Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Police invade home of homeschooling family and seize four children

The UK Daily Mail reports.

Excerpt:

Armed police in Germany launched a terrifying raid on a family’s home to seize their four children after they defied the country’s ban on home schooling.

A team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed the home of Dirk and Petra Wunderlich because they refused to send their children to state schools.

The youngsters were taken to unknown locations after officials allegedly ominously promised the parents that they would not be seeing them again ‘any time soon’.

The only legal grounds for the removal of the children, aged from seven to 14, were the family’s insistence on home schooling their children, with no other allegations of abuse or neglect.

According to court documents obtained and translated by the Home Schooling Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), officials did not even allege that the parents had failed to provide an adequate education.

The raid took place on Thursday morning at 8am at the Wunderlichs’ home near Darmstadt, 25 miles south of Frankfurt, in south-west Germany.

Citing the parents’ failure to cooperate ‘with the authorities to send the children to school’, the judge even authorised the use of force ‘against the children’ if necessary, according to court documents cited by the HSLDA.

[...]Mr Wunderlich said that he and his wife had been left devastated by the authorities’ decision to take their children. He said that his 14-year-old daughter Machsejah had to be forcibly taken out of the home.

‘When I went outside, our neighbour was crying as she watched. I turned around to see my daughter being escorted as if she were a criminal by two big policemen,’ he said.

‘They weren’t being nice at all. When my wife tried to give my daughter a kiss and a hug goodbye, one of the special agents roughly elbowed her out of the way and said — “It’s too late for that”.

‘What kind of government acts like this?’

Funny that you would ask that, Mr. Wunderlich, because here’s a story about a German homeschooling family that is being ejected from the United States.

Excerpt:

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.

[...]Though the White House says it understands why parents would value the freedom to homeschool, the administration, through the Justice Department, has been trying to deport the Romeikes back to Germany, where they could lose custody of their children if they were to continue to homeschool. In the various court cases, the Justice Department has argued that the right of parents to decide their children’s education is not a fundamental right, and it agreed with a German court’s opinion that banning homeschooling teaches tolerance of diverse views.

The Romeikes lost their last appeal in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Home School Legal Defense Association, which represents the Romeikes, has now appealed the case to the Supreme Court.

In a blog post on the HSLDA website, HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris criticized the administration for taking so long say that it could not respond, and for allowing certain current unauthorized immigrants, the so-called “dreamers,” to stay in the country while going out of its way to try to deport one family.

“No one can understand why the White House is showing so much leniency to millions of immigrants who have come here illegally in hopes of securing better jobs, but is so determined to deport this one family who has come to America in search of freedom for themselves and their children,” Farris declared. “This petition was the perfect opportunity for the White House to explain why this administration appealed the original grant of asylum. This was a perfect opportunity for the White House to explain the blatantly unequal treatment being received by the Romeike family. But the White House stalled for four months and said absolutely nothing.”

Isn’t that interesting? The same administration that is pushing for amnesty for 20 million illegal immigrants wants to deport one family for homeschooling their children. What is it that causes people on the left to want to drive a wedge between parents and their own children? Why are they so anxious to raise taxes so that both parents are forced to work, and the children will be raised in government-run public schools? What is their goal in doing that? What pleasure do they get out of separating mothers from their 1-year olds? What pleasure do they get in taking a man’s child away and teaching the child things that are opposed to the father’s values – while taking his salary to pay for it?

I know that there are a lot of people who are very passionate about public education, and making everyone equal, and pushing left-wing ideologies onto children against the will of their parents. Every Democrat votes for it when they vote to tax families more to pay for higher pay and benefits for public school teachers. Still, you would think that a story like this might cause them to think twice about what their support for state-run education really means. Make no mistake, Democrats are opposed to homeschooling, and even private schooling. They don’t want parents to have a say – they just want them to pay for whatever the government decides to do with their children.

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Foster children removed from UK family because of political beliefs

Joyce Thacker, the face of fascism

Joyce Thacker, the face of fascism

Melanie Phillips writes about it in the UK Daily Mail.

Excerpt:

The story sounds just too idiotic and outrageous to be true. A Rotherham couple, by all accounts exemplary foster parents for nearly seven years, took on two children and a baby in an emergency placement.

