-- 20100308-Homeschooling-Asylum.html --- BREVENE ( ekstern ) -
Kopi / avskrift - RLH: Denne artikkelen av Tristana Moore stod først på trykk i bladet "TIME" for 08.03. 2010, s. 37 - 39. Klikk her for en oversettelse til norsk ( ekstern ).
Fra bladet "TIME" datert 08.03. 2010, s. 37 - 39:
(Under avdelingen Life / Education)
Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses
Yearning to Homeschool. Why this family got political asylum
By Tristana Moore
THE ROMEIKES ARE NOT YOUR typical asylum seekers. They did not
come to the U.S. to flee war or despotism in their native land. No,
these music teachers left Germany because they didn`t like what their
children were learning in public school - and because homeschooling is
"It`s our fundamental right to decide
how we want to teach our children," says Uwe Romeike, an Evangelical
Christian and a concert pianist who sold his treasured Steinway to help
pay for the move.
Romeike decided to uproot his
family in 2008 after he and his wife had accrued about $ 10,000 in
fines for homeschooling their three oldest children and police had
turned up at their doorstep and escorted them to school. "My kids were
crying, but nobody seemed to care," Romeike says of the incident.
So why did he seek asylum in the U.S. rather than relocate to
nearby Austria or another European country that allows homeschooling?
Romeike`s wife Hannelore tells TIME the family was contacted by the
Virginia based HomeSchool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which
suggested they go to the U.S. and settle in Morristown, Tenn. The
nonprofit organization, which defends the rights of the U.S.
homeschooling community - with its estimated 2 million children, or
about 4% of the total schoolage population - is expanding its overseas
outreach. And on Jan. 26, the HSLDA helped the Romeikes become the
first people granted asylum in the U.S. because they were persecuted
The ruling is tricky politically
for Washington and its allies in Europe, where several countries -
including Spain and the Netherlands - allow homeschooling only under
exceptional circumstances, such as when a child is extremely ill. Legal
observers say it is likely that the federal government will appeal the
Romeike ruling, which was issued by an immigration judge in Memphis,
Tenn. His unprecedented decision has raised concerns that the already
heavily backlogged immigration courts will be flooded with asylum
petitions from homeschoolers in countries typically regarded as having
"It`s very unusual for
people from Western countries to be granted asylum in the U.S," says
David Piver, an immigration attorney with offices in a Philadelphia
suburb and Flagstaff, Ariz. In 2008, the most recent year for which
data are available, only five Germans received asylum in the U.S. (The
Justice Department declined to comment on specific cases.) "The U.S.
government will come under political pressure to appeal the Romeike
case so as not to offend a close ally," says Piver, who is not involved
in the case.
Successful asylum petitions typically
involve applicants whose situations are more dire, such as women who
were forced to undergo abortions or genital mutilation and men whose
lives were threatened because they are homosexuals or political
dissidents. But Piver believes the Memphis judge was right to grant the
Romeikes asylum, since the law covers social groups with "a well
founded fear of persecution" in their home country.
In Germany, mandatory school attendance dates back to 1717, when
it was introduced in Prussia, and the policy has traditionally been
viewed as a social good. "This law protects children," says Josef
Kraus, president of the German Teachers Association. The European Court
of Human Rights agrees with him. In 2006, the court threw out a
homeschooling family`s case when it deemed Germany`s
compulsory-schooling law as compatible with the European Convention on
Human Rights, an international treaty drafted in 1950. Given this
backdrop, it`s little wonder the Romeikes came up against a wall of
opposition when they tried to talk to their school principal about the
merits of homeschooling.
One of the Romeikes`
concerns was about their kids getting bullied. But their main objection
involved what was being taught in the classroom. "The curriculum goes
against our Christian values," Uwe says. "German schools use textbooks
that force inappropriate subject matter onto young children and tell
stories with characters that promote profanity and desrespect."
While there are no official figures, it`s estimated that up to
1,000 German families are homeschooling their children. Elisabeth
Kuhnle, a spokeswoman for a German advocacy group called the Network
for the Freedom of Education, says a recent homeschooling meeting
attracted about 50 families in the state of Baden-Württemberg,
where the Romeikes used to live. She also reckons many German
homeschooling families have relocated to countries like France and
Britain, where homeschooling is allowed.
Germany`s Federal Supreme Court issued a ruling - which did not
specifically involve Romeikes - that parents could lose custody of
their children if they continued to homeschool them. "We were under
constant pressure, and we were scared the German authorities would take
our children away," Romeike says. "So we decided to leave and go to the
German officials, for their part, note that the Romeikes had
other options. "If parents don`t want to send their children to a
public school, they can send them to alternative private schools," says
Thomas Hilsenbeck, a spokesman for the Baden-Württemberg education
ministry. Homeschooling advocates counter that there are few private
schools in Germany, and they tend to be expensive. But beyond that,
many religious parents have problems with sex education and other
curricular requirements. "Whether it`s a state school or a private
school, there`s still a curriculum that is forced onto children," says
And then there are the social aspects of
going to school. Homeschooling parents tend to want to shield their
children from negative influences. But this quest often runs counter to
the idea that schools represent society and help promote tolerance. "No
parental couple can offer a breadth of education (that can) replace
experienced teachers," says Kraus, of the German Teachers` Association.
