Response from Thomas Wriessnig (Germany)

Like Bezahlt in this post, we received an e-mail from HSLDA regarding seven homeschooling families in Northern Germany. The article states:

The Paderborn County school board has levied fines against these families and ordered the children to attend school by Monday, January 10, or the police will forcibly take them to school. Any resistance by the parents will result in the removal of these thirteen elementary age children from their homes and into state custody!

HSLDA requested people to contact the German Embassy and indicate to them that: “A parent’s right to direct the education of his children is a fundamental right that should be protected.”, also giving benefits that your family has received from homeschooling.

My wife did this, contacting the German embassy on their website.

Today we received an e-mail response from Thomas Wriessnig, Head of Cultural Department.

Some excerpts from the response are below:

“In Germany, the laws on mandatory school attendance are based on the principle of the government’s traditional responsibility for providing education for the people. Mandatory school attendance was first introduced in Germany…to guarantee education for all, especially socially disadvantaged families. Then and now, equality is seen as an important democratic ideal.”

It goes on to say:

“Homeschooling may be equally effective in terms of test scores. It is important to keep in mind, however, that school teaches not only knowledge but also social conduct. Daily contact with other students from all walks of life promotes tolerance, encourages dialogue among people of different beliefs and cultures, and helps students to become responsible citizens.”

The public has a legitimate interest in countering the rise of parallel societies that are based on religion or motivated by different world views…If we are to achieve integration, not only must the majority of the population prevent the ostracization of religious minorities or minorities with different world views, but minorities must also remain open and engage in dialogue with those who think differently or share different beliefs.

It goes without saying that parents play an important role in the education of their children. They can and should pass on their values to their children. In this respect, mandatory school attendance should be seen not as an obstacle but as a complement. (Highlights are mine.)

Wow! I find this very scary. It appears that in Germany individual rights are curbed for the sake of society. Although they provide “education for the people”, it seems that their goal is to indoctrinate a pluralistic worldview.

Let’s continue to pray for these homeschooling families!