German homeschooled girl locked up (for being homeschooled) - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-16-2007, 12:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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http://www.americanthinker.com/print...schoolers.html

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Locking-up Home Schoolers
By James Lewis

Locking up as mentally ill those who refuse to obey a tyrannical state was a favorite tactic of Stalin and his successors. The New Europe is learning to love this reinforcement of government power.

According to Paul Belien, the editor of Brussels Journal, a sixteen-year old girl in Germany has been locked up in a psychiatric ward for "school phobia" --- resisting state schooling after years of being home schooled. Belien quotes the one-paragraph psychiatrist's report on Melissa Busekros. Judging by her photo, she seems about as healthy and normal as teenage girls get. One "Dr. Siegfried Schanda" --- I'm not kidding, this is not a Franz Kafka or Dickens story --- summarized her psychiatric "disorder" as follows:

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Old 03-16-2007, 03:42 AM
 
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homeschooling is illegal in Germany.
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Old 03-16-2007, 03:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by huggerwocky View Post
homeschooling is illegal in Germany.
Then why go after the girl and not the parents?
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Old 03-16-2007, 03:54 AM
 
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That just sucks!

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
peace.gif  Embrace the learning that is happening within the things that are actually happening!    
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Old 03-16-2007, 03:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by huggerwocky View Post
homeschooling is illegal in Germany.
That's so odd, I was just mentioning this on TAO. They are really harassing HSing families in Germany.
It was a law that Hitler enacted when he came into power. Seems like it should be overturned!

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Old 03-16-2007, 04:16 AM
 
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The European Union is so power-hungry today, so much run by control freaks, that any outsider has to suspect that this is another case of psychiatric abuse to coerce political dissidents by the all-powerful socialist state.
Ummm...I'm sorry, but this is the pot calling the kettle black. This article does not have any facts to back it up. It doesn't even say where the girl lives.

I am a big supporter of homeschooling, think it SHOULD be legal in Germany, even subscribe to a European homeschooling forum.

BUT, IMO the above article is not a good piece of journalism.

The CONSERVATIVES are currently in power in Germany, so I would hardly call it an 'all powerful socialist state'

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Old 03-16-2007, 08:15 AM
 
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This stuff scares me to death. And people wonder why I say I will never ever live in Germany. I don't even want to visit anymore and we live in a bordering country.
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Old 03-16-2007, 12:13 PM
 
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Backtrack to the source of this article. Mediocre jingoistic right wing ranting website. Hardly a source of reliable information.
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Old 03-16-2007, 12:18 PM
 
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Yes, maybe the website is screwed up but this IS really happening in Germany. Homeschooling IS illegal there. Homeschoolers ARE being harrassed. Families ARE being torn apart because they are homeschooling.
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Old 03-16-2007, 12:59 PM
 
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Kara, here's an earnest question. I've been told that, with the advent of the European Union, the separate countries of Europe are becoming more like the separate states of the US. Movement between them is free, people are born in one country, go to college in a second, meet a spouse from a third country at college and together they settle in a fourth country for work. Is that true? If so... why would homeschooling families stay in Germany? Here in the US, people regularly "state-shop" for favorable homeschooling laws. In fact, I have every intention of getting the heck out of Pennsylvania before my kids turn eight and the law gets pretty unmanageable here.

I understand there's a lot more pride in where you're from in Europe than in the US, but I read a pretty extensive (and mainstream, wish I could remember where that was) article about how that sense of location is breaking down with the new mobility. If that was wrong, I apologize, I am not intending to be obtuse or snotty, I'm genuinely curious. It's just very different from what I'm accustomed to, and I'm asking so I can truly understand.
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:41 PM
 
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peThis is an old story and it has been reported in several reliable sources. It has been discussed in many homeschooling boards (including the one here on MDC) There have been petitions and demonstrations since February

In the EU people don't simple "move" because even though there is easy mobility, the countries are still very strong in their identities and pride. My husband is a Dane and could move very easily to the UK. However, before he is an European, he is a Dane. The difference between the cultures here is much bigger here than the differences between US states.

Having said that, homschooling families sometimes do move to Austria or France in desperation
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Old 03-16-2007, 02:35 PM
 
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I wouldn't move to France either. As an unschooler, I would have to subject my child to strict homeschooling laws/testing. I prefer not to do that. (And your children must learn French and take the tests in French, which I can understand but still, choose not to go that route)

I'm an American, let me first point that out. So I can only tell you my impressions from living in Czech Republic (for past 7 + years) and Germany ( only lived 8 months there over 14 years ago) and from travelling throughout Europe since our move to Prague. Being a part of the EU does not mean each country is the same with the same culture and even laws. Each country is very very different. It is easy to travel, yes, from country to country on an EU passport but moving is still a large undertaking.