Eight weeks later, social workers came and took the children away — despite the fact that they were thriving — on the grounds that because the couple belonged to the UK Independence Party this was not ‘the right cultural match’.

Astonishingly, the official in charge is still unrepentant. Joyce Thacker, the council’s director of children and young people’s services, has said that the children, who were from ‘EU migrant backgrounds’, had been removed to protect their ‘cultural and ethnic needs’ from UKIP’s ‘strong views’ and apparent ‘opposition to multiculturalism’.

[...]The clear implication is that they were racists. But there is nothing racist about opposing multiculturalism. Indeed, many immigrants themselves oppose it. To damn this couple in this way is an appalling smear.

[...]Ms Thacker said: ‘I have to think about how sensitive I am being to those children.’ Is this woman for real? Clearly, she is actually doing them harm by putting ideological dogma above the children’s own needs.

[...]In the early Nineties, I unearthed what, it is no exaggeration to say, was a climate of totalitarianism in social-work training.

Anti-racist zealots had captured the social workers’ training body, and built into the social-work diploma the explicit assumption that society was fundamentally racist and oppressive.

[...]As a result, the needs of vulnerable children and other social-work clients have been junked in favour of the overriding requirement to impose an ideological view of the world in which minorities can do no wrong while the majority can do no right.

Over the years, this has given rise to one horror story after another. Twelve years ago, an eight-year-old Ivorian child, Victoria Climbié, was tortured and murdered by her guardians under the noses of social workers who believed such behaviour had to be respected as part of African culture.

In the early Nineties, Islington council was revealed to have ignored the systematic sexual abuse and prostitution of children in its care because it was terrified of being called racist or homophobic if it disciplined black or gay staff perpetrating such crimes.

[...]In Rotherham itself, the sickening sexual enslavement of under-age white girls by organised prostitution and pimping rings was largely ignored for more than two decades, in part because the abusers came overwhelmingly from Pakistani Muslim backgrounds.

And for years, would-be adoptive parents have been turned down by social workers because they are deemed to be too white, too middle class or in some other way fall foul of the politically correct inquisition.

And don’t go calling me racist – I’m a visible minority, with darker skin than Obama. Half my family is Muslim, and the other half is Hindu and Catholic.

And here’s another interesting and related story:

An unusual custody battle involving a surrogate mother and two Houston men is playing out in a Harris County courtroom.Cindy Close,  48, gave birth to twins at Texas Children’s Medical Center in July, but on the night of their birth she was visited by a social worker. “She told me we had a surrogacy situation,” Close said. “I looked at her and said ‘I’m not a surrogate, what are you talking about?’” Close said that she had been duped by Marvin McMurrey, a man who she said had pretended to be her friend and allegedly promised to be a partner in raising the children. He had paid for her in vitro fertilization using his sperm and a donor egg. When the children were born, he claimed custody with his partner.

Close said they were not in a romantic relationship and that she never even knew he was gay. “We didn’t have everything nailed down because it was based on trust,” Close said. “There was never any contract and no money was exchanged.”The twins had been born  prematurely and spent weeks at the hospital. It was during that time a suit was filed challenging the mother-child relationship. Since Close is not linked to the children genetically, it alleged they were not hers. All she has now are visitation rights for two hours a day, six days a week.

Notice that in both cases we are dealing with social workers. I think that social workers tend to be more liberal and less inclined towards objective standards of morality. In practice, that means calling good evil, and evil good, and then subsidizing the evil with money taken from the good through taxes. They call this “compasssion” and “fairness”. They also like to use the power of the state to force those around them to agree with their view. I call that fascism.

When Obama legalizes gay marriage, I would expect to see things like this – children being taken away from families that oppose gay marriage and given to gay couples. It starts with stories like this.

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Fascism: Ontario education minister wants to stop Catholic schools from teaching pro-life view

Political map of Canada

Political map of Canada

From Life Site News.

Excerpt:

In what pro-life leaders are calling a stunning and unprecedented attack on religious freedom, Ontario’s Education Minister has apparently declared that Catholic schools can no longer teach that abortion is wrong.

