Music teachers, Uwe and Hannelore Romeike, want to homeschool their children. In the United States, potential homeschoolers seek out our state homeschooling rights and responsibilities and follow them in order to homeschool. Romeikes would prefer their children were educated in their home country of Germany. But, unlike the United States, homeschooling isn’t possible in Germany, so they moved to Tennessee to continue educating their children as they wished. Political asylum was sought in the United States to protect the family from being fined, having their children forced from their home and taken to public school, along with the potential they could lose their children for homeschooling them. Trying to wade past the emotion within the homeschool community, this post will share some of the details of an asylum case that will be heard in April in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
From the New York Times in 2010 – by Campbell Robertson, regarding Uwe and Hannelore discovering homeschooling and their start in Germany educating their two oldest children:
“She knew a family, but she didn’t want to mention their name because it wasn’t legal,” Mr. Romeike said.
Months of research followed: the Romeikes read articles, sat in on court cases and talked to other home-schoolers in Germany. Eventually they decided to give it a try. Working with a curriculum from a private Christian correspondence school — one not recognized by the German government — they expected to be punished with moderate fines and otherwise left alone.
Before I started homeschooling, I researched, read articles and talked to other homeschoolers. Fortunately, I did not have to sit in a court room weighing the cons of homeschooling. My neighbors did not have to block the police from removing my children from our home because we homeschooled. The Global Post reports this 2006 incident in Krista Kapralos’ 2010 article:
Romeike’s heart stopped. He didn’t know what to do. He prayed the officers would go away if he didn’t answer the door. Instead, Romeike said, the officers left a voice message threatening to break in. (more…)