Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Miami Herald: Circuit Judge George Reynolds III ruled that the Florida Education Association, Florida School Boards Association and other plaintiffs had no legal standing to bring the case against the nation’s largest private school choice program.
WND: Since then, the dispute has been going on in courtrooms, where the HSLDA, together with the Alliance Defending Freedom, twice petitioned the European Court of Human Rights.
One News Now: Attorneys from the Home School Legal Defense Association and the Alliance Defending Freedom are representing Ellinor and Daniel Petersen in the lawsuit filed with the ECHR. Acknowledging the European court’s track record on homeschooling, both Christian nonprofit organizations are prepared for an uphill battle, noting that its judges have been, for the most part, aggressively opposed to homeschoolers over the years.
Christian News Network: Homeschooling organizations continue to express opposition to plans by the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission to monitor certain homeschoolers to prevent future acts of violence such as occurred in 2012 during the notorious Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
Christian News Network: The Mississippi Senate has voted to reject the “Tim Tebow Act,” a bill that would allow homeschoolers throughout the state to participate in school sports programs.
Christian News Network: The recently-released findings from an in-depth study of nearly 10,000 young adults show that Millennials who were homeschooled are less likely to leave the faith than individuals who attended private or public schools.
Christian News Network: In recognition of football great Tim Tebow, a homeschooler who worked his way up to the NFL after playing with public school teams, Mississippi lawmakers are considering the passage of the “Tim Tebow Act” in order to give that same opportunity to other homeschoolers throughout the state.
Christian News Network: Hundreds of concerned parents in Virginia recently voiced opposition to a controversial policy that allows school officials to grill homeschool parents and students on their religious beliefs.
Red State: A school board in Virginia is considering the repeal of a policy that would have forced 14-year-old minors to stand before the school board to be interrogated about their religious beliefs.
One News Now: The current education law was enforced a year after the aforementioned “state-napping” incident that saw Dominic Johansson stripped from his family as they were about to depart to live in his mother’s homeland in India. During the three years that Swedish authorities kept Dominic away from his parents under state custody, permanent guardianship of the boy – just seven years old when abducted from his parents – was transferred to the state. HSLDA, along with a Swedish human rights attorney and Alliance Defending Freedom, is representing the Johanssons in their appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
The New York Times: Until recently, Pennsylvania had one of the strictest home-school laws in the nation.
Macro Insider: The Swedish government’s seizure of 7-year-old Dominic Johansson from a jetliner as his parents had been set to leave for India has drawn worldwide consideration. It sparked a global outcry amongst human rights activists and dwelling educators, and the Home School Legal Defense Association and the Alliance Defending Freedom have gone to the European Court of Human Rights to challenge Sweden’s actions.
The Christian Institute: Homeschooling parents in a London borough are campaigning against council plans to impose an annual home visit to monitor their children, saying it contravenes their parental rights.
One News Now: When one North Carolina parent was told that she was not permitted to withdraw her kindergarten daughter from public elementary school in order to homeschool her, she knew she had a problem.
The Economist [subscription required -- access full text via Google]: “German laws forbid parents from educating their children at home in almost all cases, citing society’s interest in avoiding closed-off ‘parallel societies.’ Germany’s highest court calls schools the best place to bring together children of different beliefs and values, in the name of ‘lived tolerance.’ In plainer language, the Romeikes believe that, if they return to Germany, their children face being taken to school by force.”
Robert Morrison at National Review: “And so the Obama administration still denies refugee status to the Romeike family. In so doing, it places at grave risk the fundamental freedoms of millions of American citizens who homeschool their own children. This Romeike reprieve, answer to prayer that it is, does not constitute a repudiation of the Obama administration’s deeply troubling position.”
FOX News: “A German home-schooling family facing deportation following the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear their appeal is being allowed to stay in the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security has granted the family “indefinite deferred status,” their attorney confirmed to Fox News.”
Religion Clause: “The U.S. Supreme Court today denied certiorari in Romeike v. Holder, (Docket No. 13-471, cert. den. 3/3/2014)). (Order List.) In the case, which has been widely followed by home school advocates, the 6th Circuit denied asylum to a German evangelical Christian family that sought to remain in the United States based on a fear of persecution in Germany because of Germany’s ban on home schooling.”
The Patriot-News: “Saying the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association is misinterpreting its own rules, an East Shore mother is waging a court fight to get her home-schooled son on a local Christian school’s soccer and basketball teams.”
Indianapolis Star: “It started out as a fight among members of a home school support group over a steak dinner. But this morning, the fight that has grown into a tricky legal battle over issues of discrimination, retaliation and religious freedom will land on the plate of the Indiana Supreme Court.”
