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Is this Fair? Judge Says Family Can’t Move to Country Where Homeschooling is Legal

By Nigel Boys

German parents, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, had their children forcibly removed from their care last year when police officers and social workers in Darmstadt, Germany descended on their home after a judge signed a seizure order.

The reason for this drastic action was that the Wunderlich’s refused to send their children to public school, as ordered by the county’s authorities, because they wanted to bring them up by homeschooling them.

Now a judge has told the German family that they will not be allowed to leave the county to immigrate to another where homeschooling is allowed and their children will not be returned into their custody.

Dirk Wunderlich said that last August he looked out of his window and saw that the house was surrounded by armed police and special agents.

The distraught father of the children went on to say that “They told me they wanted to come in to speak with me. I tried to ask questions, but within seconds, three police officers brought a battering ram and were about to break the door in, so I opened it.”

Although, after a court hearing, the children were returned to their parents in September and started to attend a state school, they were still legally under government custody.

A request, last month, by the family’s attorneys asked that the family be allowed to move to France where they could continue their children’s homeschooling and the custody of the children be returned to their parents.

However, the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) said in a report that Judge Marcus Malkmus refused these requests because he believed that homeschooling was a “straightjacket” for children’s education.

Malkmus wrote that, in his opinion, he believed that the Wunderlich’s children would suffer if they were homeschooled because they would not learn to interact with others who had different thoughts. He added that “homeschooling presents concrete endangerment to the wellbeing of the child.”

The Wunderlich’s plan to appeal the court decision, but this is likely to take some considerable time, according to the HSLDA.

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