From the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).
Following a hearing on December 18, 2013, in Darmstadt, Germany, Family Court Judge Marcus Malkmus slammed the door on the Wunderlich family’s emigration hopes. Lawyers for Dirk, Petra, and their children had asked the judge to return legal custody to the parents because they have complied with court orders that the children go to school and because they wish to move to France where homeschooling is legal.
In August 2013 the four Wunderlich children were seized in a raid by 20 police officers and social workers simply because they were being homeschooled, an activity that is illegal in Germany. After an international outcry, the children were returned three weeks later on the condition that the parents send them to public school. Testing conducted on the children during their stay in a group home indicated that they were well adjusted, social, and academically proficient.
In Malkmus’s written order, (an unofficial English translation is available here) he compared homeschooling to a straitjacket for children. While acknowledging that the Wunderlich children were well cared for and did not have educational deficiencies, he refused to return legal custody to the parents.
He said it was necessary to keep the Wunderlich children in German public schools to make sure that they were integrated into society. If they were allowed to be homeschooled in Germany or anywhere else, the consequences might be that “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.” Malkmus also wrote that homeschooling creates “concrete endangerment to the wellbeing of the child.”
[…]HSLDA Director of International Affairs Michael Donnelly, who is coordinating HSLDA’s work on behalf of the Wunderlichs, said, “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.”
So, my advice for homeschoolers is that when you are raising your children, you must understand that the secular left is opposed to homeschooling because they think that government-run schools can educate your children better than you can. If you find that the public schools are not doing a good job of educating your children, then you have no right to pull them out of school, like former Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann did when her children were stuck in an underperforming school. You don’t have a right to raise MIT professors like this one, who was homeschooled. Why is that?
It’s because the government is supported by teachers unions, and the more teachers there are, the more dues are paid to the unions, and the more political contributions the teacher unions make to the party that supports bigger government. It doesn’t matter if your children are learning that the universe is eternal (Carl Sagan), that global warming is real (Al Gore), that premarital sex is a good preparation for marriage (Alfred Kinsey), and so on. You don’t have a right to good education, you have an obligation to pay enormous sums of money to the public schools so that your children can underperform Korean students at math and science.