Laurel Broten, who serves under Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty, said Wednesday that Catholic schools are barred from teaching this core moral belief because Bill 13, the government’s controversial “anti-bullying” law, prohibits “misogyny.”

“Taking away a woman’s right to choose could arguably be considered one of the most misogynistic actions that one could take,” she told the Canadian Press. “I don’t think there is a conflict between choosing Catholic education for your children and supporting a woman’s right to choose.”

Bill 13 had already been slammed by Ontario’s bishops as an attack on religious freedom because it forces Catholic schools to allow “gay-straight alliance” clubs.

And confirmation:

 An official transcript sent to LifeSiteNews by the Ontario government confirms that Dalton McGuinty’s Education Minister told media on Wednesday that Catholic schools should not be teaching that abortion is wrong because it is a violation of the government’s newly-enacted anti-bullying bill.

[...]In her press conference, Minister Broten went beyond saying that Catholic schools cannot teach their pro-life beliefs, insinuating that they must actually adopt a “pro-choice” position. “We must ensure that women, young girls in our schools, especially highlighted during the week of the first ever Day of the Girl tomorrow, that young girls can make the choices that they make. This is not about being pro-abortion, it is about being pro-choice,” she stated.

A reporter pointed out that in the debates around Bill 13 there was no mention of abortion, and so asked why she had brought up the controversial bill.

“Bill 13 has in it a clear indication of ensuring that our schools are safe, accepting places for all our students,” she explained. “That includes of LGBTQ students. That includes young girls in our school. Bill 13 is about tackling misogyny, taking away a woman’s right to choose could arguably be one of the most misogynistic actions that one could take.”

“There are many, many families that send their children to Catholic school and choose that education for their children that also support a woman’s right to choose,” she continued. “And as I said, I don’t think that there is a contrast or a conflict between choosing a Catholic education for your children and supporting a woman’s right to choose.”

And reactions from pro-lifers:

Since LifeSiteNews first published the shocking comments Wednesday, they have ignited a firestorm of criticism from pro-life and faith leaders in both Canada and the U.S. and across denominational lines.

Dr. Margaret Somerville, the founding director of McGill University’s Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law, called it an “appalling” violation of religious freedom. “If Bill 13 were interpreted in the way the Minister suggests, in my opinion, it would be unconstitutional as offending freedom of religion, freedom of conscience and free speech, as well as contrary to parents’ obligations and rights with respect to their children, and so on,” she told LifeSiteNews.

[...]Steve Phelan, communications director for the Virginia-based Human Life International, called it “a case of radical, secular leftists trying to take away the most basic rights of those with whom they disagree.”

William Saunders, Senior Vice-President of Legal Affairs for Americans United for Life, said the comments show the “totalitarian instincts” of pro-abortion politicians, but also stressed that “it can’t be misogynistic to oppose something that is so harmful to women, as many recent studies show.”

“That’s the dirty secret about abortion – how harmful it is to women; and so to suggest it’s misogynist is to completely miss the point,” he explained.

[...]Somerville said the Minister’s comments are a sign of abortion advocates’ desperation, which she sees as hopeful.

“The fact that they can’t discuss abortion shows how frightened they are that they cannot support their case in an open public square and get others to support it,” she said. “And now, if we take the Minister’s comments as an indicator, that fear seems to have increased: They don’t want to let anyone even disagree with them, indeed, they want to go further and have everyone ‘preach what they preach’ about abortion. So much for their stance of adopting so-called “progressive” values which is supposed to include their ideology of tolerance for diversity and manifest this in practice.”

Now, I am not a Roman Catholic. I am an evangelical Protestant Christian, and proud of it. But I do defend religious liberty for all. There is nothing that I hold to more strongly than religious liberty, the first and most precious of our American liberties. I think it is important for us here to look around the world and to see which groups are opposed to religious liberty and freedom of conscience. It’s not the conservatives. It’s the progressives. And that’s why we must never vote for them, for any reason. We have to defend that right, as a matter of the first importance – not just for us, but for everyone else, too.

