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God Bless America

As Americans we often take for granted the free lifestyle we enjoy everyday. One of the many freedoms we are blessed with is the freedom to homeschool. Homeschooling is legal in all of our fifty nifty, beautiful states. It's an option available to anyone regardless of their race or religion if they live in any of these United States. Outside of the United States of America, not everyone is free to choose how their child is taught.

German parents have been fighting for the right to homeschool their children for more than 7 years. But up against the obstinate German government, they have not only met with failure but with legal action and persecution. There are over forty cases against German homeschoolers currently in court or being appealed. Families are fleeing Germany in search of safe havens in nearby countries. You will be surprised to know that homeschooling was first banned under Adolf Hitler. That ban still stands today. Families who have been traumatized by the government's forcibly taking their children from their home have left Germany altogether.

On January 30, 2007 fifteen police officers removed a seventeen year old girl from her parent's custody. She was then placed in the child psychiatry unit of the Nuremberg Clinic. Back in 2005, Anna was failing math and Latin. She was told she would have to repeat the seventh grade. Her parents tutored her at home for the only 2 subjects she was struggling in. In response to home tutoring, Anna was expelled. At that point the family began to homeschool full-time regardless it not being legal in Germany. As a result Youth Welfare took Anna's family to court and on January 30, 2007, a barrage of police and social workers took Anna from her parents by force. This barbaric treatment was justified by the psychiatrist who days before diagnosed Anna as developmentally delayed by one year and suffering from "school phobia".

The Netzwerk Bildungsfreiheit (The Network for Freedom of Education) has spoken out and condemned this behavior and has demanded Anna's freedom and immediate return to her family. For more reading and a photograph of the family you may go to http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3697

The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has asked its members to take a moment and do 2 things. The first is a simple email to the German Embassy (whose address will follow this column if you would like to write) to express outrage at this attack on German homeschool families. The second thing takes even less time and we can all do, whether you belong to HSLDA or not, whether you agree with their beliefs or not. Pray. Pray for the situation to change for German homeschoolers. It seems that attempts by German homescoolers to come together and change the laws continue to be defeated. So no matter who you call your God, or how you pray, I do still believe with God all things are possible. Let's all join together as one people of these fifty wonderful, free states and pray for the German homeschooling families - - and thank God for America!

Anna's real name has been changed for privacy.

The German Embassy can be contacted at:
Dr. Klaus Scharioth
Ambassador
German Embassy
4645 Reservoir Road NW
Washington, DC, 20007-1998
202-298-4000



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Christina Lorenzen is a full-time freelance writer specializing in parenting and health issues. With more than 125 articles published, she also offers her wisdom and experience to other writers by teaching writing workshops through local libraries, bookstores and online. In addition to this column, she is also a columnist for Connecting @ Home magazine. She can reached at carp119@aol.com

Listen to an Interview About Homeschooling with Christine Lorensen



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