Philly.com posted the National Constitution Center Editor-in-Chief’s article, which examined the Romeike family’s sanctuary request here in the United States. The piece summarizes their court case history and makes an interesting transition from one asylum request to another.
Home-schooling saga: the other asylum case making headlines By Scott Bomboy
While much of the world is following Edward Snowden’s asylum case in Russia, another asylum case in Tennessee involving a home-schooling family is getting a lot of attention, too. Snowden, the former NSA government contractor, is trying to avoid deportation to the United States, claiming he faces persecution after revealing extensive information about the government’s surveillance programs. The Romeike family is seeking a court ruling on its asylum request to stay in the United States, saying it faces persecution back in Germany because that nation has outlawed home schooling and it punishes offenders with fines and the possible loss of custody of home-schooled children.
Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton, writing for the appeals court, in May, explained that the Romeikes would have American legal precedent on their side if it had been prosecuted by authorities in the United States for not sending their children to public or government-approved private schools here. Sutton cited Wisconsin v. Yoder, a 1972 Supreme Court case where the Court said that individual’s free exercise of religion under the First Amendment outweighed the state’s interests in compelling school attendance beyond the eighth grade. (The case involved members of the Amish and Mennonite faiths who were prosecuted for refusing to send children to public schools, citing the act as a violation of faith.) “Had the Romeikes lived in America at the time, they would have had a lot of legal authority to work with in countering the prosecution,” said Sutton.
US homeschooling rights are protected through court decisions, but the three-panel Appeals Court determined those rights do not extend to non-citizens in this matter. The family plans on pursuing this to the US Supreme Court. For many, the question and discussion continues – why did the Romeikes choose this path instead of living in a European Union country with decent homeschooling freedoms.
More here on HEM News & Commentary.