Arguing that homeschooling damages children and is an abuse of parental authority, a German district court in Darmstadt transferred the custody rights of Dirk and Petra Wunderlich’s four children to the Jugendamt, Germany’s child protective agency.
Judge Markus Malkmus followed the case law of the two high court cases on the subject of homeschooling, Konrad and Paul Plett. The district court ruled that the general public has an interest in counteracting the development of parallel societies and that religious or ethnic minorities must be “integrated” through schools. The judge also stated that the academic competency of the children was irrelevant because it is the state’s responsibility to insure that children are socialized in state-approved public or private schools.
The Wunderlichs returned to Germany after years of seeking a home in almost half a dozen other European countries. HSLDA wrote about the family when they were snatched by French social workers in 2009 over homeschooling. The children were returned shortly after.
Wunderlich explained: “When she returned our children, the French judge told us: ‘You can homeschool here, that is your good right.’ ”
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