A court in Germany has issued an order prohibiting a homeschooling family from emigrating with their four children to another European Union nation where homeschooling is legal.
The order is the latest turn in the saga of parents Dirk and Petra Wunderlich as they endeavor to homeschool their children who range in age in age from seven to 14 years.
The judge told the family’s attorneys that the German government would respond with government force and criminal sanctions if the family attempts to leave the country before a December hearing , according to a press release from the U.S.-based Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).
Back in August, a team of government bureaucrats and police officers armed with guns and a battering ram stormed the Wunderlich home, seizing the four Wunderlich children because the family living had defied a national ban on homeschooling. (RELATED: The perils of homeschooling: German police storm home, seize four children)
The government returned the Wunderlich children to their parents three weeks after brutally removing them. In the interim, social workers retained custody of the children under a court order. The kids lived in a group home. They were subjected a battery of social and academic tests.
The homeschooling saga of the Wunderlichs has dragged on for four years. A different judge had also previously subjected the kids to government care in 2012.
In order to get their kids back this most recent time, the judge made the Wunderlich parents promise to send their kids to school outside the home.
“What other choice did we have? They had our children,” Dirk Wunderlich told HSLDA. “We feel ravaged by the government. We don’t want our children in school but we have no choice. We can’t leave and if we don’t comply they will take our children away.”
The four Wunderlich kids attended a government school for the first time on Oct. 28. They have been unimpressed. They say the teachers waste a lot of time talking and disciplining other kids.
“I think homeschooling is much more effective because you can actually do the work and don’t have to lose time on all the other things that go into school,” Wunderlich told HSLDA. “We hope with all our heart to get back to homeschooling somehow.”
HSLDA chairman Michael Farris has repeatedly the German government’s actions a human rights violation.
“Germany has signed numerous treaties that recognize that the family has a superior right to make educational decisions vs. the government,” Farris said.
“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drafted in direct response to what happened in Nazi Germany,” he added.