Germans Petra and Dirk Wunderlich are going through a horrific nightmare. They homeschool and because they homeschool, the local village’s Youth Welfare Office put the four Wunderlich children under their legal custody last fall.
The Catholic News Agency (CNA) reports the Wunderlich’s children were removed from their home by police force last week.
German raid on home-schooling family draws condemnation
On the morning of Aug. 29, the association reports, 20 social workers, armed police officers and special agents took four children from the home of Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, who were educating their children in violation of the national ban on home schooling.
The children range in age from seven to 14. The family lives near Darmstadt, 25 miles southwest of Frankfurt.
“I looked through a window and saw many people, police, and special agents, all armed,” Dirk Wunderlich told the home-school society. “They told me they wanted to come in to speak with me.”
He said three police officers brought a battering ram and were prepared to smash his door. When he let them in, the officers shoved him in a chair and told him they had an order to take the children.
The family has moved around Europe the last four years trying to find gainful employment while homeschooling. Last year, they moved back to Germany from France because the money wasn’t coming in. From CNA
On their return, German authorities began a criminal truancy case against them and the children were placed in the custody of the Darmstadt Youth Welfare Office. Authorities found the children to be well treated and allowed them to remain in their parents’ care, but seized the children’s passports to prevent the family from leaving the country.
After viewing the legal documents calling for the children’s seizure by authorities, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) reports homeschooling was the only grounds for the children’s removal.
Daily Caller‘s Eric Owens reports this lack of progress getting the children back into their home:
After the seizure of their four children, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich met with government officials. The family’s attorney, Andreas Vogt, was also present.
At the meeting, the parents sought a hearing to challenge the abduction of their kids. Government officials responded by saying they would have to wait until the judge who handles such requests returns from a vacation.
HSLDA serves as legal counsel for the Romeike family – also German – currently living in the United States and seeking political asylum here. Many in and out of the homeschooling community have criticized the Romeike family for not staying in Europe and homeschooling there. But as reported above, and noted by Mr. Romeike, employment has been a problem in the other European Union countries that allow homeschooling.
The last legal action for the Romeikes was the U.S. 6th Court of Appeals rejection of their asylum request in May of this year. Read more about the Romeike family situation on News & Commentary .
Germany has a huge problem showing inclusiveness to all of their citizens. Educational choices are limited to the public school and some select private schools. The thought of having police take your children out of your loving and protective home is heart-wrenching. Educational neglect, let alone abusive situations, were not an issue until the police showed up. The hope is their family will be back together again soon and this control quest by authorities will be revised and stopped. The German community will have to reflect on that stigma.