"Kids also lose contact with their peers."
that homeschooling could lead to insularity - or worse, as Kraus puts
it, "could help foster the development of a sect" - are shaping policy
debates in European countries. In Britain, for example, Parliament is
considering legislation that would create a new monitoring system to
ensure that homeschooled kids get a suitable education.
In Sweden, where parents have to apply for permission to teach
their children at home, the government is planning to impose even
tougher restrictions on homeschoolers. And in Spain, parents are not
allowed to educate their children at home. Period. If a child has
special needs that prevent him from attending school, a teacher will be
sent to his home.
By contrast, homeschooling is legal
in all 50 U.S. states, some of which don`t require families to notify
authorities of their intent to teach their children at home. Tennessee
is among the states that require some form of notice as well as
periodic assessment tests.
When Uwe and Hannelore
heard that the judge had ruled in their favor, they celebrated by
taking their five children - who range in age from 4 to 12 - to
Baskin-Robbins for ice cream. But the next day, they were back to their
regular schedule. Lessons start at 9 a.m. and end at around 4 p.m. The
school age kids are learning all the usual subjects - math, science,
etc. - with the help of textbooks and other teaching materials, in
compliance with state law. The family has also joined a local group
that organizes activities and field trips once a week for homeschooled
Meanwhile, the HSLDA says it is working to
defend a homeschooling family in Sweden an is investigating cases in
Brazil, where homeschooling is banned - all good fodder for a
comparative-government class, whether it`s taught in school or at home.
* * *
Homeschoolers at home.
To see more photos of the Romeike family, go to time.com/homeschool
--- --- --- Ifra Rune L. Hansens Dagboks-notater ( ekstern ) for tirsdag 02.03. 2010:
Ankom et brev datert 28.02. 2010 fra Ole Dag Østhus i
Ølen, hvor han skriver: "Hallo Rune. / Sat og las i Times idag
og kom over ein artikkel som du kanskje har interesse i. / Beste
helsing / Ole Dag Østhus"
Der traff lærer Dag Ole Østhus blinken. Og hjertelig takk for det.
Jeg tenker selv skrive lignende artikler for internasjonale
tidsskrifter, med utgangspunkt i forholdene i Norge. Forhold som nok
kan overraske, og dessverre også mildt sagt forskrekke, mange.
Som for eksempel vår familie sin historie.
Jeg innskrev artikkelen og laster den opp på Internettet så også mange andre kan lese den ( ekstern ). Og oversetter den til norsk ( ekstern ) ved første anledning, om ikke noen gjør det før meg.
I USA er hjemme-undervisning eller altså hjemmeskole
både lovlig (i alle 50 stater) og populært og har gode
tradisjoner og stort omfang. 4 % av alle barn i skolealder i USA har
hjemmeskole, homeschooling. Og det fungerer meget godt.
I mange områder og land i Europa er forholdene mere
forskrudde, tildels forskrekkelige. Artikkelen (av Tristana Moore)
handler om dette og om en tysk familie (familien Romeike) som
måtte og klarte å flykte fra Tyskland for ikke å bli
frastjålet sine barn, og som i 2007 derfor fikk innvilget
politisk asyl i USA.
Interessant og tankevekkende lesning.
Noen ord kortfattet om vår familie sin historie:
Vi hadde meget vellykket hjemmeskole i alle år for alle
våre barn, til tross for forsøk ifra
Arbeiderparti-ideologien på å forfølge og å
Da de eldste av våre barn
begynte å bli voksne og Arbeiderparti-ideologien enda mere
så hvor vellykket vår hjemmeskole var og er og hvor
talent-fulle, kunnskapsrike, frodige, sosiale, trygge, solide, friske
våre barn var, overgikk dette meget hva Arbeiderparti-ideoligien
tålte og familien ble (foråret 2006) til fulle angrepet -
Fire år senere, nu
i begynnelsen av mars 2010, er familien snart utryddet. Familiens
ti barn fangeholdt og mishandlet på kryss og tvers.
Av visse kriminelle innenfor offentlig forvaltning som i
hysterisk kriminell galskap og juks med lov og rett bak kulissene
overgår det meste i kriminell galskap, sadisme og tortur.
En meget godt dokumentert historie.
--- --- --- Og ifra Rune L. Hansens Dagboks-notater ( ekstern ) for onsdag 03.03. 2010:
Jeg er snart ferdig med å oversette den nye artikkelen i TIME om forholdene for hjemmeskole ( ekstern ).
Den er interessant og meget aktuell og lar også
Synse-mafiaen med sine "tanke-feil" komme til uttrykk. Tanke-feil som
dekker over grove kriminelle ugjerninger. Tanke-feil det snarest er
viktig grundig å få ryddet opp i.
Tanke-feil som ikke minst grovt kriminelt hærjer vårt
samfunn via visse uhyre krig-førende såkalte