German homeschooling family granted political asylum in U.S.
The Romeike Family. Credit: Alliance Defense Fund.
The Romeike Family. Credit: Alliance Defense Fund.

.- Earlier this week, a U.S. immigration court granted political asylum to a Christian family who fled their native Germany after being fined and threatened with losing custody of their children for homeschooling them.

On Tuesday, Tennessee Judge Lawrence Burman called Germany's actions with the Romeike family a violation of their human rights and “repellent to everything we believe as Americans” before passing a ruling that allowed them to stay in the U.S.

Though the ruling has not officially been made available, Judge Burman was quoted by the German newspaper Der Spiegel as saying that the family had “a well-founded fear of persecution.”

The Romeike family is being legally defended by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which said in a Jan. 28 statement that homeschoolers are “a particular social group that the German government is trying to suppress.”

Uwe and Hannelore Romeike decided to pull their children from public school in the southwestern German state of Baden-Wurttemberg in 2008 over a concern that their children were being taught an “anti-Christian worldview.” The Romeikes chose to educate their five children at home, which is prohibited by the individual German state's constitutions.

After fighting with local authorities, the Romieke's emigrated to the U.S. and applied for political asylum in 2009. They now live in Morristown, Tennessee. Uwe Romeike was quoted on Tuesday as saying he was “so grateful to the judge for his ruling.”

HSLDA attorney and director for international relations Mike Donnelly called the ruling in favor of the Romeike's “embarrassing for Germany.”

According to Der Spiegel, in late 2006 the German Constitutional Court ruled that parents are not allowed to keep their children from attending school due to their religious views and said that exposure to other religious beliefs was completely acceptable for children.

In 2007, the Federal Supreme Court ruled that parents could be even be denied custody of their children should they fail to cooperate with the mandate as the public has a vested interest in “parallel societies” based on religious beliefs or worldview.

“There is no safety for homeschoolers in Germany,” Donnelly remarked on Thursday. “The two highest courts in Germany have ruled that it is acceptable for the German government to ‘stamp out’ homeschoolers as some kind of ‘parallel society.’ The reasoning is flawed. Valid research shows that homeschoolers excel academically and socially. German courts are simply ignoring the truth that exists all over the world where homeschooling is practiced.”

Der Spiegel touched on the history of education in Germany, explaining that mandatory school attendance was born out of a right to attend school as opposed to a compulsion. Some have also defended the German government in this situation, saying that parents have a wide range of education options in the country.

Lutz Görgens, the German consul for the southeastern United States, told the Associated Press in an email that “parents may choose among public, private and religious schools” even alternative ones such as “Waldorf or Montessori” and that mandatory attendance allows for a high standard in education.

“Parents have the right and authority to make decisions regarding their children’s education without undue government interference,” countered attorney Roger Kiska, who worked with HSLDA on the Romeike case. “The immigration court has clearly recognized that basic human rights are being violated by the German policy of persecuting home-schooling families. Many Americans are simply unaware of just how bad the policy is. We hope this ruling sheds light on a predatory policy that the German government ought to end immediately.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 25, 2014

Friday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 21:1-14


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Mark, the Evangelist »


Homily of the Day

Jn 21:1-14


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: