Judge Compares Homeschooling To ‘Straitjacket For Children’

Dirk and Petra Wunderlich have four children ranging in age from 7 to 14.  As parents, they have been homeschooling their kids for the past couple of years because they don’t want them indoctrinated with the government propaganda.

One day last August at 8 a.m., their kids had just begun their lessons for the day when their house was stormed by 20 armed police, special government agents and social workers.  The children were captured and taken away.  Dirk and Petra were told that they would not be seeing their children anytime soon.

The only charge made against the parents was that they defied federal law that required all kids to attend government run public schools.  In fact, the government felt so strongly about what the Wunderlich family was doing that a judge signed the order to forcibly take the children and if necessary to use force against the kids if they resisted.

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The Wunderlich family lives in Darmstadt, Germany where homeschooling was made illegal by Adolf Hitler and the law still stands today.

Three weeks after the raid that ripped the children from their parents, German authorities allowed the children to return home providing their parents agreed to place them in public school.  Kirk and Petra complied and sent their kids to the local public school as ordered by the German court.

However, custody of the Wunderlich children was not returned to the parents so they went to the courts and filed for the custody of their own children, after all, they had complied with the courts.  Testing of the children showed them to be academically proficient, well-adjusted and socially acceptable.  There was absolutely no indication that they had suffered from any physical, social, mental or educational harm from their homeschooling.

Yet, Family Court Judge Marcus Malkmus refused to return custody of their children back to the Wunderlichs.  Part of the reason for his ruling was that the parents had said that they wanted to move the family to France where homeschooling was still permitted.  In his ruling, Malkmus compared homeschooling to a straitjacket for children.

Malkmus stated that he feared for the children’s’ ability to integrate into society if they were allowed to be homeschooled in Germany or anywhere else, writing in his decision:

“…the children would grow up in a parallel society without having learned to be integrated or to have a dialogue with those who think differently and facing them in the sense of practicing tolerance.”

He went on to write that homeschooling creates:

“…concrete endangerment to the wellbeing of the child.”

Based on those ideas and attitudes about homeschooling, Malkmus felt it necessary for the German state to maintain custody of the four Wunderlich children to insure that they were properly educated by the German public schools and integrated into their liberal society.

Dirk Wunderlich was devastated by the decision and told the Home School Legal Defense Association:

“I had really hoped the judge would just let us leave Germany peacefully. We don’t isolate our children. They are well adjusted and doing well academically. We are happy for them to be connected to society. We just prefer to homeschool them because we believe it is better for them. It is so sad that my countrymen are not able to see that homeschooling should be allowed. It is legal in many other countries, and I believe is a human right.”

“Judge Malkmus has erected another Berlin Wall apparently designed to prevent all parents who might leave to homeschool from leaving Germany. This is no different than what happened in the former East Germany under communism and before that under the Third Reich.  We need help from others around the world to help our country see this terrible violation of human rights.”

What has happened to the Wunderlich family has a direct impact on a case going before the US Supreme Court: Romeike v. Holder.  The Romeike family had sought asylum in the United States so they could homeschool their children.  Back in Germany, they faced the same legal battle as the Wunderlich family.  In 2010, Judge Lawrence Burman, an immigration judge granted the family asylum saying that if the family returned to Germany they would assuredly face persecution because of their religious beliefs.

However, the anti-Christian Obama administration appealed the court’s decision.  Thanks to the efforts of Attorney General Eric Holder, Obama’s marionette puppet, every court since the government appeal was filed has ruled against the family.  In May, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled:

“[T]he Romeikes [have] not shown that Germany’s enforcement of its general school-attendance law amounts to persecution against them, whether on grounds of religion or membership in a recognized social group.  There is a difference between the persecution of a discrete group and the prosecution of those who violate a generally applicable law.”

In December 2013, the Alliance Defending Freedom and Schuzh, a German homeschooling organization filed a joint amicus brief with the US Supreme Court.  In that brief, they demonstrate that the German government is violating international human rights which amount to persecution of families who want to homeschool their children.

Michael Farris, Chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association commented on the Romeike case saying:

“The responsibility and freedom of parents to educate their children is among the most cherished and important of basic human rights.  This right is recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in direct response to Germany’s nationalization of education during World War II. The fact that Germany continues to impose a totalitarian view in education for those who would homeschool is very troubling.”

Michael Donnelly, HSLDA Director of International Affairs is working with the Wunderlich family in Germany on their case.  He commented on the whole situation saying:

“This is a disgraceful court decision. The German constitution and multiple international treaties guarantee the Wunderlichs’ right to leave their country. It’s one thing to disagree with homeschooling and enforce the law, but to prevent an otherwise loving and caring family from leaving because of homeschooling is a monumental violation of basic human rights. Judge Malkmus has effectively imprisoned the Wunderlichs in Germany over their intention to homeschool. It’s the kind of thing that you would expect from a communist bureaucrat in the former Soviet Union, not a modern German court of law.”

“HSLDA is working with the family’s lawyers to obtain their release and see that they are permitted to freely homeschool, if not in Germany, then elsewhere.  HSLDA calls on German leaders to take immediate action to make homeschooling legal and to stop persecuting parents who homeschool. We ask homeschoolers everywhere to keep this family in their thoughts and prayers.”

If you wonder why the Obama administration would spend so much time and effort to deport one family who was already granted asylum here in the US, I’ll explain it in one word: votes.  Our current government is allowing 11 million illegal aliens to remain in the US illegally and have opened the doors to allow them to illegally vote in local, state and national elections because most of them will vote Democratic.  The Romeike family are Christian and conservative and if allowed to remain in the US and obtain their citizenship through legal means, that will most likely mean 2 Republican votes now and a few more when the kids reach legal age.

This is why our government is turning its back on the Romeike family and will do or say nothing concerning the plight of the Wunderlich family and others like them.  By demanding that the Romeike family be sent back to Germany is endorsing the international human rights violations of the German government.  But why should that surprise us from a President who continues to tell everyone that he’s a Christian?

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