Thomas More Society: “The Indiana Supreme Court granted the Thomas More Society’s request for review of a lower court ruling that upheld the power of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC) to regulate the internal affairs of a small group of eleven Roman Catholic home-schooling families from Fishers, IN, the ‘Fishers Adolescent Catholic Enrichment Society.’”
Washington Post: “Del. Thomas Rust (R-Fairfax) has proposed a resolution that would direct the commonwealth’s education department to study the religious exemption law and make a recommendation as to whether it should be amended to ensure that all children are getting an adequate education.”
Kevin D. Williamson at National Review: “Of course it doesn’t help that homeschooling is associated in the public mind with a particular strain of evangelical Christianity, as in the case of the Romeike family. It is distasteful, but it should not be a surprise that the Obama administration has no objection to the political and religious suppression of such unruly Christians — the Obama administration is doing the same thing to the Little Sisters of the Poor and other Christian groups that it finds inconvenient.”
Charisma News: In a joint amicus brief filed Dec. 19, 2013, regarding Romeike v. Holder, Alliance Defending Freedom and the German home-school organization Schuzh pointed out that Germany is violating international human rights standards and asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case because of its bearing on human rights issues around the world. (Read the amicus brief online.)
Inquistr: The Romeike family deportation case is awaiting a hearing in the US Supreme Court. A friend-of-the-court brief was recently filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom group. The organization is a support group for German homeschooling families. Attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom office in Vienna, Austria drafted the legal document in support of the Romeike family’s request for a review of the deportation order issued by Eric Holder’s Department of Justice.
Texas Homeschool Coalition: On November 21 seven children from a home school family in Duncanville were forcibly removed from their home, in spite of no evidence of abuse or neglect, by order of Judge Graciela Olvera of the 256th District Court of Dallas County. Judge Olvera issued a removal order at an ex-parte hearing in which the parents were not represented nor notified.
Alliance Defending Freedom and a legal support group for German homeschooling families submitted a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday that asks the court to reinstate asylum for a persecuted German family.
World Net Daily: A Democratic state senator in Ohio has proposed a law that would require every homeschooling parent to be investigated and approved by social services agencies before they would be allowed to teach their own children. The Home School Legal Defense Association calls the bill sponsored by Sen. Capri Cafaro the “worst-ever homeschool law proposed.”
In a class by themselves: Home-schooled girls easily dispatch both chauvinism and feminism | Robert Knight
Robert Knight at the Washington Times: Years ago, when I was writing a book called “The Age of Consent,” about moral relativism, I was warned by a book agent that it wouldn’t fly with New York publishers. I had committed unpardonable sins in an early draft: defending marriage as the union of a man and a woman and critiquing the idea of putting women into combat. I also defended stay-at-home moms.
One News Now: “When are they going to socialize?” the judge reportedly asked. “At which point are these children going to interact with other children, and isn’t that in their best interest?”
WorldNetDaily: The most recent order from the Supreme Court instructs U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to respond to a petition by the Home School Legal Defense Association for the high court to hear arguments in the case of Uwe and Hannelore Romeike and their six children.
Christian News Network: The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is calling for a day of prayer and fasting on behalf of a Christian homeschooling family that is fighting deportation to their homeland of Germany . . . HSLDA has now set Sunday, November 17th as a day of prayer and fasting for the Romeike family, as it anticipates that the Supreme Court will decide whether or not to hear the case on November 26th.
Daily Caller: The judge told the family’s attorneys that the German government would respond with government force and criminal sanctions if the family attempts to leave the country before a December hearing , according to a press release from the U.S.-based Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).
LifeSiteNews: A German judge who ordered the forced removal of the children of a homeschooling family in August has blocked the parents’ request to let the family emigrate to another European country where homeschooling is legal, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).
AP: A couple who fled Germany in order to home-school their children is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to grant them asylum.
LifeSiteNews: Today the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is filing a petition with the United States Supreme Court to hear Romeike v. Holder, the German homeschooling asylum case.
WorldNetDaily: A rally is being organized to coincide with a court hearing next week for four children who were taken from their parents by a German SWAT-style team armed with a battering ram because they were being homeschooled.
Ed News: A new report from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) shows that parents are looking for alternatives to state-led public education, and are shifting towards more traditional methods to educate their children.
IONA Institute: Jonas Himmelstrand, author and leading campaigner for the rights of homeschooling parents, and his wife have been fined by the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court for home educating their daughter for one year, the school year 2010-2011.
HSLDA: At 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 29, 2013, in what has been called a “brutal and vicious act,” a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, forcibly removing all four of the family’s children (ages 7-14). The sole grounds for removal were that the parents, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.