It’s important for social conservatives to understand never to make common cause with those who support big government and the restriction of basic liberties. We need to embrace small government and fiscal conservatism so that government never gets powerful enough to take away our freedoms. For a start, government should not be in control of education at the federal level. As social conservatives, we should be promoting state and local control of education, right to work laws and school vouchers. There is a connection between fiscal policy and social policy that both sides need to understand.

Must-see videos on education policy

Related posts

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In Los Angeles schools, only 45% of students can read at grade level

From Investors Business Daily.

Excerpt:

There’s a law in California that requires school districts to take student progress into account when they evaluate teachers. The statute goes back 40 years; language specifically prescribing the use of statewide tests was added to it in 1999.

Until a court ruling last week, this idea of judging teachers by measurable results was pretty much a dead letter. Union opposition saw to that.

But a group of parents and students filed suit to force the Los Angeles city schools to follow the law. School Superintendent John Deasy, though nominally a defendant, was on their side. This was all about pushing the teachers’ union into the 21st Century.

On June 12, Superior Court Judge James Chalfant ruled for the plaintiffs. He noted that the current system of review gave 99.3% of the district’s teachers the highest possible rating in the 2009-10 academic year, when only 45% of students performed at grade level in reading and 56% did so in math. In a bit of judicial understatement, he said this process “provides little meaningful evaluation.”

The reaction of United Teachers Los Angeles to Chalfant’s decision was a teachable moment about union attitudes. A statement from UTLA President Warren Fletcher praised Chalfant for declining to rule on the question of whether a new evaluation system had to be worked out in collective bargaining. In other words, the union still holds out the hope that results-based assessment of teacher performance can be stymied at the negotiating table.

[...]The real dividing line is between those who cling to the old ways — rewarding teachers by seniority, course work and credentials — and those who believe in making teachers accountable for how well their students learn.

The latter group is a rising force. According to a 2011 report from the National Council on Teacher Quality, 24 states required teacher evaluations to have “objective evidence of student learning.”

California was not among those states at the time, but last week’s ruling should push it in that direction. And the more that unions resist such progress, the more they will cement their public reputation as guardians of mediocrity — or worse — in the teaching ranks.

Teacher unions protect underperforming teachers from having to care about what their customers – parents – think of them. You will never get good service when you are forced to pay for public schools through taxes. The only way to make teachers care about children is to put the money back into the parents’ pockets and then let them choose a school that works for them. Then, and only then, will schools serve parents.

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Father arrested and strip-searched because daughter drew picture of gun

Political map of Canada

Political map of Canada

From the Toronto Sun.

Excerpt:

The Sansone family is not getting any apologies after they were put through hell by school officials, social workers and police last week.

And, the smoking gun — a child’s drawing that triggered the whole thing — will never be seen.

“I am really sorry that the family is as upset as they are, but we followed proper standards and procedures,” said Alison Scott, executive director of Family and Child Services for the Waterloo Region.

She told QMI Agency if the same situation happened again tomorrow, her organization would do the exact same thing over again.

“I do not see any need for our agency to apologize for fulfilling our mandated responsibility,” Scott said.

The drawing that startled the teacher, who started the domino effect, has vanished.

Scott told QMI Agency it was drawn on a white board and had been erased. She doesn’t know if anyone other than the teacher ever saw it. She also doesn’t know if anyone took an image of it.

Jessie Sansone, a 26-year-old father of four, was arrested at his children’s school, strip searched and held by police, told he was being charged with illegal possession of a firearm. Three of his children were taken by Family and Child Services to be questioned and his pregnant wife, Stephanie, was hauled down to the police station after their four-year-old daughter drew a picture of her dad holding a gun.

Police searched their house and neighbours said cops were going through the house all afternoon.

Eventually, police let Sansone go, saying all they found was a transparent plastic toy that shoots little plastic balls. The toy gun costs $16 at Canadian Tire.

Scott said it wasn’t just the picture, but the resulting conversation with the junior kindergarten teacher that caused the state workers to go into red alert – but she won’t say what was said.

“If there is a drawing where there is some information relayed through that drawing that children may have access to what is described as a gun, and that access may be unsupervised and these children may be concerned because the gun was pointed at them and they didn’t feel safe, that would concern anyone,” said Scott, speaking theoretically.

