If this article linked to anything substantive, it might be easier to make sense of. As it is, there is nothing linkable other than English-language sites virally spreading the same information. You’d think something would show up in German, but there is nothing as of today.
World Net Daily, Medford, Oregon, 22 March 2007, POLICE STATE, GERMANY, 5 ‘well-educated’ kids put in state custody
Five “well-educated” children have been ordered into state custody by a court that applied to a second family a ruling taking a 15-year-old homeschooler from her family and sending her to a psychiatric ward.
Another report on this incident doesn’t credit the court ruling on Melissa Busekros as applying to the family in Saxony. An American comparison would be to say that a Georgia state ruling on the Smith family living in Atlanta, was applied to the Jones family of Louisville, Kentucky.
CBN, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 20 March 2007, Court Takes Custody of 5 Homeschoolers
The case in Zittau, in the eastern state of Saxony, is a separate case from the one involving the Busekros family in Bavaria, where a 15-year-old girl was taken from her homeschool family and put into a mental ward for treatment of school phobia.
The Youth Welfare Office of Zittau, part of the Landratsamt Lbau-Zittau, (where apparently the Brause family lives) is a different office from the Youth Welfare Office, the Stadtjugendamt, in Erlangen, where the Busekros family lives.
There are compulsory school attendance laws in both Bavaria and Saxony.
Schulpflicht (compulsory school attendance, literally ‘school obligation’)
Bayern (Bavaria) begin at 5-7 yrs.
last 9 years (zustzlich 3 Jahre Berufsschulpflicht oder ein Berufsvorbereitungsjahr) (an additional 3 years of compulsory occupational training, or one occupational preparation year)
Sachsen (Saxony) begins at 6-7
last 9 years (Berufsschulpflicht bis zum 18. Lebensjahr) (compulsory occupational schooling up to 18 years old)
Izzy, of The Homeschooling Revolution mentions the court costs, and asks about outrage.
Talk about punitive damages: “According to court documents translated by the International Human Rights Group, the parents were also ordered to pay all court costs, estimated at almost $4000. The judge’s order was based solely on the parents’ unwillingness to send their children to the public school, in violation of Germany’s mandatory school attendance law.”
Question: Has there been much public outrage in Germany over these abuses?
There wouldn’t be, any more than there would be outrage in Toledo, Ohio over the jailing of a man who was sitting in a public park stark naked and having a sunbath and who then refused to ever put on clothes again. In Germany public nudity is not a crime, but there are times and places for everything, so you won’t see people strolling down main street in their birthday suits (although ladies changing their bathing suits poolside and swimming topless made the local pool attractive to older brothers taking their siblings out for the day, let me tell you). In Toledo there would probably be outrage, but not about the jailing.
Schnfeldwiese; nude sunbathing
Between the Monopteros and the Japanisches Teehaus lies the Schnfeldwiese (lit. “Beautiful meadows”). In this part of the Gardens nude sunbathing has been permitted since the 1960s, something which many Germans fancy. It caused quite a sensation at the time and also made the English Gardens well-known, even outside Munich.
We are talking about significant cultural differences between the two countries.
Should Germans be railing against the embassy in Berlin, and the consulate in Munich because of the prosecutions against Americans jailed for public nudity? Should there be American outrage because some Americans are jailed for offenses that wouldn’t be illegal in Germany?
Our cultural prejudices are no more valid than their cultural prejudices, and each country gets to have its own laws.
In the United States, most places have bans against public nudity. In Germany there is a requirement to attend school. In both countries, violators of these laws are punished.
As for the family being required to pay court costs, this, too is usual, as far as I know. Whoever is ‘at fault’ pays the court costs.
The removal of children from the family for homeschooling, and fines levied are nothing new. This was the case in 1990 when I began homeschooling in Munich. The laws have not changed. It is the case now.
If Americans want to support the efforts by Germans to change the laws in Germany (as contrasted with Americans trying to change the law in Germany), I suggest a donation to the Netzwerk Bildungsfreiheit. But for goodness sake, stop going off with half-baked information. It’s not helpful.
Sending officials flaming emails accusing them of being children of Adolf, or whatever it is that’s being encouraged, would seem only to reinforce their prejudice against homeschooled people, confirm their belief that parents who homeschool are ignorant and incapable of logical thinking, and serve only to harden their hearts.
posted by Valerie