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German home educators granted asylum in US


A US judge has granted ­political asylum to a German family who said they had fled the country to avoid persecution for home schooling their children.

Sometimes politicians forget who are the servants and who are the masters.


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Reader Comments (16)

I disagree, I think they know very well who are the servants and who are the masters. Since when are servants armed to the teeth?

Jan 28, 2010 at 1:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike

After a few years in the new world I return to the UK.

One thing I notice is how much people in authority - like schools, councils - want to interfere and run people's lives for them. A simple example is dictating what parents can and cannot pack in their children's lunchboxes. The Germans are further down this slippery slope than us British - but not much further.

This seems to be a one-way street - more and more interference and each step down the street seems modest and well-intentioned. I mean who would make a stand and become the chocolate bun martyr of Dronfield ?

This is why I like the idea of a written constitution: you are not making a stand about chocolate buns you are making a stand about the school messing with your constitutional rights.

Jan 28, 2010 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

A related thing I notice is just how passive people are - nobody puts up much of a fight.

Jan 28, 2010 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Actually the German stance on homeschooling isn't a recent erosion of rights - it stems from Nazi legislation in the 1930s to ensure that kids were fully indoctrinated. Strangely(?) the state has never seen fit to repeal the law.

Jan 28, 2010 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimD

Constitutions: well we have a written constitution - it's called the Lisbon Treaty and the Germans have a written Constitution so does the USA but that stops nothing because unelected individuals, political placemen, sitting on Constitutional or Supreme Courts (notice the UK has one of those now) decide from time to time what the Constitution means.

We, English, had the best protection which was Magna Carta the essence of which prevented the State from determining what Rights its citizens may enjoy, such Rights by Common Law and custom being their birth-right.

Constitutions on the other hand allow the State a free hand to decide what Rights their citizens may have, often interpreted by unelected judiciary, or amended by Government. There is then nothing to limit what they can do. Parliaments no longer make law - the Executive does.

Most of the provisions of Magna Carta have been repealed and our remaining Common Law freedoms have been mostly swept away in the series of EU Treaties, particularly the Lisbon Treaty/European Constitution.

Jan 28, 2010 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Bowman

Sadly, John, you are right about the Lisbon Treason, which was forced down everybody's throat, including the Irish, who were the only ones allowed to vote and who did vote it down but were forced to vote for it or else. And as an Irish citizen, I care deeply.

And what you missed, John, is what a mockery of constitutionality the Lisbon Treason really is. Those in power can do whatever they like, anything what so ever, under article 48.

Jan 28, 2010 at 3:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

US constitution was alive and kicking last time I looked. Maybe it's just a coincidence that Americans value personal freedom and have a more dynamic society than us limeys.

Another example is freedom of speech - having it in the constitution seems to make Americans more likely to see it as a good thing in and of itself. This helps big style when you run into the all these faux "being offended on behalf of xxxxxx" incidents.

Again having a constitution helps you to see the principles behind individual incidents.

My mistake - I should have spelled out that a decent constitution is the way ahead - not just any old document.

Jan 28, 2010 at 5:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

The Schulpflicht (compulsory ducation) for whole germany begun in 1882, hardly a nazi law as told by JimD.

The reason for it's introduction as well as it's retention are different. The state wanted to make sure, that every child gets at least an elementary education. As many parents at that time couldn't warrant this to their children it was a good law that helped improve our society. A very large majority of germans still wants to keep that law.

For me the Schulpflicht is a severe intervention in the freedom of parents. On the other side, i want that the state should prevent childs from their parents freedom, if parents fail to reach an education which is not at least comparable to the public school education. Their should be better ways to reach that goal than the law on Schulpflicht.

Jan 28, 2010 at 6:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterSK

Chaps, you do realise that HMG is threatening to do exactly the same thing as these Germans are fleeing from, don't you? Magna Carta notwithstanding, home educators are going to have to be licenced and follow a curriculum laid down by a local school. It was in one of the telegraph blogs recently I think. Can't have the kids missing their "citizenship" (ok propaganda) lessons, can we?

