Warnings to homeschoolers that the U.N. is our enemy fill cyberspace. Pundits tell us that U.N.-style ‘one-worldism’ is the back door through which liberals will let in the socialists and do away with the Constitution. After that, communists will sweep up the pieces and corrupt future generations with their godless ideology.
Christian Broadcasting Network, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 10 April 2007, Report to Mention German Homeschooling
Homeschooling is illegal in Germany. There are estimated to be only about 300 to 500 homeschooling families in the entire nation.Some homeschoolers have lost their homes and businesses, while others have fled the country with their children.
Germany is now the worst-case example of our fate if we let this happen (although somehow, Nazis and communists seem to be mix-and-match, and those who worry about the German threat ignore other countries who also ‘hassle’ families). The thing is, that’s how it has been for decades. As I have said before, when I started homeschooling in Munich in 1990 my friends warned me about the danger of homeschooling in Germany. I can still see Aileen’s (disapproving) face as she said, “Don’t do it. You’ll be arrested.” (I was safe because the German authorities had no clue about us. My husband was with the American Army.)
So with all those arresting developments, where was the American concern for the violation of the human rights of those families? Nowhere. In the United States in the 1980s and 1990s, that same thing was going on. American authorities looked at homeschoolers with just as hairy an eyeball as Germans do. One has only to read snippets from early issues of Home Education Magazine to see this.
- Alabama, Worth Repeating column, July-August 1989, “We have all seen the need to pull together in Alabama, not only for the personal support and encouragement, but for protection as well. Protection from what or whom? From well meaning friends and relatives, from suspicious neighbors, from skeptical school districts, from unyielding state education departments, and from authoritarian teachers’ unions.”
- California, Worth Repeating column, July-August 1989, “In some states, homeschoolers have been caught unawares and put in a defensive position. Maybe our state will voluntarily and benevolently pass favorable legislation with a wide range of options for homeschoolers. Maybe they won’t.”
- Tips for Getting Along With the School System, September-October 1989, “Today we recognize in this scenario the symptoms of ‘school phobia.'”
- Pennsylvania, Worth Repeating column, November-December 1989, “Except for one case, which was dismissed at the magistrate’s level, the new law has so far ended the prosecution of homeschooling families in Pennsylvania.”
- Rhode Island, Worth Repeating column, March-April 1990, “It has been a real joy to see the change in the general reaction of folks when they hear that a family is homeschooling How many of us in years gone by were met with ‘Oh, are you like that family that’s always in court?'”
If the U.S. state department noticed the German arrests of homeschoolers from the 1980s until more recently, the response — assuming the state department would make one — might have been that the actions were an internal matter grounded in German law, just as similar American actions were grounded in American law. But times change, and Americans now value homeschooling to the point that state officials have jumped most of the way onto homeschooling’s bandwagon and think it’s a spiffy idea to get parents to teach at home (thus saving the cost of teacher retirements and maintaining school buildings). Not only do Americans value educational freedom, but the U.N., that candy man of children’s rights, does too.
So, how’s come the U.N. is now the good guy? Did we win the one-world-outlook struggle, or is the U.N. just saying what we like to hear?
The report by Vernor Muoz Villalobos, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to education, said that Germany’s education system should not include “the suppression of forms of education that do not require attendance in school.”
Why isn’t this effort to make Germany toe the line that we’ve drawn on the west side of the Atlantic just another form of one-worldism? Is it the concept of one-worldism that’s bad, or is the bad kind just the one-worldism we don’t agree with?
Methinks there’s a whiff of relativism.
[the U.N. report] recommended Germany adopt the necessary measures “to ensure that the home schooling system is properly supervised by the State, thereby upholding the right of the parents to employ this form of education when necessary and appropriate.”
So Germany should go along with what the U.N. says because the U.N. says so? If that’s the case, how soon will it be before the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child sports American ink?
posted by Valerie