Dagmar and Tilman Neubronner are still the focus of a local push in the state of North Rhein-Westphalia to make them enforce their sons’ school attendance. (in Germany, school laws are the domain of each state, just as in the United States) Their fine now stands at 4,500.00 (roughly $6,500.00 depending on the daily exchange rate), and Tilman is threatened with jail.
Other articles about the Neubronner’s situation are at:
- Learning Freely Network: Latest news re: Neubronner family (note on “distrainable possessions” which means valuable stuff that isn’t nailed down)
- Educating Germany: Jail is now evident
The Neubronners recently sent out the letter (at the end of this post) about their situation. Elsewhere in the cybersphere, one or two homeschooling activists questioned whether the Neubronner’s situation and their request is real, or is just a ploy to fleece the flock since none of us know the Neubronners and few of us know their advocates. Of course, the request could be a way to part feel-good fools from their money, but I doubt it. The evidence of their physical reality as themselves, and of their dilemma appears as real as that about any of us.
- Pat Montgomery of Clonlara school emailed me about the Neubronners (and you can believe I exist or not, as you will).
- There are matching pictures from more than one source: About us, Eurotopia,
- Mentions of the Neubronners in the Netzwerk Bildungsfreiheit international colloquium program (pages 2, 4, 7, 17, 19), and on various pages at the website (use Ctrl+F to find the name).
- The Neubronners have a publishing house, Genius Verlag (which carries a German translation of Grace Llewellyn’s Teenage Liberation Handbook)
It is wise to question the reality and motives of people asking for our money. In this case, though, I think the evidence is clear that the Neubronners exist as themselves, and could use a little help from their homeschooling friends.
For those who feel comfortable donating, the following is their letter.
We received a new penalty payment. We are supposed to pay 4,500 euro now, if our children do not visit school from 5th of November on. We will not pay this and we will not force our children to school. The authority then can
1. send police to our house to have them bring the children to school. The authority said that they will not do this, especially since we already brought our children to school ourselves several times (without forcing them to stay there) and this violence agianst the kids would be scandalized in the media. Very unlikely.
2. send a bailiff/marshal to our house or garnish our accounts. We don’t own seizable possessions of worth, so they would have to go to step 3 or 4
3. encumber our house with a mortgage, which could then lead to a forced sale. This is a very lengthy process, and in the end we could pay the penalty payment until 1 minute before the forced sale starts. Possible, but unlikely.
4. send us to jail for coercive arrest. (Usually only the father is taken away from the family for a few days). This would be scandalized by the media, too. They would hate to do it, but perhaps will have to. Tilman is ready to go to jail for a few days or weeks, because this would bring the issue into the media und would cause a national, maybe international discussion.
Our options now are to hold on to our children’s right to learn freely and to take the risks mentioned, or to deregister from Germany and move our permanent residence abroad. The latter would mean that all legal processes would loose their subject and there was no chance to change the situation in Germany. Therefore we decided to take the risk and stay.
But we need support in regard to the penalty payment, especially since the authorities deny us legal aid. We have appealed at the constitution court against this (denying us legal aid because “missing prospect of success”), but do not know how the decision will be.
So we will definitely loose 4,500 euro OR Tilman will be in jail for several days or weeks, which means loss of earnings. We already have a loss of earnings now, of course, because a lot of time is “lost” (or well invested…) we are not able to work but to write appeals, statements, letters, articels, give interviews and so on.
Therefore we are grateful if you spread the news of this.
It is possible to support our effort for the freedom of education in Germany. Our attorney has created an account in trust for us:
Account holder: Lawyer Matthias Westerholt
Account number: 10226348
Name of the bank: Sparkasse Bremen
Bank code number BLZ: 29050101
Intended use: “Homeschooling Neubronner”
Address of the bank:
Die Sparkasse Bremen AG
Am Brill 1-3
D-28195 Bremen, Germany
If you think it is easier, you can also send your support to our attorney as a cheque, here his name and address:
Dr. Fuchs Schoenigt & Partner
att. Matthias Westerholt
intended use: Homeschooling Neubronner
Thank you for your help and support! You don’t need to think of us in concern. We are happy and well, and since we are sure that this is our way as it should be, we are not stressed, but full of trust. The children sense our serenity and are not bothered, too.
Dagmar and Tilman Neubronner
Wilde Rodung 26
posted by Valerie