Jan 28, 2010 at 7:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrian Williams

Public schools in Germany used to be pretty high quality, last time I attended - unlike in North America, you could actually learn something, as opposed to just having your time wasted. There isn't exactly a flood of refugees now, is there.

If the Schulpflicht were abandoned, the first thing you'd see would be lots of kids from immigrant families disappearing. That would create more problems than it would solve.

Believe it or not, modern Germany is a more open and liberal society than the much more conformist U.S. and even Canada. I have lived in all three countries.

Jan 28, 2010 at 8:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike

Despite being brought up in gun-hating Germany, it is more and more convincing to me, that not constitutions (they can be altered or given up to other bodies) but the posession of guns by the people is a means of commanding respect from your government. Europeans have broadly failed to retain these means.

Jan 28, 2010 at 8:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpruance

German schools are over-rated: some children leave with no idea of the defining events of the 20th century ;-)

Jan 28, 2010 at 9:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Britain has an election coming.
If I had relied on my British Education, I would be thinking of the BNP as a sort of "Tory Party heavy" and the Tories as a sort of "Nazi Party Lite".

It was a major revelation when I found out that Mussolini was Duce (leader) of the Italian Marxists before WWI, and remained in mutual admiration and correspondence with Vladmir Lennin and Leon Trotsky up to their deaths.

How was it that Hitler and his "National Socialist German Workers Party" with its program of state social welfare (for "Aryan" Germans) and nationalisation, the man who was in a political and military pact with Stalin, is somehow taught to kids as being at the same end of the political spectrum as small government libertarians?

Now we've an electorate who are disenchanted with three major parties who seem think they have a divine right to rule over us. Let's hope that the electorate has enough sense (despite what they've been taught) not to think that the big state collectivist slime that includes the BNP represents a safe protest vote.

Thank you British education system and New Labour for bringing Britain to a Weimar moment!

Why was I taught that about the Nazis?

Following on from what Spruance posted.

Since 1920, the British Home Office has studiously avoided the Question:

"Do gun controls actually do any good?"

Under the present system, the crimminals are armed but law abiding citizens are disarmed.

crimminals don't obey laws, drugs are illegal but they still come in by the tonne, it appears that the illegal guns used to protect the dealers do too

Research by John Lott in the US has quantified the drop in violent crime and homicide which follows the passing of "shall issue" concealed carry weapon permitting laws. (see for distribution of "shall issue" states).

Plotting the ranking of US states according to the "Brady Campaign for gun control" on one axis against homicide rate per 100,000 population on the other, yeilds a very good correllation, the stricter the gun controls, the higher the homicide rate.

Why does the Brithish Home office want its law abiding citizens to be defenseless against the crimminals that it fails to deal with? and why does Germany not want home schooling?

"Those who beat their guns into plows will find themselves pulling plows for those who didn't" (Thomas Jefferson)

Or put another way, "there are three boxes in democracy: Soap box, Ballot box and if they fail, cartridge box" (can't remember who that was).

Perhaps out of control crimminals are seen as less of a threat by our ensconsed governing parties, than law abiding citizens?

If that is the case, Why?

Jan 29, 2010 at 12:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterKeith

The comments about guns remind me of a quote by Admiral Yamamoto. "I would never invade the United States. There would be a gun behind every blade of grass."

Our politicians would also be wise to keep that in mind.

Jan 29, 2010 at 7:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterJLKrueger

Hey let me chime in here. (my first post on this blog site)

Most shool districts in the US do have a minimum standard that home schoolers have to meet. Math is math, and science is science. Not all home schoolers are ultra right wing people. Many of the moms have degrees in education, but chose to raise a family, and use their skills on their own kids.

Some are very anti-evolution, however. But there is one group, the Amish, whose kids never (or rarely) go to pubilc schools and seem to survive, even without modern appliances and iPods.

Feb 1, 2010 at 3:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterTW in the USA

As a US-Texan, I renew my offer to UK home-edders to assist in your efforts to flee oppression in the old country and seek freedom in my neighborhood.

I warn the job market is tight at present. OTOH, very large and by UK standadrs posh houses can be bought quite cheaply.

Feb 6, 2010 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterpouncer

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