STOCKHOLM - After walking some 120 miles over six days in the “Walk to Freedom” as a protest against Sweden’s controversial new ban on homeschooling, a passionate group of persecuted Swedish homeschoolers and their supporters boarded a ferry to Finland on July 19 in pursuit of educational liberty. The walk, which drew some three dozen participants overall, was aimed at attracting more attention to the unprecedented wave of Swedish political refugees created by the Nordic Kingdom’s draconian education regime.
Starting in the town of Akso, the “Walk to Freedom” began on July 13 following a week-long international homeschooling camp. From there, the activists — and fellow travelers who joined them along the way for shorter segments — marched across towns in Sweden. Along the way, they were chatting with people, handing out flyers with information on homeschooling, and drawing attention to the fact that so many families have been forced to flee the country.
“We’re doing it because the Swedish government created a law which is creating refugees — perfectly good, functioning families are having to leave the country just because they want to take the responsibility to educate their own children,” Jake Clay, one of the main organizers behind the walk, told The New American in an interview. “It’s an embarrassment to Sweden — it’s crazy, it’s shocking, it’s really sad as well. The government is forcing people out of the country.”
The controversy over homeschooling in Sweden erupted into an international scandal in 2010 when Parliament passed a law purporting to ban home education while forcing all “private” schools to teach the government curriculum. Of course, the estimated 50 to 100 families educating their children at home fought hard to stop it. But in the end, despite a global outcry, lawmakers went ahead with the scheme anyway — and Sweden became the first Western nation since National Socialist (Nazi) Germany to outlaw home education.
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Photo: "Walk to Freedom" homeschooling activists stand in front of the ferry at the port in Stockholm that will take them to the Aland Islands, a Finish territory that has become a refuge for numerous Swedish political exiles seeking educational freedom.