Legal Insurrection: I’ll have to leave the next questions to the immigration law experts: Would the Romeikes have been better off under the Gang of 8 bill and/or Obama administrative policy if they did not apply for asylum, which is a legal route to permanent residency, but instead came here illegally?
Scott Woodruff at HSLDA: “Oh, my God, I have a chance to learn!” The Washington Post’s recent article about Virginia’s religious exemption statute includes this fascinating quote from Josh Powell, the young man who never attended public school because his parents obtained an exemption on religious grounds. The article criticizes the law that allows the exemption and lobbies for its change. But let’s slow down and think this through.
ChristianNews.net: A small group of atheists protested a homeschooling convention as promised earlier this year, largely due to the presence of a prominent Creation speaker who was scheduled to attend the event.
Newsleader: Powell was taught at home, his parents using a religious exemption that allows families to entirely opt out of public education, a Virginia law that is unlike any other in the country. That means that not only are their children excused from attending school — as those educated under the state’s home-school statute are — but they also are exempt from all government oversight.
Boston.com: Attorneys for Christian parents who fled Germany in order to home school their children but have been denied U.S. asylum said they are preparing to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case and were working with Congress to try to change asylum law.
HSLDA: On Wednesday, June 12, the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit took the encouraging step of ordering the Department of Justice to respond to Home School Legal Defense Association’s request to have the Romeike case reheard by the entire Sixth Circuit.
World Net Daily: The justices of the Supreme Court of Sweden delivered a “perfunctory order” rejecting the family’s appeal and in effect, delivering its “death sentence,” several weeks ago. HSLDA has been working with the a team from the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of the family.
HSLDA: Two applications to the European Court of Human rights have been declared inadmissible, under the “pretext,” according to Harrold-Claesson, that the Johanssons had not exhausted all their domestic remedies. However, according to the appeal submitted by Alliance Defending Freedom’s Senior Legal Counsel Roger Kiska, HSLDA Director for International Affairs Mike Donnelly and Harrold-Claesson, who won a case against Sweden in the European Court in April 2012, this simply isn’t true. “We find it very strange that of the forty-nine judges in the European Court, it was a German judge, in a one-judge-decision, who declared the Johanssons application inadmissible.” Harrold-Claesson also blamed a Swedish bureaucrat at the European Court as being an obstacle. “There is a Swedish court administrator who has been called a ‘gate keeper’,” explained Harrold-Claesson . . . Kiska also expressed great frustration with the situation. “It is disgraceful that a self-styled democratic nation would tolerate this kind of abrogation of basic human rights,” he said. [more]
The American Spectator: Mr. Goldstein rightly notes that the U.S. grants asylum to people “seeking protection because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution due to: Race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.” It seems to me that the Romeike’s religious beliefs, which led them to pull their kids out of public school, qualify. And beyond all of the legal wrangling, this one just doesn’t pass the smell test. Do the right thing, Mr. Holder.
Religion Clause Blog: In Fishers Adolescent Catholic Enrichment Society, Inc. ["FACES"] v. Bridgewater, (IN Ct. App., May 29, 2013), an Indiana appeals court affirmed most of the decision of an administrative law judge in a suit brought by the Indiana Civil Rights Commission against FACES, a non-profit group created to provide enrichment opportunities for home schooled children.
The Hill: Attorney General Eric Holder is under pressure from House Republicans to give a German family asylum so its children can be homeschooled in the United States and be taught “Christian values.”
HSLDA: The Supreme Administrative Court denied homeschoolers free access to school materials in a ruling handed down on April 16th that upheld the Administrative Court of Hameenlinna’s previous denial.
HSLDA: We’re a Christian family with four children, ages 6—12 years. Since our marriage, my wife and I were living in or near Munich, Germany, joining a small Church there. It was probably when our oldest daughter was still a toddler that we started thinking about school.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: The AP reports on a US Apeals Court decision to leave a family of homeschoolers at the mercy of the German Government, even though the Court found that the US Constitution forbids the state from prohibiting homeschooling. The family faces impossible fines and loss of custody of their children if they are returned to Germany. They should have just pretended to be gay.
Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy: Jonathan posted earlier today about Romeike v. Holder (6th Cir. May 14, 2013), which reject German homeschoolers’ asylum claim. The opinion is quite readable and persuasive, and I recommend it to those interested in the subject. But here’s my general thinking (reprised from 2010 post on the original immigration judge decision in the case), and stressing that I’m not an expert on asylum law:
Jonathan Adler reports on the ruling at the Volokh Conspiracy: The relevant legislation applies only to those who have a “well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(42)(A). There is a difference between the persecution of a discrete group and the prosecution of those who violate a generally applicable law.