I'm naive and wish that the German lawmakers would accept that education is changing so that these families wouldn't feel they must uproot simply because they want to make a choice about how their children are educated.

As for my family, even though over 100 families are homeschooling here, it is still highly regulated. For example: Czech children and families must undergo psychological evaluations...But more importantly, because of the fact that School is such a big part of children's lives here, it has been harder as my child grows older to make friends she can see during the weekday. We're moving in a little over a year. But NOT back to America.
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Old 03-16-2007, 07:11 PM
 
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polihaupt,

Could you please post links to these 'reliable sources' talking about this topic?

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Old 03-16-2007, 07:30 PM
 
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Is it illegal in Germany?!?!?

My sister's DH was based in Germany for several years and she HS her kids while they were there. It might have been different as they were on post but that seems odd.

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Old 03-16-2007, 08:05 PM
 
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It's completely different for people affiliated with the US military. They can operate pretty much as they would in the US. Homeschooling is also allowed up to two years in families who are ex-pats (ie going to be returning to their home countries at some point) and some special dispensations have been given for 3 or even 4 years.
Please understand that in Germany homeschooling is generally associated with fundamentalist Christians and extreme right-wing associates. Germany has also had a bit of a different history (as has most of Europe) than the United States, so it's a bit unjust to compare.
From what I understand many people who are against legalising homeschooling have a concern that it could be used to fuel fundamentalist (religious or political) views AND that many parents who choose to homeschool do not have any sort of qualifications to do so. This gets into a homeschooling vs. no homeschooling debate. Historically the German school system has been quite good (though the PISA test results show a decline in recent years) and therefore there haven't been many dissatisfied parents pulling their children out of schools. Only religious and political fundamentalists. It seems to me that the homeschooling movement has generally grown in the US because of people dissatisfied with the quality of education their children were receiving (religious reasons being an exception) in the public schools.


tboroson,
I don't think you can compare the EU countries with the US states in that sense. There is a big language and cultural factor involved. Germans who wanted to homeschool could most likely do it easily in Austria, but wouldn't be welcomed with open arms (homeschooling in GERMAN in mean) in other countries. Plus, the families need to have housing, eat, sources of income. The countries with the friendliest homeschooling laws are not always the easiest countries in which to get jobs. Thus, it is not exactly possible to just 'shop around' for the best country.

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Old 03-16-2007, 08:31 PM
 
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Its perhaps true that some people choose to homeschool because they feel that their public schools do not provide good education but that is not the reason for all people.

I am choosing to homeschool because I feel that 5 yrs old is too young for my daughter to be handed over to virtual strangers. I have serious concerns about the "socialization" that kids receive in school (as I remember it being cruel, judgemental, and sexual way too young). I do also feel that one size fits all education doesn't work no matter how good the school may be.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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Old 03-16-2007, 08:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aniT View Post
Then why go after the girl and not the parents?

Not sure what happened, but normally they'd have to.
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Old 03-16-2007, 08:48 PM
 
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It shouldn't matter if homeschooling "is associated with right wing fundamentalist christianity." They have as much right to freedom of religion and freedom of education as anyone else.

It also doesn't matter how good the german schools are. Lots of people with access to good schools still choose to homeschool.
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Old 03-17-2007, 01:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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From what I understand many people who are against legalising homeschooling have a concern that it could be used to fuel fundamentalist (religious or political) views AND that many parents who choose to homeschool do not have any sort of qualifications to do so.
What are these qualifications you speak of? How is it the government's place to tell me what I have to do to be able to homeschool my kids?

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Old 03-17-2007, 01:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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More articles about the homeschooling situation in Germany:

http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=20277
http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1330
http://www.hslda.org/hs/internationa.../200501100.asp
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,...438867,00.html

This one gives a lot more information about this girl:
http://www.netscape.com/viewstory/20...463&frame=true

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Old 03-17-2007, 05:02 AM
 
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I think it is important to try not to look at this from an American 'laissez-faire' perspective but from a European perspective and in the way that a lot of Europeans expect the government to have a 'safety net' society.
Please remember, I am only playing devil's advocate on this, and am only speaking about Germany right now.
First if all, let me really stress the importance of the FEAR inherent in society (and of the government) of anything even PERCEIVED as right wing, extreme nationalism, or that smacks of anarchy.
This comes from NOT only the post Hitler era (where the government vowed to make sure someone like Hitler would NEVER come into power again) but from the 1970s revolutionary terrorist 'Red Army' which did a lot of damage and killed quite a few people.
There is also a difference in the role Germans expect their government to perform. While some Americans are very wary of federal, state or local government involvement in things like child-rearing, health care, gun control, education, retirement and even taxes, in Germany it is expected for the government to take care of these things. There are still many people alive who remember what it was like living in poverty stricken post war Germany and remember their parent's struggle during the 1920s with the extreme inflation rates when the government didn't do ANYTHING to help its citizens.

