Is Homeschooling a Universal Human Right?

German parents seek asylum in the U.S. for pulling kids out of schools.


In 2008, Uwe and Hannelore Romeike left Germany with their five children and came to the United States asking for refugee status as an oppressed minority. The Romeikes, you see, insist on homeschooling their children, which is illegal under German law. 

"The German Constitutional court has said it's alright for Germany to ban home education because the public has an interest in counteracting, or stamping out, parallel societies," explains Mike Donnelly, a lawyer for the Home School Legal Defense Association and a representative for the Romeike family. Donnelly tells Reason's Nick Gillespie that such laws have a long history in Germany, before, during, and after the Nazi regime. 

The family currently resides in the U.S. and is awaiting a verdict from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, hoping to be granted refugee status. If deported back to Germany, they could face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and the possible loss of custody of their children. 

Donnelly also talks about America's own history with home schooling, which has only been recognized as a fully legal option over the past 30 years or so.  

About 14 minutes.

Camera by Meredith Bragg and Amanda Winkler. Edited by Winkler.

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