Children removed from home due to illegal homeschooling – Is this a headline we could be reading someday in America? Could the government one day raid homes and remove children from loving parents, simply because those parents refused to enroll their children in government schools? It’s not inconceivable. In fact, it’s already a reality Germany.
The Federalist, a new conservative online political magazine, is running a disturbing story today about a German family who lost their children simply because they dared to homeschool them:
It was 8:00 in the morning on August 29, 2013 in the quiet village of Darmstadt, Germany. Inside the Wunderlich home, Dirk and Petra and their four children—ages 7 to 14—bustled about their morning routine of breakfast, chores, and lessons. Suddenly, the doorbell rang. Then the doorbell rang again. Urgently.
Dirk and Petra exchanged anxious glances. As Dirk went to the window, his heart sank. Official-looking vehicles had descended on Darmstadt, and a team of 20 armed police officers, special agents, and government officials was pouring into the street. “We need to speak with you!” barked an officer through the door. When Dirk tried to ask a few questions, he immediately saw three policemen preparing a battering ram to break down the door. He quickly opened it, and the SWAT team swarmed inside, shoving Dirk into a chair and announcing that they had an order to remove all four children.
A short time later, the cars drove away with the Wunderlichs’ children inside. Dirk and Petra hadn’t even been given a chance to hug them goodbye. “It’s too late for that,” an officer growled as he elbowed Petra away from her frightened 14-year-old daughter. A neighbor stood watching nearby, tears streaming down her cheeks.
Dirk and Petra Wunderlich lost their children simply for the crime of home schooling. Families like the Wunderlichs believe the government’s prescribed curriculum undermines their Christian worldview. For them, educating their children at home in accordance with their religious beliefs is a matter of conscience.
A Nazi-era law, still in force today, mandates that all German children attend a school teaching the state curriculum.
If this raid on the Wunderlich home is uncomfortably reminiscent of Germany’s fascist past, that’s not accidental. A Nazi-era law, still in force today, mandates that all German children attend a school teaching the state curriculum…
The rights of parents to raise their children and oversee their education are sacred. And a story like this one is a sobering reminder that this right is not some thing we can take for granted.
As a homeschooling parent myself, this story is particularly troubling to read.
After all, we live in an age in which the government can, for the first time ever, force you (under Obamacare) to go purchase a product (health insurance), or else face legal repercussions. If the government now has that kind of power over our lives, then it’s not hard to imagine the political left arguing that all children ought to be corralled into government schools under force of law.
We have a “health insurance mandate,” why not a “public education mandate?”
Believe me, there are more than a few leftists in Washington D.C. who would happily pull the lever in favor of such a law.
Meanwhile, God help those kids in the Wunderlich family. It’s hard to imagine a more callous exercise of government power than to break up a loving family in order to ensure “the philosophical homogeneity” of society.
There’s much more to this story, including the Obama administration’s troubling assertion in a related case that homeschooling is “not a fundamental right.” For details, please go read the full story at The Federalist.
Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.
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