Uwe and Hannelore Romeike wanted to homeschool their children in their country, Germany, where homeschooling has been officially against the law since the days of Adolph Hitler due to the fact that attendance is compulsory in school. They fled to the united States and were granted asylum in 2010. Now Eric Holders's attorney general's office wants to revoke their asylum and send them back to Germany.
In Germany you can only send your children to public schools, private schools, or religious schools. The Romeike family objected to the curriculum as well as bullying at the public school their children attended. In their statement to the appeals court, they said "they believe that the public school curriculum - particularly elements that they believed were anti-Christian and sexually inappropriate elements -would harm their children ..." After going against the law and teaching their children at home, the authorities came and took their children from the home to school. They were fined about $9000 and they felt there was a threat that they would lose their children. They applied for asylum in the United States which was granted in 2010.
Why the attorney general's office would spend it's time and money pursuing such a case is a mystery when illegal immigration laws seemed to go ignored in our country. There are millions of illegal aliens in the U.S. that go unchallenged every year. This seems to be a way of making a statement or setting a precedent that has consequences beyond a family from Germany.
The chilling part of this story is the attorney general's response. What does this mean to our own rights as homeschoolers. Michael Farris has stated in an article at the Homeschool Legal Defense Association web site:
"When the United States government says that homeschooling is a mutable choice—they are saying that it is a characteristic that a government can legitimately coerce you to change. In other words, you have no protected right to choose the education for your children. Our nation could remove your ability to homeschool and your choice would be mutable—since the government has the authority to force you to implement their wishes."
The problem with our government trying to refuse asylum to a homeschool family from Germany is not just the fact that this is an injustice to the Romeike family but the underlying statement as to how this government views individual rights. It leaves open a precedence that homeschooling here may not always be held to be a personal right.