Baptist Press: Alan Sears, president of Alliance Defending Freedom, noted that a key benefit of ADF’s involvement in helping defend religious freedom overseas is “the crucial perspective it gives us” for defending legal rights in America.”
One News Now: Roger Kiska, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, explains the state’s point of view. “They’re absolutely oppressive with regard to parental rights. They believe that the only duty of the parents basically is to give birth and then the child belongs to the state,” he tells American Family News. “So we had known all along that this was going to be something that would have to be taken from Sweden and brought to the European level.” Kiska says the remaining option is to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, which has jurisdiction over Sweden. [more]
LifeSiteNews: Roger Kiska, the Alliance Defending Freedom’s senior legal counsel in Europe, was outraged by the court’s action. “It is beyond belief that a modern civilized country could allow such injustice to continue,” he said. “There is no evidence in the record that justifies the continued separation of this family. We will continue to fight for this family and on behalf of the principle that the European Convention condemns such acts.”
One News Now: Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Roger Kiska contends that the state wants to be the parent of all students, indoctrinating them with the state’s ideology. “I’ve heard statements in Sweden and in France recently that the role of the parent is simply to give birth to a child, and then it’s the state’s duty to educate the child,” Kiska accounts. “That’s absolutely contrary to international law and morality.”
HSLDA: Roger Kiska, the Alliance Defending Freedom’s senior legal counsel in Europe, was outraged by the court’s action. “It is beyond belief that a modern civilized country could allow such injustice to continue,” he said. “There is no evidence in the record that justifies the continued separation of this family. We will continue to fight for this family and on behalf of the principle that the European Convention condemns such acts.”
HSLDA: The military has new policies for homeschool graduates who seek to enlist. These are simply to determine if your child was actually homeschooled and not for any other reason. We are very pleased that the new law is leading to good policies for homeschool enlistment across the services.
MercatorNet.com: But Gotland (province) Social Services persisted, and managed to get a mid-level appeal court to overturn the district court ruling. Now the couple, with the aid of the US-based Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and the Alliance Defending Freedom, have taken their case to the Supreme Court of Sweden. They are being represented by Ruby Harrold-Claesson of the Nordic Committee on Human Rights. . . . Alliance Defending Freedom and HSLDA are encouraging concerned people from all over the world to participate in an HSLDA-sponsored letter-writing campaign that asks the Supreme Court of Sweden to accept the case Johansson v. Gotland Social Services and return Domenic to his parents.
Baptist Press: A German family should be granted asylum in the U.S. because their s native government is denying a fundamental human right by preventing them from homeschooling their children, attorney Michael Farris told a three-judge panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday (April 23) in Cincinnati.
Huffington Post: Home-schooling families in Europe have become a cause celebre for some U.S. conservatives. The Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom is working with two Swedish home-schooling families, including Christer and Annie Johansson, who lost custody of 11-year-old Domenic when they refused to enroll him in public school.
CBN (includes video): Alliance Defending Freedom and the Home-School Legal Defense Association have asked the European court of Human Rights to hear the case of a Swedish family heavily fined for home-schooling.
weden’s highest court is being asked to free an 11-year-old boy whom government officials have held in captivity for four years because his parents home-schooled him. Attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom and the Home School Legal Defense Association are legal advisors to the parents, who are represented by Ruby Harrold-Claesson of the Nordic Committee on Human Rights.
WorldNetDaily: Swedish parents Annie and Christer Johansson have launched what may be their last hope to see their son again – with an appeal to the Supreme Court of Sweden to overturn a lower court’s decision to end their parental rights over homeschooling . . . he HSLDA has been working on Domenic’s case, along with officials from the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Alliance Defending Freedom and the Home School Legal Defense Association have asked the European Court of Human Rights to hear the case of a Swedish family heavily fined for home-schooling their daughter.
Robert Knight at Townhall: A courageous German Christian couple refused to hand over their children to the government schools and fled to America three years ago. Now, the Obama Administration is trying to send them back. A likely outcome would be the state seizing the children and imprisoning the parents.
Christian Newswire: Focus on the Family spokesman and Truth Project founder Dr. Del Tackett yesterday declared his support for HSLDA’s efforts to defend the Romeike family. Tackett believes that the U.S. government is siding with the restrictive homeschooling laws in Germany and that this could have serious implications for American homeschoolers.
Jillian Kay Melchior at NRO: Uwe and Hannelore Romeike fled to the United States in 2008, claiming the German government had denied their religious freedom by forbidding them from homeschooling their children. Now, the Obama administration is trying to send them back, even though the Romeikes might lose their children if they’re deported to Germany.
Washington Post: The study was conducted by researchers at National Jewish Health in Denver, who studied the sleep patterns of 2,612 students, including nearly 500 homeschoolers.