I understand that ‘freedom isn’t free’ and that the ‘price of freedom is eternal vigilance,’ but this continued hammering of the Nazis being the reason why American homeschooling families have to be on perpetual high alert is baffling. It isn’t as if homes that have schools in them are being burnt to the ground either in Germany or in the United States.
The first article below is ostensibly about the clueless notification to homeschooling parents from the Division of Non-Public Education in North Carolina. The location for an annual evaluation was, apparently for logistical reasons, a police station. We can all agree it was a poor choice, even a foolish choice, but not one that couldn’t be shown to be a poor choice. We still have freedom of speech. Despite that, the monsters of the Nazi regime are again trotted out as the boogeymen du jour because someone didn’t think through the implications of an official request in North Carolina.
American Chronicle, Beverly Hills, California, 8 November 2006, Why The government Still Scares Homeschoolers
In Germany, for instance, the government has decided to enforce a Nazi-era law banning homeschooling altogether. The European Human Rights Court has upheld this law (see http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/oct/06101303.html), and several German fathers have been jailed.
American homeschooling families are aware of this. Is it any wonder NCHE reacted so strongly when parents were “invited” to report to a police station with their children?
Hitler’s a dead boogeyman. If writers want us to be afraid, why don’t they use contemporary boogeymen?
Guardian Unlimited, London, England, 1 October 2006, Afghan girls risk their lives to go to secret school
In a small, sunlit room last week, 20 little girls seated on rush mats sketched a flower drawn on the blackboard. In a darker, interior room, 15 older girls recited passages from the Koran. Upstairs was a class of teenage girls, hidden from view.
The location of the mud-walled home school is a close secret. The students include five girls who attended another home school that was burnt down three months ago. The very existence of these classes is a challenge to the insurgents who have attacked dozens of schools across Afghanistan in the past year, especially those teaching girls. ‘We are scared. All the home schools are scared. If I even hear a dog bark, I don’t open the gate. I go up on the roof to see who is there,’ said Mohammed Sulieman, 49, who teaches in several villages in the Sheikhabad district of Wardak province.
Granted, it’s even beyond the realm of speculation to think that American judges will use the Afghani example as a judicial reason to crack down on American homeschoolers. Judicial use of international examples is the reason some conservative writers, and even far-right writers such as the first one above with the Chalcedon Foundation, have been claiming that American homeschoolers must embarrass the German government into accepting homeschooling (as if American ire will change German law). We are seeing this great outcry concerning Germany, whose contemporary laws have been democratically enacted — and not by Hitler — but yet we hear nothing about true terror in Afghanistan.
In the southern province of Kandahar, all schools are closed in five districts. Attackers have hurled grenades into classrooms and threatened to throw acid on girl pupils. In Helmand province, a headteacher was beheaded, another teacher killed by gunmen on motorbikes, and six schools burnt down. Three districts have closed all schools.
Where is that outrage?