Parents Ask U.S. Government for Asylum

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How far should parents push government laws, in order to raise their children as they personally feel they should? Would you flee your home country to escape police visits and government fines?

One couple is asking the federal appeals court to grant them asylum in the U.S. after fleeing Germany with their five children. Why? Because the German parents violated their government’s law requiring students to attend a state-approved school and they now face possible custody loss, fines (about $9,000 worth), and jail time!

According to ABC News, “Uwe and Hannelore Romeike (roh-MEYE-kee) claim in court documents that German schools are anti-Christian and the couple believe God wants them to teach their children at home.”

After the Romeikes took their children out of school in September 2006, officials sent letters to their home, officials and police visited their house, and police tried driving their children to school (but Hannelore would pick them right back up during recess). That’s when the government began issuing fines, totaling about 7,000 euros.

The U.S. government “believes the Romeikes’ case does not rise to the level of persecution, and says they are not being singled out for their religious beliefs … and described the parents’ objections to the government-approved schools as vague.”

The parents’ stories of school witchcraft, and textbooks with lessons about the devil, are crumbling under investigation; and with no proof of the German government forcing a “Nazi-era law” against its people, the Romeikes hopes for granted asylum may be faltering.

So while some are hoping the Home School Legal Defense Association will be able to “pressure Germany” to view home-schooling as a viable option, others are wondering why the Romeikes didn’t handle this in a different manner. It’s important to respect another human’s rights, especially as a parent, but it’s also important to follow the laws of the land.

Couldn’t the Romeikes send their children to the proper state-approved schools while looking into alternative citizenships? What are you ultimately teaching your children if you directly refuse to obey government laws and flee the country to avoid arrest?

However, I also understand – as a parent – the need and desire to raise your children in a manner that feels right to you, especially concerning any religious beliefs.

Do you feel the Romeikes did the right thing and should be granted asylum? Or do you think they were wrong to flee their country?

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What do you think?

Home-Schooling Parents Ask U.S. Government for Asylum

Kimberly Shannon is a wife, a mother, an editor, a writer ... She is always working to find the perfect balance¹! After Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she worked on two master’s degree programs (Creative Writing, and Marriage and Family Therapy). At various times in her life she has signed up to study Naturopathy, only to back out at the last minute, and humored the idea of returning full-time to the world of dance. Kimberly has also started 10 different children ... More

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1 comment

  1. Amy says:

    I think that they have every right to try and do what is best for their children. What is not touched on is the following:
    "The U.S. law of asylum allows a refugee to stay in the United States permanently if he can show that he is being persecuted for one of several specific reasons. Among these are persecution for religious reasons and persecution of a “particular social group.”

    In most asylum cases, there is some guesswork necessary to figure out the government’s true motive—but not in this case. The Supreme Court of Germany declared that the purpose of the German ban on homeschooling was to “counteract the development of religious and philosophically motivated parallel societies.”

    This sounds elegant, perhaps, but at its core it is a frightening concept. This means that the German government wants to prohibit people who think differently from the government (on religious or philosophical grounds) from growing and developing into a force in society."
    Secondly:
    Our own President discussed religious freedom and human rights, not just in the United States. For the Attorney General to file a claim against this family does one of two things, he is either against the President or the President doesn’t mean the words he says.
    The actual article from the HSLDA can be found here…. http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/2013/201302110.asp

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