CP Opinion

Friday, Nov 28, 2014

German Homeschool Family's Reprieve and Implication on US Educational Policy

  • (By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)
    Wallace Henley is an exclusive CP columnist.
March 9, 2014|11:09 am

After a harrowing moment at the edge of a legal precipice, the German homeschooling Romeike family will be able to stay in the United States. The journey up that cliff revealed a lot about the worldview of the contemporary US regime and implications for American educational policy.

First, let us pause and say a prayer of thanksgiving for the deciders in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) who suspended the effect of a Supreme Court decision not to hear the Romeike appeal for asylum. Deportation was almost certain until DHS stepped in.

Maybe the Department of Homeland Security has more concern for preserving our rights than they've been credited for – perhaps, as we will see, even more than the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

That really is scary.

Among the most chilling revelations from this whole brouhaha – which has been going on since 2008 – are implications arising from DOJ's stance in the case. Attorney General Holder's lawyers, apparently with the approval of President Obama, filed a brief opposing asylum for the Romeikes. The U.S. Supreme Court sided with the Obama Administration on March 3, and refused to hear the appeal for asylum from Uwe and Hannelore Romeike that they and their children be allowed to stay in the United States and homeschool their kids, a right denied them by Germany, their homeland.

The Supreme Court's decision implied that, in the eyes of the federal government, parents do not have a fundamental constitutional right to homeschool their children. Again, we can be grateful the DHS has granted "indefinite deferred status" to the Romeikes.

Not quite asylum, but at least a few steps away from the precipice.

The Romeikes fought hard to stay in Germany and exercise their parental rights – some would call it a responsibility – to be in charge of their children's education. The German regime, noting the Romeike's unwillingness to march in lockstep with the jackbooted secularism tromping over Western Europe, threatened to take custody of the Romeike children.

Their efforts to remain in Germany exhausted, the Romeikes fled to the home of the brave and the land of the free. But the discerning eyes of judges and the Obama-Holder Justice Department spotted them quickly and knew they were the enemy (though they sometimes aren't clear who other adversaries of America are).

The Romeikes were easy to spot for Washington's guardians of progressivism. They fit the profile described by Professor Allan Bloom in his classic, The Closing of the American Mind.

"The true believer is the real danger" in our age of "openness," he wrote, sardonically. "Openness – and the relativism that makes it the only plausible stance in the face of various claims to truth and various ways of life and kinds of human beings – is the great insight of our times," he said, with a bit of sting.

Contemporary tolerance is positively intolerant of those it classifies as intolerant. Such unsophisticated Neanderthals are not "open" and, in the view of the German educational system, according to the US DOJ (one wonders how our Justice Department can speak so definitively of the public education system of a foreign state), the Romeikes, true believers for sure, are dangerous.

"The goal in Germany is for an open, pluralistic society," declared Eric Holder's Justice Department in the brief objecting to the Romeike's asylum in the USA. "Teaching tolerance to children of all backgrounds helps to develop the ability to interact as a fully functioning citizen in Germany," said the U.S. government's legal mavens.

Good. That must mean there is "open, pluralistic" freedom in Germany to teach school children to tolerate those who believe homosexuality is a sin, that God created the world, and that the only way to God is through Jesus Christ.

Such tolerance may even come to American schools someday. As the international community must now have a decisive role in formation of US foreign policy, so perhaps it will help us continue efforts to reform our woeful educational system.

Hillary Clinton once told us that it takes a village to raise a child, so perhaps now the "global village" will aid the newly elected, fair-minded, tolerant Mayor of New York City in advancing the cause of open-mindedness in his city's schools. "Mayor Bill de Blasio, seeking to curb the influence of outside providers of education, said that he would block three charter schools from using space inside New York City public school buildings," reported Javier C. Hernandez in the New York Times February 27

New York, like our nation's DOJ, is blessed with a leader who can see the danger in the "outsiders." That's what all the Klansmen and good old boys used to warn against in the segregationist Deep South where I grew up. The "outsiders" were the enemy, stirring up folk to think of things like freedom and equality of opportunity. Holder and de Blasio and their apparatchiki get it. That's why troublemaking outsiders like the Romeikes have to go.

So de Blasio will keep the "outsiders" from mussing with the egalitarian, leveled-out, relativistic education in New York's public schools. And Holder's DOJ almost got rid of the Romeikes, foreigners who might corrupt our own educational utopia.

But who has time to worry about such things? After all, a movie about slavery just won big at the Academy Awards. We can relax, party and celebrate Hollywood's insight because someone in Washington is on the watch and no evil outsiders like the Romeikes will put any Americans in chains ever again.

Wallace Henley was assistant director of the White House Cabinet Committee on Education, and received an Associated Press Award for his coverage and analysis of the civil rights movement in his native Birmingham, Alabama. Henley's latest book is a study of Revelation 12, titled, Spillover: War In Heaven.
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