On to the homeschooling issue. Now, just for the record I personally do not have anything against homeschooling and will not place my children in the German school system (but that's for a different thread in a different forum).
Secondly, did you know that compulsory education actually originated in the German states (Prussia, actually) in the 17th and 18th centuries? This was seen as a step forward in an era where many Europeans were living in extreme poverty.
Now, the above articles are talking about mostly teenagers, for which there is no special place for homeschooled children in the post-secondary education system. At the age of eleven children are 'weeded out' for their University potential. Pupils then go to one of the insitutions. Gymnasium (college prep), Realschule (kind of a mix between community college-prep and a higer vocational school) and then Hauptschule (literally, high school where it's quite vocational). On the whole, the level of language (most are required to learn English and one other foreign language), mathematics, science, and history/geography is more advanced than what is taught in the US schools.
Only 10% of German citizens even go to University, and the rest become highly specialised in a specific job or skill. It means that the work force is very specialised and educated in their specific jobs, but there isn't too much flexibility.
Germany is also a country where a person must be qualified to perform a certain job. Even to work at a bank, restaurant or as a babysitter you must have done a minimum number of hours in a special course (with exam, of course - German education is very exam.oriented).
Did you know that up until recently even secondary private schools were not officially recognised by the state (well, the schools were recognised, but the pupil's 'degree' or diploma received were not, so going to a private school ensured that a pupil would have to spend a year in a public school to take the Abitur, or secondary final exam or would not go to University). International schools have been the exception, though these schools are also subject to the same regulations and exams as public schools.

Now, as I stated above Germany has a generous system in terms of health care, help for the poor, retirement, the unemployed and even ensures that even the poorest family can send its child to University (because they are VERY inexpensive to the average taxpayer - only a couple of hundred Euros per semester) It is a bit strange (in a German perspective) to expect the German government to provide a 'safety net' for all of this, plus affordable pre-school options (even Waldorf is accessible to about everyone) but to keep its nose out of the education system. Remember the regulatory job skills and careers?
To some Germans, to have a trained hair dresser (for example) give lessons to his/her children in physics and mathematics just doesn't make sense. Plus, the practical side of German education is important. Most pupils spend a lot of time as 'apprentices' or 'interns' in the field of their choice. We're talking about practical experience over a number of YEARS.

Just trying to give some perspective where many Germans are coming from.
It seems to me the entire homeschooling movement in Germany is about where the US was in the late 1960s, early 70s. So they have a ways to go. They probably need someone like Holt or the Moores to bring about any sort of movement or even general awareness.

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Old 03-17-2007, 05:25 AM
 
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Thank you for the links.

From: http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=20277
Quote:
a Herbolzheim couple that wanted to homeschool their two children because they believed the public schools undermined their religious values.
From: http://www.hslda.org/hs/internationa.../200501100.asp
Quote:
these families pulled their children out of public school earlier this year to begin teaching them at home. Their primary reason, as Christians, was to protect their children from the humanistic and godless values being taught to their children in the public school.
Seeing as how the Christian religion (Catholicism and Protestantism) is taught in the German public schools and there is no separation of church and state, this surprises me.

From: http://www.netscape.com/viewstory/20...463&frame=true
Quote:
In order to avoid this in future, the education authority is in conversation with the affected family in order to look for possibilities to bring the religious convictions of the family into line with the unalterable school attendance requirement."
It sounds to me as if the German government wants to try to help.

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Old 03-17-2007, 08:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Hollycrand View Post
Seeing as how the Christian religion (Catholicism and Protestantism) is taught in the German public schools and there is no separation of church and state, this surprises me.
.
The lack of separation of church and state has nothing to do with it Let's take Denmark for example (since DH is a Dane and I lived there). There is no separation of church and state in Denmark either. Yet, even though Christianity is taught in school, it is more of a cultural than a faith thing. The values taught in school tend to be humanistic and are overall not in accordance with the belief of many Christians there (who opt for private religious schools instead). The way sexual education is taught in Denmark (they learn things many people in the US never hear about until they are adults) is a big reason why some Christians and Muslim parents choose to remove their children from state schools.
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