Dirk and Petra Wunderlich were reunited with their children Thursday after they were taken by their German government because the Wunderlichs homeschooled. The Wunderlichs had to agree to send their kids to public school before their kids were returned to them.
On Aug. 29, armed police officers raided the Wunderlich's home and forcibly took their four children, ages 7 to 14. There were no accusations of abuse nor neglect. The Wunderlich's were homeschooling their kids, in violation of German law.
The case has gained attention in the United States through the efforts of the Home School Legal Defense Association, which has been assisting the Wunderlichs. HSLDA encouraged its supporters to contact German officials and relay their support for the Wunderlichs. An article on the HSLDA website claims that thousands of Americans contacted the German embassy to complain about how the Wunderlichs were treated. HSLDA hopes that their efforts will "change Germany's attitude ... by embarrassing the authorities." more >>
Police officers in Germany raided the home Thursday of Dirk and Petra Wunderlich and forcibly took their four children, ages 7 to 14, because they homeschool.
"I looked through a window and saw many people, police, and special agents, all armed. They told me they wanted to come in to speak with me. I tried to ask questions, but within seconds, three police officers brought a battering ram and were about to break the door in, so I opened it," Dirk Wunderlich told the Home School Legal Defense Association, which has been working to help the Wunderlichs.
"The police shoved me into a chair and wouldn't let me even make a phone call at first," he said. "It was chaotic as they told me they had an order to take the children. At my slightest movement the agents would grab me, as if I were a terrorist. You would never expect anything like this to happen in our calm, peaceful village. It was like a scene out of a science fiction movie. Our neighbors and children have been traumatized by this invasion." more >>
A homeschool girl, now studying at a state college, says that instead of stunting her social and intellectual growth, homeschooling actually toughened her up for the real challenges of college life. Christian homeschooling advocates argue that studying at home frees kids up to thrive and is a better option than public and even private school for grades K-12.
Homeschooling "did not prepare me to get smashed every weekend, engage in casual sex, or try every drug known to man," Katie England, a student at Colorado State University in Pueblo, wrote in a Wednesday blog post. Instead, this teaching style strengthened her independence, she said. "It did prepare me to counter culture, a skill with which very few kids come out of high school equipped."
Christian homeschooling pioneer Gregg Harris, who serves as director, event developer, and instructor at the Noble Institute, told The Christian Post on Wednesday that homeschoolers "tend to be good at organizing their time and attacking a project, studying for the sheer delight in the learning process." Learning in the home allows kids to pursue what they love, so "education becomes a feast rather than something they have to get over with." more >>
Conservative actor and writer Chuck Norris argued for local and parental control of education, as advocated by the author of the Declaration of Independence, the founder of the Library of Congress, and America's Third President – Thomas Jefferson.
"Jefferson – as well as most of the other founders – couldn't ever imagine that public education would be controlled by the federal or even state governments," Norris wrote in a Sunday op-ed. Instead, the founders believed education "should be run and funded by parents and those in local communities or wards."
Norris quoted a 1784 bill Jefferson proposed in the state of Virginia, which divided counties into even smaller school districts of 5-6 square miles. The districts, counties, states, and the federal government would each have their own authority, Jefferson explained, so as to provide checks and balances for each other. more >>
The White House has posted a response to the petition to stop the deportation of the Romeikes, a homeschooling family from Germany. The White House does not respond to issues before the courts, the response said, but they understand why parents would value the freedom to homeschool.
"But while we can't comment on this particular issue," the White House wrote, "we know that homeschooling is a popular option for many parents pursuing high academic standards for their children. Homeschooling can provide young people with the resources and attention they need to succeed academically, and we understand why their parents value this freedom."
The White House has agreed to provide an official response to any petition that receives at least 100,000 signatures. The petition received 127,258 signatures. more >>
The odds that the U.S. Supreme Court will take the case of the Romeikes, a German homeschooling family that the U.S. Justice Department is seeking to deport, are better than average, the family's legal representative, Michael Farris, said Tuesday on "The Mike Huckabee Show".
Farris, who is chairman of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, reminded people, though, that the odds of a case being heard by the Court are about one in 100. So better than average for a case to be heard by the Court, five in 100 or 10 in 100, is still a long shot.
"Being a Baptist like yourself, I don't have the gift of prophecy," Farris joked. "But we have a good case. We have a decent shot. We have all the legal reasons. So, if someone there [in the Supreme Court] wanted to do the right thing, they will have all the proper legal ammunition for them to do so." more >>