After sparking an international uproar recently by sending an armed squad of police and social workers to abduct four children from their loving parents over homeschooling, German authorities are again under fire in the case — this time for refusing to allow the Wunderlich family to escape the persecution and find refuge in a more tolerant country that respects parental rights. While the kids were eventually returned to their parents following the terrifying three-week ordeal, officials only reunited the family after securing guarantees that the children would be surrendered for government-approved education.
Now, the judge who signed the order to seize the four children at gunpoint — even approving the use of force “against the children” if they resisted abduction — is refusing to let the Wunderlichs leave Germany pending a hearing. In essence, the family, which legal experts say has already suffered multiple human-rights violations in the case, is being kept as prisoners against their will. While hundreds of German homeschoolers have managed to flee the ruthless persecution — fanning out all across Europe and the world — the Wunderlichs are stuck in legal limbo until at least December.
“Of course, today’s German Government isn’t teaching kids to be Nazis or carting homeschoolers off to labor camps,” said Michael Donnelly, director of international affairs for the Home School Legal Defense Association. “But many parents object to some things being taught and how they are taught on both religious and philosophical grounds. If parents can’t homeschool, what are they to do? Especially when you consider that private school curriculum must be state approved. It’s totalitarian — German judges and policymakers have their reasons, bad ones in my view, but this is a human right we are talking about. Which side of human rights does Germany want to be on?”
As The New American and numerous other media outlets around the world reported in late August, some 20 German police, special agents, and social workers showed up at the Wunderlichs' home with a battering ram to grab the children, ages seven through 14. Relying on a National Socialist (Nazi)-era ban on home education, authorities claimed the parents were prohibited from educating their own kids. According to the judge, using force against the youngsters was allowed because they had “adopted the parents’ opinions” and “no cooperation could be expected.”
Click here to read the entire article.
Photo of the Wunderlich family with Michael Farris, chairman of HSLDA, in Berlin at the Global Home Education Conference last year