Wednesday, Nov 26, 2008
A home school advocate is helping a German family who is seeking asylum in the United States.
Mike Donnelly is a staff attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and says home schoolers in Germany are under great persecution. He also notes many German families home school in secret, but if they get caught, they can face fines in the thousands of dollars, lose their personal property, get thrown in jail, or even have their children taken from them.
One family, according to Donnelly, has suffered so much persecution that the HSLDA is now helping them seek asylum in the United States. The Romeike family was faced with thousands of dollars in fines and the potential loss of their five children if they did not comply with the demands of German social workers who wanted to put their children in government-run schools.
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“And so they were able to get here to the United States,” he explains. “They relocated to East Tennessee where they have been warmly welcomed by home schoolers in that area, and they are just so happy to not have to be looking over their shoulders wondering when the social workers were going to come and try to take their children or when they were going to get another letter in the mail saying they were going to have to pay another couple thousand Euros or dollars to the German government for home schooling.”
Other German home school families have followed suit, and Donnelly says they have hired an immigration attorney as they seek political asylum. He is hopeful that asylum will be granted in these cases.