German homeschoolers get day in U.S. court
Posted on Feb 25, 2013 | by Whitney Williams/WORLD news service
CINCINNATI (BP) -- The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals has agreed to hear the case of a Christian family from Germany seeking asylum in the U.S. over their resolve to homeschool their five school-age children.
Uwe and Hannelore Romeike fled to America in 2008 because the German government would not let them homeschool their children.
The appeals court reported Feb. 21 that it has slated oral arguments in the case for April, with the court to get two very different opinions of the Christian parents from Germany.
In the view of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which represents the family, the German government has persecuted the Romeikes for exercising their right to direct their children's schooling, like many parents do in the U.S.
But the American government does not believe the German government persecuted the Romeikes, maintaining that the family is not being singled out for its religious beliefs. German law requires all children to attend state-approved schools.
The HSLDA hopes the case will pressure Germany to change the way it treats homeschool families, said Michael Donnelly, the organization’s director of international relations.
"It's a democracy," Donnelly said of Germany. "They respect human rights. But in this area, it's frightening how they treat people who want to do something very simple. There are 2 million children homeschooled in the U.S. ... This is not a threat to the German state, but they are treating it that way, and it's wrong."
Reprinted by permission of WORLD news service.