The social workers still have an “open investigation” on the family, despite police dropping all charges and launching a review of their own conduct.

The walls of the modest Sansone home are covered with family photos, certificates of achievement and framed scripture. The soft spoken young couple now have a lawyer and wanted to share with QMI Agency they are humbled and encouraged by all of the messages and posts supporting them.

Sansone said earlier that he had felt humiliated and isolated sitting in a cell, not knowing where his children were, or why he was being charged with anything, but getting messages from Tahsis B.C. to Truro, N.S., is balm for the soul.

The education system is dominated by liberalism. There is strong desire for completely control of thoughts and actions in order to prevent anyone from being different from others. They think that absolute uniformity will prevent conflict and make everyone feel “happy”. I wonder how happy that little girl was, though? And I wonder how happy her father was while he sat in a jail cell reflecting on how his tax dollars were being used by secular leftists to persecute him? I hope he did not vote for the Ontario Liberal Party or the NDP – they are ones who support this kind of thing.

A common occurence

This sort of thing happens all the time in socialist welfare states like Canada. The Supreme Court just ruled that educational bureaucrats should have more authority than parents to educate children. In Alberta, the government wants to make it illegal for parents to tell children that homosexuality is morally wrong.

Here is a story from Canada that shows why we need to be careful about enacting compassionate, non-judgmental, liberal social policies.

Excerpt:

A Gatineau father lost an appeal Monday after a lower court ruled last June that he had issued a too severe punishment against his 12-year-old daughter.

The case involves a divorced man who says that in 2008 he caught the girl, over whom he had custody, surfing websites he had forbidden and posting “inappropriate pictures of herself” online. The girl’s father told her as a consequence that she would not be allowed to go on her class’ graduation trip to Quebec City, even though her mother had already given permission for her to do so.

The girl then contacted a legal-aid lawyer who was involved in the parents’ custody battle, who convinced the court to order that the girl be allowed to go on the trip with her class.  The father appealed the decision on principle, although his daughter went on the trip in the meantime.

The appeals court reportedly warned in its ruling that the case should not be seen as an open invitation for children to take legal action against their parents when grounded.

The girl now lives with her mother.

The more you reduce the male role and male authority in the family, the fewer men will want to take on the responsibilities of being a Dad. We need to be careful not to replace husbands and fathers with big government social programs and intrusive, anti-male courts. Men like to make decisions. We don’t want the nanny state telling us what to do – and paid for by the taxes we pay.

There is more to the story.

You may think that this would be overturned on appeal, but the father LOST his appeal, too.

Women need to stop voting for bigger government

So, what the daughter, wife, prosecuting attorney and judge (all feminists?) are all telling this Dad that he can donate sperm, pay bills, and pay taxes for social programs, but that he cannot PARENT his own children.

I have two questions:

  • Does anyone care what men want, or should we just be ordered around like little boys?
  • Do we really think that state coercion is going to make men be more involved with their marriages and children?

I think that marriage should allow men to express themselves as fathers, just as much as women can express themselves as mothers. Parenting should be an equally shared responsibility, and the father should have as much parental authority as the mother. Equality. It’s very important to understand that women in general, and single women in particular, tend to vote for bigger government, with the goal of making everyone feel good, shutting down free speech that offends people,  and providing social programs and welfare to protect those who act recklessly and irresponsibly. But I think that’s time that women realize that bigger government means less power for individuals and families.

If women want to get married and have a family and let a man be a father and husband, then they  need to stop voting for more social programs and higher taxes. Voting for more government is killing the traditional family. Instead, women need to take responsibility for evaluating men and choosing men who can perform the traditional roles expected of men in marriage. Do not outsource the roles of men to government, it just results in fewer and fewer men who are willing and financially able to get married.

It’s important to know what men want and need from marriage, and then to promote laws and policies that equip them to marry and provide incentives to them to get married and stay married. Marriages are best when men are respected as leaders, earners and decisions makers – that’s how men are. If women don’t want men to be empowered to lead and provide, then women don’t want real marriage – and they’re not going to get marriage. Marriage is dying right before our eyes already – because of of our own votes.

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