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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 illegal there,
   "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 for homeschooling.
   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 nonrepressive governments.
   "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.
   In 2007, 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 U.S."
   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 Kuhnle.
   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."
   Concerns 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 children.
   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 ødelegge oss.
   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 - for tilintetgjørelse.
   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 barnevern-tjenester.